Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department | Nov. 11, 2019
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries management staff are considering changes to freshwater fishing regulations at water bodies located in Cooke, Tom Green, Grayson, and Williamson counties for 2020-21. Staff previewed the potential changes to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at their November meeting in Austin.
At Lake Texoma and the Texas waters of the Red River below the Denison Dam, staff are considering modifying harvest regulations for blue, channel, and flathead catfish to standardize the regulations for these species on both sides of the reservoir and the river. For blue and channel catfish, the potential changes would specify no minimum length limit, a 15-fish daily bag limit, and anglers could harvest only one blue catfish 30 inches or greater. For flathead catfish, the change would specify no minimum length limit and a five-fish daily bag limit. In addition to standardizing regulations with Oklahoma and making harvest limits less complicated for catfish anglers, the potential changes could increase protection of larger blue catfish on the Texas side of the river.
At Brushy Creek Lake near Cedar Park in Williamson County, staff are considering modifying harvest regulations by changing 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 (approximately 50 miles), staff are considering the following changes: for blue and channel catfish, reducing the daily bag limit to five fish per day and removing the minimum length limit; and implementing a pole-and-line only, two rod maximum gear restriction to reduce the potential overharvest of fish caught by other means. Standardizing the catfish limits and legal gear requirements would result in anglers fishing under the same regulations for the reservoir and the creek downstream.
In January, Inland Fisheries staff will present these possible changes to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. If the commission approves, the proposed changes will be published in the Texas Register, which begins the process of official public comment. Prior to that, anglers wishing to comment on the potential changes can direct them to Ken Kurzawski, TPWD Inland Fisheries Director of Information and Regulations, by email at [email protected] or phone at 512-389-4591.