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News Release
Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov

Jan. 29, 2007



TPWD Proposing Simplification of Licenses

AUSTIN, Texas — An extensive internal assessment of the state’s hunting and fishing license system has uncovered numerous opportunities to simplify the process. None of the changes reflect bottom-line increases in fees, but should eliminate some confusion associated with the complex licensing system, which officials hope will be welcomed by the 3 million or so license buyers.

Efforts to enact some of those changes are underway, following a presentation to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission’s Finance Committee on Jan. 24. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold a series of public hearings around the state during the next couple of months to garner input on the proposed changes.

TPWD officials anticipate additional related changes to the license system requiring statutory revision may also be considered during the current session of the Texas Legislature.

“The current catalog of licenses includes about 164 individualized licenses,” Larry McKinney, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director and license review team leader, told commissioners. “The workgroup recommended eliminated 61 licenses and modify 26 others.”

The focus of the current set of proposed changes addresses unnecessary redundancy among certain commercial fishing licenses, simplifies complicated temporary fishing license options and clarifies senior and disabled citizen licenses and youth hunting licenses.

Following is a summary of the proposed licensing changes TPWD is taking forward for public comment and commission action during its April 5 public meeting. The public is encouraged to comment on the proposals during the public comment period, either in person at any upcoming public meeting, online at www.tpwd.state.tx.us or in writing to TPWD License Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744.

Resident and Nonresident Commercial Fishing Boat Licenses: Create one Commercial Fishing Boat License which will authorize the current activities of the two licenses in a single license; charge a fee of $25 for the new license. These licenses are currently required of each boat that must be registered under federal or state laws and is used in taking aquatic products except menhaden, finfish, oysters crabs and shrimp from the public waters of the state or for boats unloading within the state such products taken outside the states waters for pay, barter, sale, exchange or any commercial purpose. Few nonresident licenses are sold.

Resident and Nonresident Freshwater Fishing Guide Licenses: Create one Freshwater Fishing Guide License, which will authorize activities of the two licenses in a single license and retain the fee of $125 for the new license. These licenses are currently required for individuals who operate a boat for anything of value in transporting or accompanying anyone who is fishing in freshwater of this state. The price of each current license is $125.

Resident and Nonresident Saltwater Fishing Guide Licenses: Rename the licenses as Resident and Nonresident All-Water Fishing Guide Licenses, respectively. The new name more accurately describes the authorized activities of these licenses. They are required for individuals who operate a boat for anything of value in transporting or accompanying anyone who is fishing in freshwater and saltwater of this state.

Special Resident Fishing License Package: Separate the authorized activities of this license into two separate licenses. First, rename the current license as a "Resident Senior Fishing License Package," which will allow only senior citizens to fish in freshwater and saltwater in this state at a fee of $6. Second, create a new "Special Resident Fishing License" which will be available only to individuals who are legally blind and assess a fee of $6, authorizing those individuals to fish in the freshwater and saltwater of this state. In addition, establish an exemption for, or waive the freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements for the new "Special Resident Fishing License." Establishing these two licenses will provide the agency with better demographic and effort data between the two groups.

Resident July-August Fishing License Packages (Freshwater; Saltwater; and All Water): Repeal these licenses. They currently allow individuals to fish in the freshwater and saltwater of this state during the months of July and August only. These licenses create considerable confusion for the customer and complicate the Point-of-Sale system.

Resident Day Plus Fishing Package and Resident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase (Freshwater; Saltwater; and All Water): Repeal all variations of the Resident Day Plus Fishing Package and the Resident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase EXCEPT the Resident Day Plus Fishing Package for All Water. Rename this license as "Resident One-Day All Water Fishing License" and assess a fee of $10. Additionally, create an exemption or waive the freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements. One red drum tag shall be available at no additional charge with the purchase of the first one-day license only. Red drum tags will not be issued with the purchase of additional one-day licenses. Currently anglers may purchase as many one-day licenses as they wish to fish either freshwater, saltwater or all waters. They are required to also purchase the appropriate freshwater or saltwater stamps. If, however, anglers currently wish to fish beyond the time limit of the previously purchased one-day license packages, they may purchase additional one-day licenses without having to purchase the additional freshwater or saltwater stamps. These licenses currently create considerable confusion for the customer and complicate the Point-of-Sale system.

Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package and Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase (Freshwater; Saltwater; and All Water): Repeal all variations of the Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package and the Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase EXCEPT the Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package for All Water. Rename this license as "Nonresident One-Day All Water Fishing License" and assess a fee of $15. Additionally, create an exemption or waive the freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements. One red drum tag shall be available at no additional charge with the purchase of the first one-day license only. Red drum tags will not be issued with the purchase of additional one-day licenses. Currently anglers may purchase as many one-day licenses as they wish to fish either freshwater, saltwater or all waters. They are required to also purchase the appropriate freshwater or saltwater stamps. If, however, anglers currently wish to fish beyond the time limit of the previously purchased one-day license packages, they may purchase additional one-day licenses without having to purchase the additional freshwater or saltwater stamps. These licenses create considerable confusion for the customer and complicate the Point-of-Sale system.

Bonus Red Drum Tag: Establish the Bonus Red Drum Tag as a stand-alone sales item for a fee of $3; this allows all saltwater anglers to obtain a second tag authorizing the harvest of a second oversize red drum. Allow only one Bonus Red Drum Tag to be issued to any individual per license year.

Special Resident Hunting License: Separate the authorized activities of this license into two separate licenses. Name one as a "Resident Senior Hunting License" which will allow only resident senior citizens to hunt in this state. Then create a new "Youth Hunting License" which will allow resident and nonresident youth under 17 years of age to hunt in Texas. Each license will have a fee of $6.

One-Day Fishing License Red Drum Tag: Create a separate One-Day Fishing License Red Drum Tag for a Resident One-Day All Water Fishing License and a Nonresident One-Day All Water Fishing License holder. If the angler desires a second tag, he/she must purchase a Bonus Red Drum Tag. The Point-of-Sale system is programmed so that each type of red drum tag is uniquely tied to the respective licenses in order to accurately identify anglers who have received their first red drum tag. This new tag, therefore, is necessary for the Point-of-Sale system to identify purchasers of One-Day licenses so as to limit them to two red drum tags.

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On the Net:

SL 2007-01-29


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