With the warmer weather coming, many Southeast Texas residents soon will be pulling out their fishing poles and preparing for long days spent on the water.
If saltwater fishing is your preferred method of bringing in a catch, you should also familiarize yourself with new regulations recently approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
The changes, approved March 20, are intended to streamline regulations for the entire Texas coast for spotted seatrout and modify regulations for other species to reduce confusion among anglers for sharks and cobia, according to a Parks and Wildlife news release.
The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1:
- Extending the five fish bag limit for spotted seatrout to the upper coast, creating a coast-wide five fish bag limit
- Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for sharks in state waters, except when fishing with artificial lures
- Increasing the minimum size limit to 40 inches total length for Cobia
- Closing oyster restoration areas in Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay and Copano Bay for two harvest seasons
These changes will also be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual.