THE TEXAS PARKS and Wildlife Commission in their May meeting made 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.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has also 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 water bodies for largemouth bass; blue, channel, and flathead catfish; and black and white crappie. The expiration date of August 31, 2020 was removed for the five-fish daily bag limit for alligator gar at Falcon International Reservoir.
The changes that were implemented for the 2020-21 license year are listed below. These new regulations will also be detailed the 2020-21 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 Texas waters of the Red River below Denison Dam (Cooke and Grayson Counties) – Standardize harvest regulations for 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 for flathead catfish, remove the 18-inch minimum length limit. In the Texas waters of the Red River below Lake Texoma (from Denison Dam downstream to Shawnee Creek), in addition to the removal of 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.