Public hearings begin in March across Texas to let people comment on proposed changes for hunting and fishing when new seasons begin in the fall, including the use of sound suppressors for hunting game animals.
Each year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department considers changes in hunting and fishing regulations to “achieve resource management objectives and maximize outdoor recreation opportunities consistent with good stewardship,” according to a news release.
The meeting locations are listed below. All meetings are open to the public and begin at 7 p.m.
The TPW Commission will make final rulemaking at its March 28-29 public hearing in Austin.
Among the considerations is the legalization of “silencers” to hunt alligators, deer and other game animals and game birds. (Approval, however, won’t relieve any person from the obligation to comply with state, federal, or local laws governing the ownership and use of sound suppressors.)
Also under consideration is an archery-only full-season, either-sex whitetail season for Dallas, Collin, and Rockwall counties.
Also, TPWD staff is proposing to implement the Harris County season structure in Galveston County. Under the plan, Galveston County would be opened to archery season and also a general season during which firearms would be acceptable. There also would be a muzzleloader season.
Also, Galveston County would have the same regulations as Harris, Fort Bend, and Brazoria counties that allow does to be harvested in the first part of the season. Managed Land Deer permits to harvest does would be required after Thanksgiving.
The proposed fishing changes include:
- Change the minimum length limit for largemouth bass back to the statewide 14-inch limit on three reservoirs: Aquilla Reservoir, Hill County; Lake Fort Phantom Hill, Jones County; and Lake Proctor, Comanche County.
- Change daily bag limit for striped bass back to the statewide five-fish limit on Possum Kingdom Reservoir in Palo Pinto County.
- Implement an 18-inch minimum length limit and five-fish daily bag for largemouth bass and prohibit use of juglines, trotlines and throwlines on Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County, a reservoir that will open to angling Sept. 1.
- Restrict the number of fishing poles (to two) that a person may use simultaneously while fishing from a dock, pier, jetty, or other man-made structure in a state park.
- Require gear tags for throwlines and minnow traps in fresh water.
- Reduce the time limit for re-dating gear tags for most devices from 30 days to 10 days.
- Change age for license exemption from 64 to 65 for Oklahoma residents fishing in Texas to conform to recent changes in Oklahoma.
All of the proposed amendments were published in the Feb. 17 edition of the Texas Register, available online.
TPWD Public Hearing Calendar
Beaumont, Holiday Inn & Suites, 3950 I-10 South.
Denison, Center for Workplace Learning (Room #111), 6101 Grayson Drive.
Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co. Courthouse Annex, 203 West Main.
San Antonio, Lions Field Adult Center, 2809 Broadway.
Dickinson, TPWD Dickinson Lab, 1502 FM 517 East (Pine Drive).
Fort Worth, Kennedale High School, Gymnasium, 901 Wildcat Way, Kennedale.
Marshall, Lions Community Center, 1201 Louisiana Street.
Port Isabel, Port Isabel Community Center, 213 Yturria.
Houston, Sheldon Lake State Park, Regional Headquarters Classroom, 14200 Garrett Road.
McKinney, Myers Park & Event Center, 7117 County Road 166.
New Boston, Bowie County Courthouse (2nd floor), 710 James Bowie Drive.
Also, public comments can be made in writing to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744.
Comments may also be submitted via the department’s website or through the following resource points of contact:
Robert Macdonald (Wildlife) at (512) 389-4775; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Kurzawski (Inland Fisheries) at (512) 389-4591, e-mail: email@example.com.
Art Morris (Coastal Fisheries) at (361) 825-3356, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.