The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Thursday, Jan. 26, public hearing approved changes to the regulations on the possession and sale of gizzard and threadfin shad collected from public waters.
The change will require persons who use containers exceeding 82 quarts in volume for collection and possession of shad from public fresh waters to obtain a $60 Permit to Sell Nongame Fish Taken from Public Fresh Waters. Persons collecting shad for use as bait or prey in private lakes would need a permit if their container volume exceeds 82 quarts.
No permit is required if the shad are used only as bait on the lake where they are collected, or if a licensed fishing guide possesses and furnishes the shad as bait to customers as part of the guide’s services. A permit will continue to be required if the shad collected are sold or exchanged for anything of value regardless of the container size used.
According to TPWD Inland Fisheries Director of Information and Regulations Ken Kurzawski, this change allows the department to better monitor shad harvesting to ensure their sustainability in Texas fisheries and addresses concerns about the spread of invasive species.
“Zebra mussels are the primary threat,” Kurzawski said. “Before this change, no permit was required if the shad were not sold, so there was less opportunity to inform those users of the risks of the zebra mussel transfer…so these regulations give us an avenue to do that.”
Kurzawski added that most of the public comment made on the proposed changes were in agreement with the rules. He said there was concern about the change impacting fishing guides, but that they’ve crafted the rule in a way that guides can continue to operate as they do in adherence with existing regulations.
Information on obtaining a Permit to Sell Nongame Fish Taken from Public Fresh Waters can be found at http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/fishboat/forms/ or by calling 512-389-4742.