Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ken Kurzawski
Robin Riechers
Brandi Reeder

Action
2013-2014 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamation
March 28, 2013

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks adoption of proposed changes to the Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamations. The proposed amendments would:

Inland Fisheries

Coastal Fisheries

Law Enforcement

II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, and means and methods for taking fisheries resources for recreational purposes is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 61 and 67. Statutory authority to regulate commercial fisheries is delegated to the Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 47 and 66. The proposed rules are based upon suggestions from the public, statutory requirements, and commission policy, including scientific investigation and required findings of fact where applicable. The potential changes are intended to increase recreational opportunity, decrease regulatory complexity where possible, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of the wildlife resources of the state. At the Work Session meeting on January 23, 2013, staff was authorized to publish the proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed rules appeared in the February 22, 2013 issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 1103-1113). A summary of public comment on the proposed rules will be presented at the time of the hearing.

III. RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the Commission adopt the proposed motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to §§57.971, 57.972, 57.973, 57.976, 57.981, 57.982, 57.992, and 57.996 concerning the Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamations, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the February 22, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 1103-1113).”

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Fishing Rules

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

STATEWIDE RECREATIONAL

AND COMMERCIAL FISHING PROCLAMATIONS

Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§57.971, 57.972, 57.973, 57.976, 57.981, 57.982, 57.992, and 57.996 concerning the Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamations. The proposed amendments include changes occurring as a result of the department’s review of its regulations under the provisions of Government Code, §2001.039, which requires a state agency to review each of its regulations no less frequently than every four years and to re-adopt, adopt with changes, or repeal each rule as a result of the review.

         The proposed amendment to §57.971, concerning Definitions, would add new definitions for “crab” and “handfishing,” eliminate a redundancy in the definition of “purse seine,” and clarify the definitions of “trap” and “residence.” The proposed amendment would add new paragraph (9) to define “crabs” as “all species within the families Portunidae and Menippidae.” Under Parks and Wildlife Code, §78.102(1), crabs are defined as “all species within the families Portunidae and Xanthidae.” There is no universal method or system for assigning taxonomic rank to organisms. The generally accepted goal of taxonomy is to group organisms by similarities of function, structure, or genetics; however, because scientific investigations continue to reveal previously unknown information about specific organisms or groups of organisms, their taxonomic designations can be changed, even though the organisms themselves remain unchanged. Recent generally accepted taxonomic revisions have split the family Xanthidae into seven new families, one of which (Mennipidae) contains species of crabs indigenous to Texas. The proposed amendment reflects recent changes in taxonomic nomenclature with respect to crabs.

         The proposed amendment also would create new paragraph (25), which defines “handfishing” as “fishing by the use of hands only and without any other fishing devices such as gaff, pole hook, stick, trap, or spear.” The definition is a verbatim repetition of the statutory definition of handfishing in Parks and Wildlife Code, 66.115(a), with the exception of the word “stick.” The department has determined that although it’s clear from the grammatical constructions “use of hands only” and “such as…” followed by a list of gears, that the intent of the statute is to restrict handfishing solely to the use of hands, it is necessary to clarify that in addition to the statutory prescription on the use of gaffs, pole hooks, traps, or spears, sticks are also unlawful.

         The proposed amendment to paragraph (34) would eliminate the current definition of “permanent residence” in order to create a new definition of “residence” in proposed new paragraph (37).”

         The proposed amendment would create new paragraph (37), which would define “residence.” The intent of the current definition of “permanent residence” is to prevent the use of temporary accommodations as final destinations for purposes of avoiding compliance with possession limits and documentation requirements. The department considers that a person may maintain more than one residence and should not be required to return to his or her domicile with a daily bag or possession limit. Therefore, the department has determined that the current rule is unintentionally restrictive and proposes a modification to define a  “residence” as “a permanent structure where a person regularly sleeps and keeps personal belongings such as furniture and clothes,” while retaining the current prohibition on temporary abodes or dwellings such as a hunting or fishing club, club house, cabin, tent, or trailer house or mobile home used as a hunting or fishing camp, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house. The proposed amendment would eliminate the current reference to “hunting, fishing, pleasure, or business trip” and replace it with “temporary basis.” The department has determined that the rule should not attempt to characterize or list the possible purposes for the use of an accommodation but instead establish the permanency of use.

         The proposed amendment to current paragraph (37), regarding “purse seine (net)” would remove the word “net,” which is redundant.

         The proposed amendment to current paragraph (44), regarding the definition of “trap,” would clarify the current definition by appending to it a list of examples of devices (box, barrel, or pipe) the department considers to meet the criteria established by the current definition.

         The proposed amendment to §57.972, concerning General Rules, would update the taxonomic names of sawfishes, clarify an existing rule governing the use of boats to drive fish, and remove references to possession of red drum tags. As discussed in the proposed amendment to §57.971 regarding crabs, the taxonomic designations of organisms are not fixed. Similar to the case of crabs, the scientific names of sawfishes have been changed. The proposed amendment to subsection (f) reflects the change.

         Under current subsection (g)(7), it is unlawful for any person to use any vessel to harass fish. The proposed amendment would alter subsection (g)(7) by eliminating the word “harass” and replacing it with the words “harry, herd, or drive,” including a proscription on the operation of any vessel in a repeated circular course,” and making it clear that the actions described in the paragraph must be “for the purpose of or result in the concentration of fish for the purpose of taking or attempting to take fish.” The proposed amendment is necessary because the department has determined that it is necessary to provide a clearer articulation of the acts or actions the department considers to constitute the use of boats to move fish for purposes of take.

         The proposed amendment to subsection (g) also eliminates paragraph (13)(G) and (I), concerning the possession and use of red drum tags. Under the current rules, a person may catch and retain only one red drum of greater than 28 inches in length, which must be tagged with the red drum tag from the person’s fishing license, and a person may exchange a used red drum tag for a bonus red drum tag and then retain another oversize red drum; however, no person may be in simultaneous possession of a red drum tag and a bonus red drum tag, or the exempt equivalents. The current rules were promulgated at a time when the department was concerned about red drum populations and needed to get firm numbers concerning their harvest. Long-term department trend data indicate that oversize red drum constitute less than 3% of the total red drum harvest; therefore, there is no longer a need to obtain highly detailed harvest information or to prohibit the simultaneous possession of a red drum tag and a bonus red drum tag.

         The proposed amendment to §57.973, concerning Devices, Means, and Methods, consists of several actions. The proposed amendment would alter current subsection (b) to make it a list of places where angling is restricted solely to the use of pole-and-line devices. Provisions regarding those places where the number of devices that may lawfully be employed are regulated would be relocated to proposed new subsection (c). With the exception of proposed subsection(b)(4), the changes are nonsubstantive. Proposed subsection (b)(4) would add Canyon Lake Project #6 to the list of places where angling is restricted solely to pole-and-line. Within the City of Lubbock there are a series of urban lakes, and all of the waterbodies except one (Canyon Lake Project #6) are classified as community fishing lakes (CFL), on which angling is by rule restricted solely to pole-and-line. The Canyon Lake Project #6 lake is 82 acres, which makes it larger than the 75-acre minimum for established by rule for CFLs. Under the provisions of the subchapter, CFLs have a specific set of regulations on catfish harvest and gear usage. Confusion exists among local anglers in the Lubbock area regarding the regulations in effect on Canyon Lake Project #6. The department has determined that for purposes of consistency and alleviation of angler confusion, the harvest regulations on Canyon Lake Project #6 should be the same as the other CFLs: five fish daily bag limit for channel and blue catfish (no minimum length limit), methods restricted to pole-and-line only, no more than two devices per person.

