New hunting, fishing rules in place for 2000 season

Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) reminds sportsmen that several regulation changes went into effect Sept. 1, including a number of revisions to harvest restrictions on fish and wildlife adopted by the state agency last spring. Most of the alterations to this year’s hunting regulations involve opening additional hunting seasons in certain counties, maintaining landowner management flexibility and increasing hunting opportunity. In particular, the requirement for doe tags has been eliminated in five North Texas counties and additional doe days have been established in 36 others. Hunters are urged to check the county listings in the 1999-2000 Outdoor Annual for specific changes to deer hunting regulations and any other revisions. The annual is available at no cost wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. A newly created deer harvest option, the white-tailed deer bonus tag, is attracting interest among hunters and causing some confusion. The tag is designed to allow flexibility for land managers and can only be used in place of those tags issued with a hunting license, but only in conjunction with Managed Lands Deer Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permits or during special drawn hunts on departmental lands. Under the regulation, individuals who meet the above criteria may purchase up to five either sex bonus tags for $10 each wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Additional deer hunting regulation changes that take effect this fall include: An open general season restricted to archery and crossbows for white-tailed deer in Grayson County. The deer season in Archer, Baylor, Clay, Montague, and Wise Counties is now either-sex for the full general season. In an effort to stay on the leading edge of fisheries management, Texas fisheries biologists have not hesitated to implement changes in regulations they hope will improve fishing. In addressing some of the regulation experiments that have not fulfilled the agency’s expectations, the following regulations are designed to standardize fishing rules for freshwater and saltwater fishing: A 12-inch minimum length limit and a 25 fish daily bag for blue catfish and channel catfish in any combination on Fort Phantom Hill and E.V. Spence reservoirs. A 14-inch length limit for largemouth bass at Lakes Brownwood, Champion Creek, and Coleman. A 14-inch length limit for largemouth bass at Lakes Striker, Tyler State Park Lake, and Weatherford. A 14 to 21-inch slot limit for largemouth bass at Lake Murvaul with a five-fish daily bag of which only one fish 21 inches or greater may be harvested. A 27-inch length limit for king mackerel. Anglers on three popular catch-and-release-only lakes greater opportunity to weigh in a trophy bass by reducing the minimum size limit required to retain a fish until weigh-in to 21 inches. The change affects Purtis Creek State Park, Gibbons Creek Reservoir and Lake Raven. A five-fish daily bag and no minimum length limit statewide for walleye, only two of which can be under 16 inches in length. Prohibition of the taking of fish underwater with a hand-held device other than a spear or spear gun. Prohibition of the possession while fishing or use of certain baitfish in the Trans-Pecos. The only fish that could be used for bait would be common carp, fathead minnows, gizzard and threadfin shad, Mexican Tetra, Rio Grande cichlid, silversides, sunfish (Lepomis), goldfish, and golden shiners. Also, anglers are reminded that a previously approved increase to 23 inches for the upper end of the slot limit for largemouth bass on Lake Fork will become effective. A change in the reciprocal fishing license agreement with bordering states adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Aug. 26 meeting will affect senior nonresident anglers. Beginning Oct. 1, nonresident seniors will be required to purchase a nonresident fishing license. Previously, seniors from Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana were exempted from purchasing a fishing license in Texas, however, recent regulations requiring Texas seniors to purchase a special resident fishing license created an inequity.

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