LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – May 2020

EDITOR’S NOTES by Chester Moore – May 2020
April 24, 2020
INSIDE FISH & GAME by Roy and Ardia Neves – May 2020
April 24, 2020

Coronavirus Coverage

THANK YOU for the coronavirus coverage in your e-newsletter. I trust Texas Fish & Game, and it has been great to see you have updates on how this all impacts and translates to the outdoors world.

Jason Bates

I FOUND the story on the COVID-19 origins with animals and wildlife interesting. Thanks for keeping us updated!

Bayley Tucker

THANKS FOR the great coverage on COVID-19 and how it’s impacting the great outdoors! I always look forward to seeing your updates in my inbox.

Tanner Hudson

THANKS FOR keeping us up to date on beach closures related to the coronavirus. There are lots of conflicting stories out there and it’s nice to know some professionals are keeping up with these developments.

Pete Stark

Abbott Considers Hunting, Fishing ‘Essential’

AT THE TIME of this writing, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for Texas that will override previous local orders and be in effect through April 30th-just after you should recieve this issue.

According to the NRA-ILA,  protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, which includes “workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

The governor also mentioned in his press release that it does not prohibit people from engaging in essential daily activities, such as hunting or fishing, provided that the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

Things might have changed by the time you get this issue but we thought a governor considering hunting and fishing “essential” was quite noteworthy.

If you don’t already subscribe to our e-newsletter you can do so at fishgame.com. We are posting COVID-19 related stories multiple times a week.

Flounder Hearing

DID THE Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) go on with their March board meeting and vote in the flounder and other proposals? I haven’t heard anything one way or the other.

Joe Kemp

Editor: We covered it in our 3-23 e-newsletter.  Here’s TPWD’s direct statement.

Amid growing public health concerns, the March meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Commission previously scheduled for March 25-26 has been canceled. All agenda items have been postponed until May 21.

This includes the recommendation to close all flounder fishing Nov. 1-Dec. 14.

“In light of what is happening with the public health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, this cancellation is the safe and prudent thing to do,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director.

“The health and well-being of our constituents, staff and commissioners will always be our highest priority. While this delay may create some uncertainty surrounding the upcoming license year, moving consideration of many of these items to the May Commission meeting should not pose a significant disruption to the overall regulatory process. We encourage any Texans who were following items being heard by the commission to remain engaged on these issues and let us continue to hear from you online through the public comment period.”

Postponed briefings and action items include the statewide proclamations for recreational and commercial saltwater and freshwater fishing proclamations, hunting, and migratory game bird regulation recommendations, containment and surveillance zone boundaries associated with chronic wasting disease (CWD) detection, oyster mariculture rules, land transactions and formation rules for new agency advisory committees.

Public comment periods for action items such as the statewide hunting, freshwater and saltwater fishing recommendations, agency advisory committees, and CWD have been extended until the May commission meeting. Remarks can be submitted on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Public Comment page. Currently, the Commission is planning to hear in-person public comments on action items during the meeting on May 21.

The TPW Commission continues to work with TPWD staff to monitor the evolving health situation in Texas and will adjust its meeting schedule as necessary to safeguard public health while maintaining its statutory responsibilities to oversee the operations of the department.

 

Email your comments to: [email protected]

 

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