         The proposed amendment would alter current subsection (f) by adding new paragraph (8) to govern handfishing. The Texas Legislature in 2011 enacted House

Bill 2189, which amended Parks and Wildlife Code by adding §66.115, which made it lawful to “fish for catfish by use of the hands only and without any other fishing device such as a gaff, pole hook, trap, or spear.” The proposed amendment replicates the statute in rule for ease of reference and recapitulates that it is unlawful to place or use a trap for the purpose of taking catfish. The proposed amendment also would alter current subsection (f)(14) by removing the word “net” from the initial phrase “purse seine (net). Because “purse seine” is defined under §57.971 as a net, the phrase is redundant.

         The proposed amendment to §57.976, concerning Importation of Aquatic Animal Life, would retitle the section, remove the provisions concerning possession of wildlife in current subsection (a), and add provisions clarifying the legal status of aquatic animal life taken in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under federal jurisdiction. The department has determined that the provisions of current §57.976(a), which apply to the possession of resources, would be more appropriate if part of §57.981, concerning Bag, Possession, and Length Limits. The remaining provisions, with the addition of the provisions that apply to resources brought into to state waters from the EEZ, could then be in a section renamed as “Importation of Aquatic Animal Life.” The state of Texas has management jurisdiction for fisheries resources in state waters (which extend nine nautical miles from the Texas coast), but the area from the seaward edge of state waters for a distance of 200 miles fall within federal management jurisdiction. In some cases, the bag and possession limits in state waters for certain species differ from those in federal waters for those species. It is common for state game wardens to encounter persons in state waters who possess aquatic animal life that was unlawfully taken in federal waters. At the current time, such cases cannot be filed in a state jurisdiction; however, increased caseloads in federal courts have caused federal prosecutors to become increasingly selective about which cases to prosecute. This has led to a perception that compliance with resource conservation regulations is unnecessary, which is injurious to Texas aquatic animal life because it is a shared resource. The proposed amendment would make it a violation of state law to possess aquatic animal life in Texas that was unlawfully taken in violation of federal law. The proposed amendment is necessary to encourage the angling public to comply with resource conservation regulations irrespective of jurisdiction.

         The proposed amendment to §57.981, concerning Bag, Possession, and Length Limits, would add a provision concerning the applicability of possession limits and import provisions from current §57.976 concerning possession of resources (covered in the discussion of the proposed amendment of §57.976). In 2010 the department restructured hunting and fishing regulations to separate hunting rules from fishing rules and recreational fishing rules from commercial fishing rules. In the process, the department overlooked a provision governing the endpoint of the applicability of possession limits. That provision, which states that for all wildlife resources taken for personal consumption and for which there is a possession limit, the possession limit shall not apply after the wildlife resource has reached the possessor’s permanent residence and is finally processed, would be added to §57.981 as subsection (a). The provisions being relocated from §57.976 would become new subsection (c)(4).

         The proposed amendment to §59.981 also would alter current harvest regulations for largemouth bass on Kurth Reservoir, a 726-acre reservoir located approximately five miles north of Lufkin. Current use is recreation, but the City of Lufkin has plans to supply water for mining ventures. Current harvest regulations for largemouth bass consist of a 14-inch minimum length limit and a five-fish daily bag limit. Kurth currently supports a high-quality largemouth bass fishery as reflected in population sampling and in anglers’ catches. Staff believes these metrics indicate the reservoir has the potential to develop into a trophy bass fishery. A sample of registered anglers who had purchased a 2011 access permit to the reservoir were sent a questionnaire on their opinion of the overall fishery and current largemouth bass regulations. Survey respondents were very satisfied with the fishery, and 65% indicated they would like more restrictive largemouth regulations. The proposed amendment would establish a maximum length limit of 16 inches, which is intended to increase numbers of trophy-sized bass in the population by providing protection to large bass currently vulnerable to harvest (greater than 14 inches). Allowing harvest of bass 16 inches or shorter also could decrease intraspecific competition and increase growth rates. The proposed amendment also would allow one fish of 24 inches or greater to be retained alive in a live well for purposes of immediate weighing using personal scales. Bass weighing 13 pounds or more could be retained for donation to the ShareLunker Program; otherwise, fish would have to be immediately released.

         The proposed amendment to §59.981 also would alter current harvest regulations for largemouth bass on Lake Jacksonville, a 1,206-acre reservoir located approximately 20 miles south of Tyler. The current 18-inch minimum length and five-fish daily bag limit was established in September 2000, due to angler concerns about the scarcity of fish larger than the 14-inch statewide minimum length. The current regulation has been successful in restructuring the largemouth bass population and producing more fish 18 inches or longer. Recently, largemouth bass tournament angling has become increasingly popular, with Lake Jacksonville hosting at least three weekly tournaments. With the increase in tournament activity, anglers requested being allowed to be able to weigh in 14-18 inch bass. Department staff proposed a five-fish daily bag limit with no minimum length and a retention limit of two fish less than 18 inches. The proposed amendment is intended to allow bass to be weighed-in during tournaments and to facilitate the harvest of additional bass, but still provide some harvest protection for bass in the 14-to-18-inch size range. In an on-line survey designed to evaluate angler opinion on possible changes to bass regulations, 91 anglers responded to the survey with 2/3 in favor of the proposed regulation.

         The proposed amendment to §57.982, concerning Crabs and Ghost Shrimp, would remove a historical reference to the previous scientific name for ghost shrimp. The change is nonsubstantive.

         The proposed amendment to §57.992, concerning Bag, Possession, and Length Limits, would alter subsection (a) to clarify that the possession limit applies to aquatic animal life possessed or stored by any person, but does not apply to aquatic animal life that has been lawfully obtained and for which the possessor has a receipt or invoice indentifying the person the aquatic life was obtained from, the number and species, date of sale, and any other information required to be on a sales ticket or invoice. The clarification is necessary to clearly delineate the standards that apply to possession of aquatic animal life in excess of possession limits.

         The proposed amendment also eliminates the special regulations for black drum and sheepshead, which are no longer necessary because commercial and recreational regulations are now in different divisions of Chapter 57.

         The proposed amendment to §57.996, concerning Crabs and Ghost Shrimp, would remove a historical reference to the previous scientific name for ghost shrimp and reflect that ghost shrimp may not be retained for commercial purposes. The change is nonsubstantive.

2. Fiscal Note.

         Ken Kurzawski, Program Director, Inland Fisheries Division, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the rules.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Mr. Kurzawski also has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect:

         (A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules will be the dispensation of the agency’s statutory duty to protect and conserve the fisheries resources of this state, the duty to equitably distribute opportunity for the enjoyment of those resources among the citizens, and the execution of the commission’s policy to maximize recreational opportunity within the precepts of sound biological management practices.

         (B) There will be no adverse economic effect on persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

         (C) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic affect on small businesses and micro-businesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and micro-businesses to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

          The department has determined that the proposed rules will not directly affect small businesses and/or micro-businesses. Therefore, the department has not prepared the economic impact statement or regulatory flexibility analysis described in Government Code, Chapter 2006.

         (D) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

         (E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rules.

         (F) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comment

         Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Ken Kurzawski (Inland Fisheries) at (512) 389-4591, e-mail: ken.kurzawski@tpwd.state.tx.us; Jeremy Leitz (Coastal Fisheries) at (512) 389-4333, e-mail: jeremy.leitz@tpwd.state.tx.us; or Brandi Reeder (Law Enforcement) at (512) 389-4853 , e-mail brandi.reeder@tpwd.state.tx.us. Comments also may be submitted via the department’s website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/.

5. Statutory Authority

         The amendments are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §46.0085, which authorizes the department to prescribe the form and manner of issuance of the licenses and tags authorized by Chapter 46; Chapter 61, which requires the commission to regulate the periods of time when it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the species, quantity, age or size, and, to the extent possible, the sex of the game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life authorized to be hunted, taken, or possessed; and the region, county, area, body of water, or portion of a county where game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life may be hunted, taken, or possessed; §66.115, which authorizes the commission to promulgate regulations concerning handfishing; and §67.004, which requires the commission to establish any limits on the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, importation, exportation, sale, or offering for sale of nongame fish or wildlife that the department considers necessary to manage the species.

