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Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov [KE]

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

TPWD News Release — Nov. 8, 2004

Proposed Regulation Would Suspend Coastal Fishing

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking TPW Commission authority to suspend fishing at designated places along the coast temporarily in the event of a freeze that could jeopardize the health of a fishery.

According to Larry McKinney, Ph.D. and coastal fisheries division director, Texas has about two million acres of bays and estuaries that are susceptible to freezes. He said that there were three major freezes during the 1980s, including one in 1989 when the temperature at Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees, for example, and an estimated 11 million fish were killed. Historically, freezes along the Texas coast have occurred about every 15 years and TPWD is taking proactive steps to try and minimize the impact to the fishery.

In order to get public comment about the freeze proposal, TPWD has scheduled a public hearing in Corpus Christi on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Conrad Blucher Institute, Conference Room 101 from 7–9 p.m. TPWD expects to bring this item to the TPW Commission for final action at the commission meeting Jan. 26–27, 2005.

Public comment about these issues and others of interest may be made to TPWD, Regulatory Proposals Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Road, 78744, by phoning (800) 792-1112 or by visiting the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/)

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