TPW Commission Approves Changes to Saltwater Fishing Regulations for 2020-21
AUSTIN – On May 21, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission discussed several changes to state saltwater fishing regulations, including updates to the recreational and commercial flounder fishery regulations and paddle craft all-water guide license.
The following changes to the 2020-21 Statewide Recreational Fishing Proclamation, details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual and the Texas Commercial Fishing regulations summary, have been adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and go into effect on Sept. 1, 2020:
- Increasing the minimum size limit for flounder to 15”.
- Clarifying language for commercial harvest reporting requirements.
- Changing the course requirements to include a paddle craft leading course from the American Canoe Association or another TPWD approved course.
During their discussion, the Commission decided to postpone the proposed fall closure of the flounder fishery to 2021. The proposal to close all flounder fishing from Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 will take effect Sept. 1, 2021.
See a more complete listing of fishing regulation changes on the TPWD website.
TPW Commission Approves Changes to Freshwater Fishing Regulations for 2020
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted multiple changes to the freshwater fishing regulations for the upcoming 2020-2021 season at the meeting held virtually May 21. Modifications include length limits and harvest regulations at some waterbodies for largemouth bass; blue, channel, and flathead catfish; and black and white crappie. The expiration date of August 31, 2020, was removed for alligator gar at Falcon International Reservoir for the five-fish daily bag limit.
The changes are for the 2020-21 license year are listed below. The details of these new regulations will also apply for the 2020-21 edition of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual:
- Moss Lake (Cooke County) – Modify the 14-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass to a 16-inch maximum length limit.
- Brushy Creek Lake and Brushy Creek (Williamson County) – Modify harvest regulations for Brushy Creek Lake by changing from an 18-inch minimum length to the statewide 14-inch limit for largemouth bass. On the section of Brushy Creek downstream from the lake to the Williamson/Milam County line, reduce blue and channel catfish daily bag limit from 25 to 5 fish and remove the 12-inch minimum length limit. Gear restrictions also adopted limit anglers to pole-and-line angling only and two poles.
- Lake Nasworthy (Tom Green County) – Modify harvest regulations for black and white crappie by removing the current 10-inch minimum length limit. The daily bag limit for crappie will remain at 25 fish.
- Lake Texoma and the Texas waters of the Red River below Denison Dam (Cooke and Grayson Counties) – Standardize harvest regulations for the blue, channel, and flathead catfish in the Texas and Oklahoma waters of Lake Texoma and on the Red River below Lake Texoma. In Lake Texoma, remove the 12-inch minimum length limit for blue and channel catfish, and remove the 18-inch minimum length limit for flathead catfish. In the Texas waters of the Red River below Lake Texoma (from Denison Dam downstream to Shawnee Creek), in addition to removing the minimum length limits for catfish, reduce the daily bag limit for blue and channel catfish from 25 to 15 fish.
- Falcon International Reservoir (Starr and Zapata Counties) — The five-fish daily bag limit for alligator gar will remain in effect.
The changes to the 2020-21 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing regulations take effect on September 1, 2020. All fishing regulations are in the Outdoor Annual on the TPWD website.
The online version of the TPWD Outdoor Annual will not reflect any new changes until mid-August. More information regarding these amendments for the 2020-21 season is on the TPWD website.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Approves Hunting Regulation Changes for 2020-21
Hunting regulations for the 2020-2021 season were approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its public meeting held online May 21. Hunters will see some hunting regulation changes this fall, including the implementation of automated processing of pronghorn and antlerless mule deer applications and permits, a decrease in the daily bag limit for scaup, and a decrease in the daily bag limit for light goose during the regular season.
The TPW Commission has approved the following modifications and clarifications to the 2020-21 Statewide Hunting Proclamation:
- Implement rules to administer an automated process for the application and issuance of pronghorn and antlerless mule deer permits
- Establishment of seasons and bag limits for the take of migratory game birds for 2020-21
- Decrease the daily bag limit for scaup from three to one in all zones
- Decrease the daily bag limit for light goose daily bag limit from twenty to ten during the regular season in both zones
- Shift goose seasons (and light goose conservation season) in the Western Zone one week later than in previous years
- Shift snipe hunting season dates two weeks later than in previous years.
Additionally, the TPW Commission has adopted rules establishing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management zones to further detection and response efforts among white-tailed deer. The rules implement a Containment Zone (CZ) and a Surveillance Zone (SZ) in Val Verde County. There is a new SZ in Kimble County in response to the discovery of CWD, and slightly expands the current CZ in Medina, Bandera, and Uvalde counties after additional cases of the disease were detected.
Finally, the TPW Commission adopted amendments that clarify existing fees and permitting procedures surrounding the hunting, farming, sale, import, and export of alligators.
Hunters hitting the field in the upcoming season should make a note of these changes and follow all regulations set for species, tagging, bag limits, counties, season dates and means, and methods. Hunters can check the online version of the Outdoor Annual for complete and updated regulations. Information currently in the online release of the Outdoor Annual reflects last season’s data. The 2020-21 season information will not be online until mid-August per usual practice.
More information regarding these amendments and hunting season dates for the 2020-21 seasons is on the TPWD website.