         The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 46, 61, 66, and 67.

         §57.971. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms in this subchapter shall have the meanings assigned in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

                 (1) – (8) (No change.)

                 (9) Crab—All species within the families Portunidae and Menippidae.

                 (10)[(9)] Crab line — A baited line with no hook attached.

                 (11)[(10] Daily bag limit — The quantity of a species of a wildlife resource that may be lawfully taken in one day.

                 (12)[(11)] Day — A 24-hour period of time that begins at midnight and ends at midnight.

                 (13)[(12)] Dip net — A mesh bag suspended from a frame attached to a handle.

                 (14)[(13)] Final processing — The cleaning of a dead wildlife resource for cooking or storage purposes.

                 (15)[(14)] Fish —

                         (A) Game fish — Blue catfish, blue marlin, broadbill swordfish, brown trout, channel catfish, cobia, crappie (black and white), flathead catfish, Guadalupe bass, king mackerel, largemouth bass, longbill spearfish, pickerel, red drum, rainbow trout, sailfish, sauger, sharks, smallmouth bass, snook, Spanish mackerel, spotted bass, spotted seatrout, striped bass, tarpon, tripletail, wahoo, walleye, white bass, white marlin, yellow bass, and hybrids or subspecies of the species listed in this subparagraph.

                         (B) Non-game fish — All species not listed as game fish, except endangered and threatened fish, which are defined and regulated under separate proclamations.

                 (16)[(15)] Fishing — Taking or attempting to take aquatic animal life by any means.

                 (17)[(16)] Fish length — That straight-line measurement (while the fish is lying on its side) from the tip of the snout (jaw closed) to the extreme tip of the tail when the tail is squeezed together or rotated to produce the maximum overall length.

                 (18)[(17)] Fish species names — The names of fishes are those prescribed by the American Fisheries Society in the most recent edition of "Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from The United States, Canada and Mexico."

                 (19)[(18)] Fishing guide — A person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists, or transports a person or persons engaged in fishing in the water of this state.

                 (20)[(19)] Fishing guide deck hand — A person in the employ of a fishing guide who assists in operating a boat for compensation to accompany or to transport a person or persons engaged in fishing in the water of this state.

                 (21)[(20)] Folding panel trap — A metallic or non-metallic mesh trap, the side panels hinged to fold flat when not in use, and suspended in the water by multiple lines.

                 (22)[(21)] Gaff — Any hand-held pole with a hook attached directly to the pole.

                 (23)[(22)] Gear tag — A tag constructed of material as durable as the device to which it is attached. The gear tag must be legible, contain the name and address of the person using the device, and, except for saltwater trotlines and crab traps fished under a commercial license, the date the device was set out.

                 (24)[(23)] Gig — Any hand-held shaft with single or multiple points.

                 (25) Handfishing — Fishing by the use of hands only and without any other fishing devices such as gaff, pole hook, trap, stick, or spear.

                 (26)[(24)] Headboat — A vessel that holds a valid Certificate of Inspection issued by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire. A headboat with a commercial vessel permit is considered to be operating as a headboat when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or, in the case of persons aboard fishing for or possessing coastal migratory fish or Gulf reef fish, when there are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew.

                 (27)[(25)] Inside waters — All bays, inlets, outlets, passes, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water landward from the shoreline of the state along the Gulf of Mexico and contiguous to, or connected with, but not a part of, the Gulf of Mexico and within which the tide regularly rises and falls.

                 (28)[(26)] Jug line — A fishing line with five or less hooks tied to a free-floating device.

                 (29)[(27)] Lawful archery equipment — Longbow, recurved bow, and compound bow.

                 (30)[(28)] License year — The period of time for which an annual fishing license is valid.

                 (31)[(29)] Natural bait — A whole or cut-up portion of a fish or shellfish or a whole or cut-up portion of plant material in its natural state, provided that none of these may be altered beyond cutting into portions.

                 (32)[(30)] Paddle craft — Any non-motorized vessel.

                 (33)[(31)] Paddle-craft fishing guide — A person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists, or transports a person or persons by means of a non-motorized vessel engaged in fishing in the coastal waters of this state.

                 [(32) Permanent residenceOne’s domicile. This does not include a temporary abode or dwelling such as a hunting/fishing club, or any club house, cabin, tent, or trailer house used as a hunting/fishing club, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house used during a hunting, fishing, pleasure, or business trip.]

                 (34)[(33)] Pole and line — A line with hook, attached to a pole. This gear includes rod and reel.

                 (35)[(34)] Possession limit — The maximum number of a wildlife resource that may be lawfully possessed at one time.

                 (36)[(35)] Purse seine [(net)] — A net with flotation on the corkline adequate to support the net in open water without touching bottom, with a rope or wire cable strung through rings attached along the bottom edge to close the bottom of the net.

                 (37) Residence — A permanent structure where a person regularly sleeps and keeps personal belongings such as furniture and clothes, but does not include a temporary abode or dwelling such as a hunting or fishing club, or any club house, cabin, tent, or trailer house or mobile home used as a hunting or fishing camp, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house used on a temporary basis.

                 (38)[(36)] Sail line — A type of trotline with one end of the main line fixed on the shore, the other end of the main line attached to a wind-powered floating device or sail.

                 (39)[(37)] Sand Pump — A self-contained, hand-held, hand-operated suction device used to remove and capture Callianassid ghost shrimp (Callichirus islagrande, [formerly Callianassa islagrande]) from their burrows.

                 (40)[(38)] Seine — A section of non-metallic mesh webbing, the top edge buoyed upwards by a floatline and the bottom edge weighted.

                 (41)[(39)] Spear — Any shaft with single or multiple points, barbed or barbless, which may be propelled by any means, but does not; include arrows.

                 (42)[(40)] Spear gun — Any hand-operated device designed and used for propelling a spear, but does not include the crossbow.

                 (43)[(41)] Throwline — A fishing line with five or less hooks and with one end attached to a permanent fixture. Components of a throwline may also include swivels, snaps, rubber and rigid support structures.

                 (44)[(42)] Trap — A rigid device of various designs and dimensions used to entrap aquatic life, including a man-made device such as a box, barrel, or pipe.

                 (45)[(43)] Trawl — A bag-shaped net which is dragged along the bottom or through the water to catch aquatic life.

                 (46)[(44)] Trotline — A nonmetallic main fishing line with more than five hooks attached and with each end attached to a fixture.

                 (47)[(45)] Umbrella net — A non-metallic mesh net that is suspended horizontally in the water by multiple lines attached to a rigid frame.

                 (48)[(46)] Wildlife resources — For the purposes of this subchapter, all aquatic animal life

         §57.972. General Rules.

                 (a) – (e) (No change.)

                 (f) There is no open season on porpoises, dolphins (mammals), whales, or sawfishes (Pristis pectinata and P. pristis)[(Pristis perotteti)].

                 (g) It is unlawful:

                         (1) – (6) (No change.)

                         (7) for any person to use any vessel to harry, herd, or drive fish including but not limited to operating any vessel in a repeated circular course, for the purpose of or resulting in the concentration of fish for the purpose of taking or attempting to take fish[for any person to use any vessel to harass fish];

                          (8) – (12) (No change.)

                         (13) for any person to:

                                  (A) – (E) (No change.)

                                  (F) have in possession both a Red Drum Tag and a Duplicate Red Drum Tag issued to the same license or saltwater stamp holder; or

                                  [(G) have in possession both a Red Drum Tag or a Duplicate Red Drum Tag and a Bonus Red Drum Tag issued to the same license or saltwater stamp holder;]

                                  (G)[(H)] have in possession both an Exempt Red Drum Tag and a Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag issued to the same license holder[; or]

                                  [(I) have in possession both an Exempt Red Drum Tag or a Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag and a Bonus Red Drum Tag issued to the same holder].

