The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Commission has accepted a proposal to lower the speckled trout limit from FM 457 to the Louisiana border on the Upper Coast (Galveston, Sabine areas) from 10 fish daily to five.
This would create a coast-wide five fish limit by matching the stricter trout regulations that began a decade ago in Lower Laguna Madre and made it up through the Matagorda system a few years later.
This proposal along with others we will address in another post regarding shark hook requirements, oystering and ling limits will be published in the Texas Register next week. After that public comment begins.
The TPWD Commission will take final action in their meeting at TPWD Headquarters in Austin March 19-20. Once public comment links are available we will post them at fishgame.com and through our social media presence.
In addition there will be public hearings in the Port Arthur/Beaumont and Galveston areas according to Lance Robinson, TPWD Deputy Coastal Fisheries Division Director.
In the past speckled trout regulation changes have drawn great interest from the angling public and if history repeats the aforementioned public hearings will be packed with anglers on both sides of the proposal.
Trout numbers on the Texas Coast have taken a roller coaster ride over the last 36 years with major freezes in 1983 and 1989 pummeling the population. A combination of length and bag limit regulation changes, habitat enhancement and stocking have brought populations back to strong levels along the coast. Numbers however fluctuate in various bay systems due to a variety of factors.
We will have a much more detailed story on this topic next week as I am literally typing this as I got word sitting at the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas returning from the SHOT Show.
Chester Moore, Jr.