State asks for input on proposed saltwater fishing regulations

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking for input on regulations for southern flounder, a species that has been steadily declining in population for decades.

Coastal fisheries staff with Texas Parks and Wildlife will be in Port Lavaca Tuesday evening to get input on proposed changes to saltwater fishing regulations.

Those changes include increasing the minimum size limit for flounder from 14 to 15 inches, closing all recreational and commercial flounder fishing from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 annually, and updating the paddle craft all-water guide license requirements to include successful completion of a paddle craft leading course from the American Canoe Association or another state-approved course.

The department is also proposing to strengthen and clarify language regarding who is required to report landings under a finfish license.

The proposed regulations came after staff held public meetings across the coast in December to discuss the declining southern flounder population with anglers and interested parties.

The goal of the proposed flounder regulations is to protect and replenish spawning stock biomass in the flounder fishery, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The changes are part of the 2020-2021 Statewide Recreational Fishing Proclamation, which will be considered for adoption by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 26 meeting.

People who are unable to attend the public hearing can submit comments to the department’s public comment page online or to the coastal fisheries division at 512-389-4620 or cfish@tpwd.texas.gov until March 25.

The commission will also take public comments on proposed changes during its March 26 meeting in Austin. Public testimony is usually limited to three minutes per person.

Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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