                 (h) – (k) (No change.)

         §57.973. Devices, Means and Methods.

                 (a) (no change.)

                 (b) Game and non-game fish may be taken only by pole and line in or on [only in]:

                         (1) community fishing lakes; [however, on community fishing lakes that are not within or part of a state park, no person may employ more than two pole-and-line devices at the same time;]

                         (2) sections of rivers lying totally within the boundaries of state parks[, and no person may employ more than two pole-and-line devices at one time on any dock, pier, jetty, or other manmade structure within a state park];

                         (3) any dock, pier, jetty, or other manmade structure within a state park;

                         (4) Canyon Lake Project #6 (Lubbock County);

                         (5)[(3)] Lake Pflugerville (Travis County);

                         (6)[(4)] the North Concho River (Tom Green County) from O.C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam;

                         (7)[(5)] the South Concho River (Tom Green County) from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam; and

                         (8)[(6)] Wheeler Branch (Somervell County).

                 (c) No person may employ more than two pole-and-line devices at the same time on:

                         (1) any dock, pier, jetty, or other manmade structure within a state park; and

                          (2) community fishing lakes that are not within or part of a state park.

                 (d)[(c)] It is unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess fish caught in public waters of this state by any device, means, or method other than as authorized in this subchapter.

                 (e)[(d)] In salt water only, it is unlawful to fish with any device that is marked with a buoy made of a plastic bottle(s) of any color or size.

                 (f)[(e)] Aquatic life (except threatened and endangered species) not addressed in this subchapter may be taken only by hand or with the devices defined as lawful for taking fish, crabs, oysters, or shrimp in places and at times as provided by the Parks and Wildlife Commission and regulations adopted by the Parks and Wildlife Code.

                 (g)[(f)] Device restrictions. Devices legally used for taking fresh or saltwater fish or shrimp may be used to take crab as authorized by this subchapter.

                         (1) Cast net. It is unlawful to use a cast net exceeding 14 feet in diameter.

                                  (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with a cast net.

                                  (B) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken for bait purposes only.

                         (2) Crab line. It is unlawful to fish a crab line for commercial purposes that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length and six inches in width bearing the commercial crab fisherman’s license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the end fixtures.

                         (3) Crab trap. It is unlawful to:

                                   (A) fish for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial crab fisherman’s license with more than 200 crab traps at one time;

                                   (B) fish for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial finfish fisherman’s license with more than 20 crab traps at one time;

                                   (C) fish for non-commercial purposes with more than six crab traps at one time;

                                   (D) fish a crab trap in the fresh waters of this state;

                                  (E) fish a crab trap that:

                                           (i) exceeds 18 cubic feet in volume;

                                          (ii) is not equipped with at least two escape vents (minimum 2-3/8 inches inside diameter) in each crab-retaining chamber, and located on the outside trap walls of each chamber; and

                                          (iii) is not equipped with a degradable panel. A trap shall be considered to have a degradable panel if one of the following methods is used in construction of the trap:

                                                   (I) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390). The trap lid must be secured so that when the twine degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

                                                   (II) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. The trap lid must be secured so that when the wire degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

                                                   (III) the trap contains at least one sidewall, not including the bottom panel, with a rectangular opening no smaller than 3 inches by 6 inches. Any obstruction placed in this opening may not be secured in any manner except:

                                                           (-a-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390) knotted only at each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar. When the twine degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

                                                            (-b-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the wire degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

                                                           (-c-) the obstruction may be loosely hinged at the bottom of the opening by no more than two untreated steel hog rings and secured at the top of the obstruction in no more than one place by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530), sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390), or by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the twine or wire degrades, the obstruction will hinge downward and the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed;

                                  (F) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial crab fisherman’s license:

                                          (i) that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

                                          (ii) that is not marked with a white buoy bearing the commercial crab fisherman’s license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

                                          (iii) that is marked with a buoy bearing a commercial crab fisherman’s license plate number other than the commercial crab fisherman’s license plate number displayed on the crab fishing boat;

                                  (G) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial finfish fisherman’s license:

                                          (i) that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

                                          (ii) that is not marked with a white buoy bearing the letter ’F’ and the commercial finfish fisherman’s license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

                                          (iii) that is marked with a buoy bearing a commercial finfish fisherman’s license plate number other than the commercial finfish fisherman’s license plate number displayed on the finfish fishing boat;

                                          (H) fish a crab trap for non-commercial purposes without a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width, bearing a two-inch wide center stripe of contrasting color, attached to the crab trap;

                                          (I) fish a crab trap in public salt waters for non-commercial purposes without a valid gear tag. Gear tags must be attached within 6 inches of the buoy and are valid for 10 days after date set out;

                                          (J) fish a crab trap within 200 feet of a marked navigable channel in Aransas County; and in the water area of Aransas Bay within one-half mile of a line from Hail Point on the Lamar Peninsula, then direct to the eastern end of Goose Island, then along the southern shore of Goose Island, then along the eastern shoreline of the Live Oak Peninsula past the town of Fulton, past Nine Mile Point, past the town of Rockport to a point at the east end of Talley Island including that part of Copano Bay within 1,000 feet of the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula or possess, use or place more than three crab traps in waters north and west of Highway 146 where it crosses the Houston Ship Channel in Harris County;

                                  (K) remove crab traps from the water or remove crabs from crab traps during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise;

                                  (L) place a crab trap or portion thereof closer than 100 feet from any other crab trap, except when traps are secured to a pier or dock;

                                  (M) fish a crab trap in public waters that is marked with a buoy made of a plastic bottle(s) of any color or size; or

                                  (N) use or place more than three crab traps in public waters of the San Bernard River north of a line marked by the boat access channel at Bernard Acres.

                         (4) Dip net.

                                  (A) It is unlawful to use a dip net except:

                                          (i) to aid in the landing of fish caught on other legal devices; and

                                           (ii) to take non-game fish.

                                  (B) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken for bait purposes only.

                         (5) Folding panel trap.

                                  (A) Only crabs may be taken with a folding panel trap.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to use a folding panel trap with an overall surface area, including panels, exceeding 16 square feet.

                         (6) Gaff.

                                  (A) It is unlawful to use a gaff except to aid in landing fish caught by other legal devices, means or methods.

                                  (B) Fish landed with a gaff may not be below the minimum, above the maximum, or within a protected length limit.

                         (7) Gig. Only non-game fish may be taken with a gig.

                         (8) Handfishing. For use in fresh water only.

                                  (A) Only blue, channel, and flathead catfish may be taken by means of handfishing.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to intentionally place or use a trap in public waters for the purpose of taking catfish by handfishing. 

                         (9)[(8)] Jugline. For use in fresh water only. Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish may be taken with a jugline. It is unlawful to use a jugline:

                                  (A) with invalid gear tags. Gear tags must be attached within six inches of the free-floating device, are valid for 10 days after the date set out, and must include the number of the permit to sell non-game fish taken from fresh water, if applicable;

                                  (B) for commercial purposes that is not marked with an orange free-floating device;

                                   (C) for non-commercial purposes that is not marked with a white free-floating device;

                                  (D) in Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

                          (10)[(9)] Lawful archery equipment. Only non-game fish may be taken with lawful archery equipment or crossbow.

                         (11)[(10)] Minnow trap (fresh water and salt water). It is unlawful to use a minnow trap that is not equipped with a gear tag. A gear tag is valid for 10 days after the date it is set out.

                                          (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with a minnow trap.

                                          (B) It is unlawful to use a minnow trap that exceeds 24 inches in length or with a throat larger than one by three inches.

                         (12)[(11)]  Perch traps. For use in salt water only.

