The recent announcement by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to close the state-water red snapper season on Nov. 15 for the rest of the year is an unfortunate consequence of NOAA Fisheries continued overall oppressive control of the fishery and the dysfunctional relationship the federal agency has fostered with state fisheries managers.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission took emergency action on March 24, 2021, moving to temporarily alter spotted seatrout regulations in response to the significant fish kill that resulted from February’s severe freeze. The daily limit for speckled trout in the Upper and Lower Laguna Madre will drop to three and the slot limit will become 17-23 inches. The geographic area (Upper and Lower Laguna Madre systems) extends south of the JFK causeway to the Texas/Mexico border, including the adjacent beachfronts from Packery Channel to the Rio Grande river. The remainder of state water regulations will remain at a five fish daily bag limit and 15-25 inch slot limit with the ability to keep one fish over 25 inches long.
The emergency rule becomes effective once filed with the Secretary of State and is valid for up to 120 days. The emergency rule can be extended 1 time for 60 days, which leads to the possibility of having an emergency rule in place for 180 days. The rule can be pulled down at any time if the need for the emergency rule no longer exists.
TPWD director of coastal fisheries Robin Riechers said the changes have the potential to increase the spawning biomass by 27 percent over a generation.
Read more by clicking here.
Pat and Shane discuss the impacts of the February 14-19, 2021 freeze event on Texas coastal fisheries, conservation ethics and the responsibility we have as individuals to participate in the recovery of spotted seatrout populations. Pat also provides some historical perspective from his experiences working as a fishing as a guide through freeze events in the 1980’s. Tune in to the very end to hear the latest news from Texas Parks and Wildlife regarding emergency rule changes. photo credit: John Blaha
Brian Little – owner/operator of Sabine Skiffs discusses conservation, fishing, philosophy of life and designing/building some of the hottest poling skiffs on the market today. It was a pleasure to spend time with a kindred spirit and record this episode. Thank you Brian Little! Want to learn more about Sabine Skiffs? – Click Here
Snapper count should be final nail in NOAA’s inept management of red snapper.
This week, the public and Congress finally heard why nothing seemed to add up in federal management of Gulf red snapper. It turns out that NOAA just doesn’t count snapper very well.
All anglers need to be aware of some recent developments with the management of red snapper. On August 24, 2020 the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a temporary rule in the Federal Register: 2020 Red Snapper Private Angling Component Accountability Measure in Federal Waters Off Texas. Just two years after approving a plan to allow the Gulf states to develop their own recreational data collection systems to better manage red snapper and certifying those state programs, NOAA Fisheries intends to force the states to calibrate their data back to the flawed federal data system that caused significant turmoil in the first place.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission moved to adopt changes in southern flounder regulations, making slight modifications to the proposed rule change.