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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Dec. 18, 2007

Public Input Meetings Set On Coastal Fishing Regulations

AUSTIN, Texas — State fisheries biologists have set a January series of public input meetings in Port Arthur, Dickinson, Port Aransas and Port Isabel to discuss possible changes to the way fishing and fisheries are regulated along the Texas coast.

At the meetings, the Coastal Fisheries Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be scoping or exploring several items for the upcoming 2008 statewide hunting and fishing proclamation process. In particular, TPWD will be considering changes in the current red snapper and shark regulations to attain greater consistency between current federal regulations and state regulations. In addition, the ongoing fishery for menhaden in state waters will be reviewed and the possibility of closing state waters will be scoped.

Regarding coastal fishing guides, the department will scope an item within the statewide regulatory process that may not require any regulatory changes. This involves the possible creation of a Texas Saltwater Certified Guides Program. The voluntary program would establish a certification program by the department, which would foster safety, angler ethics and other training to promote protection of coastal natural resources.

Scoping meeting dates and locations are listed below. All meetings run 7-to-9 p.m. For more information, contact Art Morris at art.morris@tpwd.texas.gov or (361) 825-3353.

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