                                  (A) Perch traps may be used only for taking non-game fish.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to fish a perch trap that:

                                          (i) exceeds 18 cubic feet in volume;

                                          (ii) is not equipped with a degradable panel. A trap shall be considered to have a degradable panel if one of the following methods is used in construction of the trap:

                                                   (I) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390). The trap lid must be secured so that when the twine degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

                                                   (II) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. The trap lid must be secured so that when the wire degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

                                                   (III) the trap contains at least one sidewall, not including the bottom panel, with a rectangular opening no smaller than 3 inches by 6 inches. Any obstruction placed in this opening may not be secured in any manner except:

                                                           (-a-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390) knotted only at each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar. When the twine degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

                                                           (-b-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the wire degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

                                                           (-c-) the obstruction may be loosely hinged at the bottom of the opening by no more than two untreated steel hog rings and secured at the top of the obstruction in no more than one place by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530), sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390), or by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the twine or wire degrades, the obstruction will hinge downward and the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed.

                                          (iii) that is not marked with a floating visible orange buoy not less than six inches in height and six inches in width. The buoy must have a gear tag attached. Gear tags are valid for 10 days after date set out.

                         (13)[(12)]  Pole and line.

                                  (A) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take fish with one or more hooks attached to a line or artificial lure used in a manner to foul-hook a fish (snagging or jerking). A fish is foul-hooked when caught by a hook in an area other than the fish’s mouth.

                                  (B) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line. It is unlawful to take fish with a hand-operated device held underwater except that a spear gun and spear may be used to take non-game fish.

                                  (C) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line, except that in the Guadalupe River in Comal County from the second bridge crossing on River Road upstream to the easternmost bridge crossing on F.M. Road 306, rainbow and brown trout may not be retained when taken by any method except artificial lures. Artificial lures cannot contain or have attached either whole or portions, living or dead, of organisms such as fish, crayfish, insects (grubs, larvae, or adults), or worms, or any other animal or vegetable material, or synthetic scented materials. This does not prohibit the use of artificial lures that contain components of hair or feathers. It is an offense to possess rainbow and brown trout while fishing with any other device in that part of the Guadalupe River defined in this paragraph.

                         (14)[(13)]  Purse seine [(net)].

                                  (A) Purse seines may be used only for taking menhaden, only from that portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state extending from one-half mile offshore to nine nautical miles offshore.

                                  (B) Purse seines used for taking menhaden may not be used within one mile of any jetty or pass.

                                  (C) The purse seine, not including the bag, shall not be less than three-fourths inch square mesh.

                         (15)[14)]  Sail line. For use in salt water only.

                                  (A) Non-game fish, red drum, spotted seatrout, and sharks may be taken with a sail line.

                                  (B) Line length shall not exceed 1,800 feet from the reel to the sail.

                                  (C) The sail and most shoreward float must be a highly visible orange or red color. All other floats must be yellow.

                                  (D) No float on the line may be more than 200 feet from the sail.

                                  (E) A weight of not less than one ounce shall be attached to the line not less than four feet or more than six feet shoreward of the last shoreward float.

                                  (F) Reflectors of not less than two square inches shall be affixed to the sail and floats and shall be visible from all directions for sail lines operated from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.

                                  (G) There is no hook spacing requirement for sail lines.

                                  (H) No more than one sail line may be used per fisherman.

                                  (I) Sail lines may not be used by the holder of a commercial fishing license.

                                  (J) Sail lines must be attended at all times the line is fishing.

                                  (K) Sail lines may not have more than 30 hooks and no hook may be placed more than 200 feet from the sail.

                         (16)[(15)] Sand pump. It is unlawful for any person to use a sand pump:

                                  (A) that is not manually operated; or

                                  (B) for commercial purposes.

                         (17)[(16)] Seine.

                                  (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with a seine.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to use a seine:

                                          (i) which is not manually operated;

                                          (ii) with mesh exceeding 1/2-inch square; or

                                          (iii) that exceeds 20 feet in length.

                                  (C) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken by seine for bait purposes only.

                         (18)[(17)] Shad trawl. For use in fresh water only.

                                  (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with a shad trawl.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to use a shad trawl longer than six feet or with a mouth larger than 36 inches in diameter.

                                  (C) A shad trawl may be equipped with a funnel or throat and must be towed by boat or by hand.

                         (19)[(18)] Spear. Only non-game fish may be taken with a spear.

                         (20)[(19)] Spear gun. Only non-game fish may be taken with spear gun.

                         (21)[(21)] Throwline. For use in fresh water only.

                                  (A) Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish may be taken with a throwline.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to use a throwline in Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

                                  (C) It is unlawful to use a throwline that is not equipped with a gear tag. A gear tag is valid for 10 days after the date it is set out.

                         (22)[(21)] Trotline.

                                 (A) Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish may be taken by trotline.

                                  (B) It is unlawful to use a trotline:

                                          (i) with a mainline length exceeding 600 feet;

                                          (ii) with invalid gear tags. Gear tags must be attached within three feet of the first hook at each end of the trotline and are valid for 10 days after date set out, except on saltwater trotlines, a gear tag is not required to be dated;

                                          (iii) with hook interval less than three horizontal feet;

                                          (iv) with metallic stakes; or

                                          (v) with the main fishing line and attached hooks and stagings above the water’s surface.

                                  (C) In fresh water, it is unlawful to use a trotline:

                                          (i) with more than 50 hooks;

                                          (ii) in Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Fayette County Reservoir in Fayette County, Pinkston Reservoir in Shelby County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

                                  (D) In salt water:

                                          (i) it is unlawful to use a trotline:

                                                   (I) in or on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state;

                                                   (II) from which red drum, sharks or spotted seatrout caught on the trotline are retained or possessed;

                                                   (III) placed closer than 50 feet from any other trotline, or set within 200 feet of the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway or its tributary channels. No trotline may be fished with the main fishing line and attached hooks and stagings above the water’s surface;

                                                   (IV) baited with other than natural bait, except sail lines;

                                                   (V) with hooks other than circle-type hook with point curved in and having a gap (distance from point to shank) of no more than one-half inch, and with the diameter of the circle not less than five-eighths inch. Sail lines are excluded from the restrictions imposed by this clause; or

                                                   (VI) in Aransas County in Little Bay and the water area of Aransas Bay within one-half mile of a line from Hail Point on the Lamar Peninsula, then direct to the eastern end of Goose Island, then along the southern shore of Goose Island, then along the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula, then along the eastern shoreline of the Live Oak Peninsula past the town of Fulton, past Nine-Mile Point, past the town of Rockport to a point at the east end of Talley Island, including that part of Copano Bay within 1,000 feet of the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula.

                                          (ii) No trotline or trotline components, including lines and hooks, but excluding poles, may be left in or on coastal waters between the hours of 1:00 p.m. on Friday through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday of each week, except that attended sail lines are excluded from the restrictions imposed by this clause. Under the authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.206(b), in the event small craft advisories or higher marine weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service are in place at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, trotlines may remain in the water until 6:00 p.m. on Friday. If small craft advisories are in place at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, trotlines may remain in the water until Saturday. When small craft advisories are lifted by 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, trotlines must be removed by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. When smallcraft advisories are lifted by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, trotlines must be removed by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. When small craft advisories or higher marine weather advisories are still in place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, trotlines may remain in the water through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. It is a violation to tend, bait, or harvest fish or any other aquatic life from trotlines during the period that trotline removal requirements are suspended under this provision for adverse weather conditions. For purposes of enforcement, the geographic area customarily covered by marine weather advisories will be delineated by department policy.

