On January 23, 2019, the TPWD Commission authorized the state to publish in the Texas Register an amendment that eliminates the current bag limit differential for speckled trout and implements a universal five-fish bag in all state waters.
According to TPWD, in 2007 they became concerned about speckled trout populations in the Lower Laguna Madre and created regional regulations by reducing the bag and possession limits in the Lower Laguna Madre. Then in 2014, the department altered the boundary of that regional regulation (up to FM 457 near Sargent) and reinstated a coast-wide possession limit of twice the daily bag limit. The current proposal is largely in response to angler requests for lower daily bag limits, further supported by 2018 survey results which indicated that more than 75% of guides and nearly 50% of non-guides support lowering the limit from ten to five fish. The TPWD Commission will vote on extended the five-fish speckled trout bag limit at the next Commission meeting, March 19-20, 2019. We will post a link to the public comment portal and provide advanced notice for upcoming public meetings that will be help on the upper-coast prior to the March Commission meeting.
CCA Texas Position
The CCA Texas Executive Board supports TPWD efforts to manage and conserve the speckled trout fishery for current and future generations.
With the Houston area expecting to add roughly 2.2 million people by 2030 and fishing license sales continuing to increase annually, we know this is the right thing to do for the resource. Texas recreational anglers have greatly benefited from decades of coastal fisheries management by TPWD. We boast some of the nation’s best inshore saltwater angling because as recreational anglers we remain engaged in the conservation and protection of our marine resources. That engagement coupled with sound fisheries management by TPWD has proven effective time and time again; This time is no different.
Update: 2-27-2019: Link to Public Comment.