TPWD Releases Freshwater Fishing Regulation Proposals for 2017-18

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Changes to harvest regulations for bass in the Devil’s River highlight this year’s list of proposed freshwater fishing regulation changes.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff have also proposed regulation changes for lakes in Abilene and Dallas/Fort Worth and an update to reflect a recent species name change.

TPWD will be taking public comment on the following proposed changes to the 2017-18 Statewide Recreational Fishing Proclamation, with input to be considered before any action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 23 public hearing:

  • Create a catch-and-release only fishing (no harvest) zone for smallmouth and largemouth bass in the Devil’s River from State Highway 163 bridge (Baker’s Crossing) downstream to the confluence of Big Satan Creek Canyon.
  • Prohibit use of juglines, throwlines and trotlines in Kirby Lake (Taylor County).
  • Establish a catch-and-release only regulation for largemouth bass and sunfish on Bedford Boys Ranch Lake (Tarrant County).
  • Add Alabama bass (previously considered a subspecies of spotted bass) to the list of game fishes and update bass regulations for Alan Henry Reservoir (Garza County), which is the only location in Texas that contains this species.

Additional details on these proposals will be published in the Texas Register by Feb. 18, and after that date, also available for review as well as in narrated presentations on TPWD’s website.

Comments on the proposals for freshwater fishing may be submitted to Ken Kurzawski at (512) 389-4591, email: [email protected], 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; or via the department’s website after February 18.

Public hearings are being scheduled for Del Rio and Abilene (time and date TBA) to provide opportunities for public comment on the Devil’s River and Kirby Reservoir Proposals.

A live online public hearing via webinar will also be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. Details and instructions for participation in the online public hearing webinar will be made available on the TPWD website.

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