                                          (iii) It is unlawful to fish for commercial purposes with:

                                                   (I) more than 20 trotlines at one time;

                                                   (II) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a floating yellow buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to end fixtures;

                                                   (III) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a yellow buoy bearing the commercial finfish fisherman’s license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to end fixtures;

                                                   (IV) any trotline that is marked with yellow flagging or with a buoy bearing a commercial finfish fisherman’s license plate number other than the commercial finfish fisherman’s license plate number displayed on the finfish fishing boat;

                                          (iv) It is unlawful to fish for non-commercial purposes with:

                                                   (I) more than 1 trotline at any time; or

                                                   (II) any trotline that is not marked with a floating yellow buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width, bearing a two-inch wide stripe of contrasting color, attached to end fixtures.

                         (23)[(22)] Umbrella net.

                                  (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with an umbrella net.

                                   (B) It is unlawful to use an umbrella net with the area within the frame exceeding 16 square feet.

         §57.976. Importation of Aquatic Animal Life[Possession of Wildlife Resource; Importation].

                 [(a) Possession of wildlife resource. A person may give, leave, receive, or possess any species of legally taken wildlife resource, or a part of the resource, that is required to have a tag or permit attached or is protected by a bag or possession limit, if the wildlife resource is accompanied by a wildlife resource document from the person who killed or caught the aquatic resource. An wildlife resource may be possessed without a WRD by the person who took the wildlife resource, provided the person is in compliance with all other applicable provisions of this subchapter and the Parks and Wildlife Code. The properly executed wildlife resource document shall accompany the wildlife resource until it reaches the possessor’s permanent residence and is finally processed. The wildlife resource document must contain the following information:]

                         [(1) the name, signature, address, and fishing license number, as required, of the person who killed or caught the wildlife resource;]

                         [(2) the name of the person receiving the wildlife resource;]

                         [(3) a description of the wildlife resource (number and type of species or parts);]

                         [(4) the date the wildlife resource was killed or caught; and]

                         [(5) the location where the wildlife resource was killed or caught (name of ranch; area; lake, bay or stream; and county).]

                 [(b) Importation.]

                         (a)(1)] No person may import into this state or possess an aquatic wildlife resource taken outside this state, unless the person possessing the aquatic wildlife resource produces upon demand by a game warden a valid fishing, or other applicable license, stamp, tag, permit, or document for the state or country in which the wildlife resource was legally taken.

                         (b)(2)] A person possessing a wildlife resource under this section must produce upon demand by a game warden a valid driver’s license or personal identification certificate.

                          (c)(3)] Any person may possess a wildlife resource killed outside this state that is listed in this state as threatened or endangered, provided the person possesses proof that the animal or bird was lawfully killed.

                        (d)  No person in this state may possess aquatic animal life taken in the Exclusive Economic Zone:

                                    (1) during a closed season provided by federal law;

                                    (2) within a protected length limit or in excess of the daily bag limit established by federal law;

                                    (3) with any gear or device prohibited by federal law; or

                                    (4) without a license or permit required by federal law.

         This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

         Issued in Austin, Texas, on

         The amendments are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, which requires the commission to regulate the periods of time when it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the species, quantity, age or size, and, to the extent possible, the sex of the game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life authorized to be hunted, taken, or possessed; and the region, county, area, body of water, or portion of a county where game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life ay be hunted, taken, or possessed; and §67.004, which requires the commission to establish any limits on the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, importation, exportation, sale, or offering for sale of nongame fish or wildlife that the department considers necessary to manage the species.

         The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 61 and 67.

         §57.981. Bag, Possession, and Length Limits.

                 (a) For all wildlife resources taken for personal consumption and for which there is a possession limit, the possession limit shall not apply after the wildlife resource has reached the possessor’s residence and is finally processed.

                 (b)[(a)] The possession limit does not apply to fish in the possession of or stored by a person who has an invoice or sales ticket showing the name and address of the seller, number of fish by species, date of the sale, and other information required on a sales ticket or invoice.

                 (c)[(b)] There are no bag, possession, or length limits on game or non-game fish, except as provided in this subchapter.

                         (1) Possession limits are twice the daily bag limit on game and non-game fish except as otherwise provided in this subchapter.

                         (2) For flounder, the possession limit is the daily bag limit.

                         (3) The bag limit for a guided fishing party is equal to the total number of persons in the boat licensed to fish or otherwise exempt from holding a license minus each fishing guide and fishing guide deckhand multiplied by the bag limit for each species harvested.

                         (4) A person may give, leave, receive, or possess any species of legally taken wildlife resource, or a part of the resource, that is required to have a tag or permit attached or is protected by a bag or possession limit, if the wildlife resource is accompanied by a wildlife resource document (WRD) from the person who took the wildlife resource, provided the person is in compliance with all other applicable provisions of this subchapter and the Parks and Wildlife Code.  The properly executed WRD document shall accompany the wildlife resource until it reaches the possessor’s residence and is finally processed.  The WRD must contain the following information:

                                   (A)  the name, signature, address, and fishing license number, as required of the person who killed or caught the wildlife resource;

                                   (B)  the name of the person receiving the wildlife resource;

                                   (C)  a description of the wildlife resource (number and type of species or parts); and

                                   (D) the location where the wildlife resource was killed or caught (name of ranch; area; lake, bay or stream; and county).

                         (5)[(4)] Except as provided in subsection (d)[(c)] of this section, the statewide daily bag and length limits shall be as follows.

Species

Daily Bag

Minimum Length (Inches)

Maximum Length (Inches)

Amberjack, greater.

1

34

No limit

Bass: Largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and Guadalupe bass.

5 (in any combination)

Largemouth and smallmouth bass.

14

No limit

Bass, striped, its hybrids, and subspecies.

5 (in any combination)

18

No limit

Bass, white.

25

10

No limit

Catfish: channel and blue catfish, their hybrids, and subspecies.

25 (in any combination)

12

No limit

Catfish, flathead.

5

18

No limit

Catfish, gafftopsail.

No limit

14

No limit

Cobia.

2

37

No limit

Crappie: white and black crappie, their hybrids, and subspecies.

25 (in any combination)

10

No limit

Drum, black.

5

14

30*

*Special Regulation:  One black drum over 52 inches may be retained per day as part of the five-fish bag limit.

Drum, red.

3*

20

28*

*Special Regulation: During a license year, one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be retained when affixed with a properly executed Red Drum Tag, a properly executed Exempt Red Drum Tag or with a properly executed Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag and one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be retained when affixed with a properly executed Bonus Red Drum Tag. Any fish retained under authority of a Red Drum Tag, an Exempt Red Drum Tag, a Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag, or a Bonus Red Drum Tag may be retained in addition to the daily bag and possession limit as stated in this section.

Flounder: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies.

5*

14

No limit

*Special Regulation: During the month of November, lawful means are restricted to pole-and-line only and the bag and possession limit for flounder is two.

Gar, alligator.*

1

No limit

No limit

*Special Regulation: Between May 1 and May 31 no person shall take alligator gar in that portion of Lake Texoma encompassed within the boundaries of the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge or that portion of Lake Texoma from the U.S. 377 bridge (Willis Bridge) upstream to the IH 35 bridge.

Grouper, gag.

2

22

No limit

Grouper, goliath.

0

Mackerel, king.

2

27

No limit

Mackerel, Spanish.

15

14

No limit

Marlin, blue.

No limit

131

No limit

Marlin, white.

No limit

86

No limit

Mullet: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies.

No limit

No limit

*

*Special Regulation: During the period October through January, no mullet more than 12 inches in length may be taken from public waters or possessed on board a vessel.

Sailfish.

No limit

84

No limit

Saugeye.

3

18

No limit

Shark: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies other than Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, and bonnethead sharks.

1*

64[*]

No limit

Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, and bonnethead sharks.

1*

24

No limit

*Special Regulation: The take of the following species of sharks from the waters of this state is prohibited and they may not be possessed on board a vessel at any time: Atlantic angel, Basking, Bigeye sand tiger, Bigeye sixgill, Bigeye thresher, Bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, Dusky, Galapagos, Longfin mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Sandbar, Sand tiger, Sevengill, Silky, Sixgill, Smalltail, Whale, and White.

Sheepshead.

5

15[*]

No limit

Snapper, lane.

No limit

8

No limit

Snapper, red.

4*

15

No limit

*Special Regulation: Red snapper may be taken using pole and line, but it is unlawful to use any kind of hook other than a circle hook baited with natural bait.

Snapper, vermilion.

No limit

10

No limit

Snook.

1

24

28

Tarpon.

1

85

No limit

Triggerfish, gray.

20

16

No limit

Trout: rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids, and subspecies.

5 (in any combination)

No limit

No limit

Tripletail.

3

17

No limit

Walleye.

5*

No limit

No limit

*Special Regulation: Two walleye of less than 16 inches may be retained per day.

                  (d)[(c)] Exceptions to statewide daily bag, possession, and length limits shall be as follows:

                         (1) Freshwater species.

Species and Location (County)

Daily Bag

Minimum Length (Inches)

Special Regulation

Bass: largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and Guadalupe bass, their hybrids, and subspecies.

In all waters in the Lost Maples State Natural Area (Bandera).

0

No limit

Catch and release only.

Bass: largemouth and spotted.

Lake Alan Henry.

5

No limit

It is unlawful to retain more than two bass of less than 18 inches in length.

Caddo Lake (Marion and Harrison).

8 (in any combination with spotted bass)

14 — 18 inch slot limit (largemouth bass); no limit for spotted bass.

It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 18 inches. No more than 4 largemouth bass 18 inches or longer may be retained. Possession limit is 10.

Sabine River (Newton and Orange) from Toledo Bend dam to I.H. 10 bridge and Toledo Bend Reservoir (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby).

8 (in any combination with spotted bass)

14 (largemouth bass); no limit for spotted bass.

Possession limit is 10.

Bass: largemouth.

Conroe (Montgomery and Walker), Granbury (Hood), Possum Kingdom (Palo Pinto, Stephens, Young), and Ratcliff (Houston).

5

16

Lakes Kurth (Angelina) and [Lake] Nacogdoches (Nacogdoches).

5

It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass of 16 inches or greater in length. Largemouth bass 24 inches or greater in length may be retained in a live well or other aerated holding device for purposes of weighing, but may not be removed from the immediate vicinity of the lake. After weighing, the bass must be released immediately back into the lake unless the department has instructed that the bass be kept for donation to the ShareLunker Program.

Lakes Bellwood (Smith), Braunig (Bexar), Bright (Williamson), Brushy Creek (Williamson), Bryan (Brazos), Calaveras (Bexar), Casa Blanca (Webb), Cleburne State Park (Johnson), Cooper (Delta and Hopkins), Fairfield (Freestone), Gilmer (Upshur), [Jacksonville (Cherokee)], Marine Creek Reservoir (Tarrant), Meridian State Park (Bosque), Naconiche (Nacogdoches), Old Mount Pleasant City (Titus), Pflugerville (Travis), Rusk State Park (Cherokee), and Welsh (Titus).

5

18

Nelson Park Lake (Taylor) and Buck Lake (Kimble).

0

No limit

Catch and release and only.

Lake Jacksonville (Cherokee) and O.H. Ivie Reservoir (Coleman, Concho, and Runnels).

5

No limit

It is unlawful to retain more than two bass of less than 18 inches in length.

Purtis Creek State Park Lake (Henderson and Van Zandt), and Raven (Walker).

0

No limit

Catch and release only except that any bass 24 inches or greater in length may be retained in a live well or other aerated holding device for purposes of weighing, but may not be removed from the immediate vicinity of the lake. After weighing, the bass must be released immediately back into the lake unless the department has instructed that the bass be k ept for donation to the ShareLunker Program.

Lakes Bridgeport (Jack and Wise), Burke-Crenshaw (Harris), Davy Crockett (Fannin), Grapevine (Denton and Tarrant), Georgetown (Williamson), Madisonville (Madison), San Augustine City (San Augustine), and Sweetwater (Nolan).

5

14 — 18 inch slot limit

It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 18 inches in length.

Lakes Athens (Henderson), Bastrop (Bastrop), Buescher State Park (Bastrop), Houston County (Houston), Joe Pool (Dallas, Ellis, and Tarrant), Kyle (Hays), Lady Bird (Travis) Mill Creek (Van Zandt), Murvaul (Panola), Pinkston (Shelby), Timpson (Shelby), Walter E. Long (Travis) and Wheeler Branch (Somervell).

5

14 — 21 inch slot limit

It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 21 inches in length. No more than 1 bass 21 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

Lakes Fayette County (Fayette), Gibbons Creek Reservoir (Grimes), and Monticello (Titus).

5

14 — 24 inch slot limit

It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 24 inches in length. No more than 1 bass 24 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

Lake Fork (Wood, Rains and Hopkins).

5

16 — 24 inch slot limit

It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 16 and 24 inches in length. No more than 1 bass 24 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

Bass: smallmouth.

Lakes O. H. Ivie (Coleman, Concho, and Runnels), Devil’s River (Val Verde) from State Highway 163 bridge crossing near Juno downstream to Dolan Falls, and Wheeler Branch (Somervell).

3

18

Lake Meredith (Hutchinson, Moore, and Potter).

3

12 — 15 inch slot limit

It is unlawful to retain smallmouth bass between 12 and 15 inches in length.

Bass: striped and white bass, their hybrids, and subspecies.

Sabine River (Newton and Orange) from Toledo Bend dam to I.H. 10 bridge and Toledo Bend Reservoir (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby).

5

No limit

No more than 2 striped bass 30 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson).

10 (in any combination)

No limit

No more than 2 striped or hybrid striped bass 20 inches or greater in length may be retained each day. Striped or hybrid striped bass caught and placed on a stringer, in a live well or any other holding device become part of the daily bag limit and may not be released. Possession limit is 20.

Red River (Grayson) from Denison Dam downstream to and including Shawnee Creek (Grayson).

5 (in any combination)

No limit

Striped bass caught and placed on a stringer, in a live well or any other holding device become part of the daily bag limit and may not be released.

Trinity River (Polk and San Jacinto) from the Lake Livingston dam downstream to the F.M. Road 3278 bridge.

2 (in any combination)

18

Bass: white.

Lakes Caddo (Harrison and Marion), Texoma (Cooke and Grayson) and Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby), and Sabine River (Newton and Orange) from Toledo Bend dam to I.H. 10 bridge.

25

No limit

Carp: common.

Lady Bird Lake (Travis).

No limit

No limit

It is unlawful to retain more than one common carp of 33 inches or longer per day.

Catfish: blue.

Lakes Lewisville (Denton), Richland- Chambers (Freestone and Navarro), and Waco (McLennan).

25 (in any combination with channel catfish)

30-45-inch slot limit

It is unlawful to retain blue catfish between 30 and 45 inches in length. No more than one blue catfish 45 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

Catfish: channel and blue catfish, their hybrids, and subspecies.

Lake Livingston (Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker).

50 (in any combination)

12

Trinity River (Polk and San Jacinto) from the Lake Livingston dam downstream to the F.M. Road 3278 bridge.

10 (in any combination)

12

No more than 2 channel or blue catfish 24 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

Lakes Caddo (Harrison and Marion), Kirby (Taylor), Palestine (Cherokee, Anderson, Henderson, and Smith), and Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby), Sabine River (Newton and Orange) from Toledo Bend dam to I.H. 10 bridge.

50 (in any combination)

No limit

No more than five catfish 20 inches or greater in length may be retained each day. Possession limit is 50.

Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson).

15 (in any combination)

12

No more than one blue catfish 30 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.

North Concho River (Tom Green) from O.C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam, South Concho River (Tom Green) from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam.

5 (in any combination)

No limit

Community fishing lakes.

5 (in any combination)

No limit

Bellwood (Smith), Dixieland (Cameron), and Tankersley (Titus).

5 (in any combination)

12

Catfish: flathead.

Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson) and the Red River (Grayson) from Denison Dam to and including Shawnee Creek (Grayson).

5

20

Lakes Caddo (Harrison and Marion), Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby), and Sabine River (Newton and Orange) from Toledo Bend dam to the I.H. 10 bridge.

10

18

Possession limit is 10.

Crappie: black and white crappie, their hybrids and subspecies.

Caddo Lake (Harrison and Marion), Toledo Bend Reservoir (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby), and Sabine River (Newton and Orange) from Toledo Bend dam to the I.H. 10 bridge.

25 (in any combination)

No limit

Lake Fork (Wood, Rains, and Hopkins) and Lake O’ The Pines (Camp, Harrison, Marion, Morris, and Upshur).

25 (in any combination)

10

From December 1, through the last day in February, there is no minimum length limit. All crappie caught during this period must be retained.

Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson).

37 (in any combination)

10

Possession limit is 50.

Drum, red.

Lakes Braunig and Calaveras (Bexar), Coleto Creek Reservoir (Goliad and Victoria), Fairfield (Freestone), and Tradinghouse Creek (McLennan).

3

20

No maximum length limit.

Shad, gizzard and threadfin.

The Trinity River below Lake Livingston in Polk and San Jacinto Counties.

500 (in any combination)

No limit

Possession limit 1,000 in any combination.

Trout: rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids, and subspecies.

Guadalupe River (Comal) from the second bridge crossing on the River Road upstream to the easternmost bridge crossing on F.M. Road 306.

1

18

Walleye.

Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson).

5

18

  (2) Saltwater species.

Species

Daily Bag

Minimum Length (Inches)

Special Regulation

Seatrout, spotted.

All inside waters of the Lower Laguna Madre south of marker 21.

5*

15

25**

*Special Regulation: The daily bag limit of 5 is the possession limit allowed for spotted seatrout.
**Special Regulation: One spotted seatrout greater than 25 inches may be retained per day.

         §57.982. Crabs and Ghost Shrimp.

                 (a) – (b) (No change.)

                 (c) It is unlawful to:

                         (1) — (5) (No change.)

                         (6) possess more than 20 ghost shrimp (Callichiris islagrande, [formerly Callianassa islagrande]) per person.

                 (d) – (e) (No change.)

         This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s legal authority to adopt.

         Issued in Austin, Texas on

         The amendment is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, which requires the commission to regulate the periods of time when it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the species, quantity, age or size, and, to the extent possible, the sex of the game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life authorized to be hunted, taken, or possessed; and the region, county, area, body of water, or portion of a county where game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life may be hunted, taken, or possessed; and §67.004, which requires the commission to establish any limits on the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, importation, exportation, sale, or offering for sale of nongame fish or wildlife that the department considers necessary to manage the species.

         The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 61 and 67.

         §57.992. Bag, Possession, and Length Limits.

                 (a) The possession limit applies[does not apply] to all aquatic animal life[fish] in the possession of or stored by any person, but does not apply to aquatic animal life that has been lawfully obtained and for which a person possesses[who has] an invoice or sales ticket showing the name and address of the seller or person from whom the aquatic animal life was obtained, the amount of aquatic animal life by number and species[number of fish by species], date of the sale, and any other information required on a sales ticket or invoice.

                 (b) There are no bag, possession, or length limits on game fish,[or] non-game fish, or shellfish, except as otherwise provided in this subchapter.

                         (1) Possession limits are twice the daily bag limit on game fish,[ and] non-game fish, and shellfish, except as provided in this subchapter.

                         (2) – (3) (No change.)

                         (4) The statewide daily bag and length limits for commercial fishing shall be as follows.

Species and Location

Daily Bag

Minimum Length (Inches)

Maximum Length (Inches)

Amberjack, greater.

1

34

No limit

Catfish: channel and blue catfish, their hybrids, and subspecies.

25 (in any combination)*

14

No limit

*Special Regulation: In Lake Livingston (Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker counties), the daily bag limit for channel and blue catfish is 50 in any combination. In lakes lying totally within a state park and community fishing lakes, the daily bag limit for channel and blue catfish is five in any combination.

Catfish, gafftopsail.

No limit

14

No limit

Cobia.

2

37

No limit

Drum, black.

No limit[5]

14

30

[*Special Regulations: The bag and possession limits for black drum do not apply to the holder of a valid Commercial Finfish Fisherman’s License.]

Flounder: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies.

30*

14

No limit

*Special Regulation: The daily bag and possession limit for the holder of a valid Commercial Finfish Fisherman’s license is 30 flounder, except on board a licensed commercial shrimp boat. During the month of November, lawful means are restricted to pole-and-line only and the bag and possession limit for flounder is two.

Gar, alligator.*

1

No limit

No limit

*Special Regulation: Between May 1 and May 31 no person shall take alligator gar in that portion of Lake Texoma encompassed within the boundaries of the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge or that portion of Lake Texoma from the U.S. 377 bridge (Willis Bridge) upstream to the IH 35 bridge.

Grouper, gag.

2

22

No limit

Grouper, goliath.

0

Mackerel, king.

2

27

No limit

Mackerel, Spanish.

15

14

No limit

Mullet: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies.

No limit

No limit

*

*Special regulation: During the period October through January, no mullet more than 12 inches in length may be taken from public waters or possessed on board a vessel.

Shad: gizzard and threadfin.

No limit

No limit

No limit*

*In the Trinity River below Lake Livingston in Polk and San Jacinto counties, the daily bag for shad is 500 and the possession limit is 1,000 fish in any combination.

         

Shark: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies other than Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, and bonnethead sharks.

1*

64[*]

No limit

Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, and bonnethead sharks.

1*

24

No limit

*Special Regulation: The take of the following species of sharks from the waters of this state is prohibited and they may not be possessed on board a vessel at any time: Atlantic angel, Basking, Bigeye sand tiger, Bigeye sixgill, Bigeye thresher, Bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, Dusky, Galapagos, Longfin mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Sandbar, Sand tiger, Sevengill, Silky, Sixgill, Smalltail, Whale, and White.

Sheepshead.

No limit[5*]

15

No limit

[*Special Regulation: The bag and possession limits for black drum and sheepshead do not apply to the holder of a valid Commercial Finfish Fisherman’s License.]

Snapper, lane.

No limit

8

No limit

Snapper, red.

4*

15

No limit

*Special Regulation: Red snapper may be taken using pole and line, but it is unlawful to use any kind of hook other than a circle hook baited with natural bait.

Snapper, vermilion.

No limit

10

No limit

Triggerfish, gray.

20

16

No limit

Tripletail.

3

17

No limit

         §57.996. Crabs and Ghost Shrimp.

                 (a) Bag, possession and size limits.

                         (1) – (2) (No change.)

                         (3) It is unlawful to:

                                  (A) possess egg-bearing (sponge) crabs or stone crabs;

                                  (B) possess blue crabs less than five inches in width (measured across the widest point of the body from tip of spine to tip of spine) except that not more than 5.0%, by number, of undersized crabs may be possessed for bait purposes only, if placed in a separate container at the time of taking;

                                  (C) remove or possess the left claw from a stone crab (each retained claw must be at least 2-1/2 inches long as measured from the tip of the immovable claw to the first joint behind the claw);

                                  (D) fail to return immediately a stone crab to the waters where caught;

                                  (E) buy or sell a female crab that has its abdominal apron detached; or

                                  (F) possess more than 20 ghost shrimp (Callichiris islagrande[, formerly Callianassa islagrande]) for commercial purposes[per person].

                 (b) It is unlawful to place, fish, or leave a crab trap or crab trap component in the coastal waters of the state from the third Friday in February for 10 consecutive days.

                 (c) There are no places closed for the taking of crabs, except as listed within this section.

         This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s legal authority to adopt.

         Issued in Austin, Texas on



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