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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 57FISHERIES
SUBCHAPTER NSTATEWIDE RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING PROCLAMATION
DIVISION 1GENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §57.973Devices, Means and Methods

        (II) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. The trap lid must be secured so that when the wire degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

        (III) the trap contains at least one sidewall, not including the bottom panel, with a rectangular opening no smaller than 3 inches by 6 inches. Any obstruction placed in this opening may not be secured in any manner except:

          (-a-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390) knotted only at each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar. When the twine degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

          (-b-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the wire degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

          (-c-) the obstruction may be loosely hinged at the bottom of the opening by no more than two untreated steel hog rings and secured at the top of the obstruction in no more than one place by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530), sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390), or by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the twine or wire degrades, the obstruction will hinge downward and the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed;

      (iii) is not marked with a floating visible orange buoy not less than six inches in length and six inches in width. The buoy must have a gear tag attached. Gear tags are valid for 6 days after date set out.

  (13) Pole and line.

    (A) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line. It is unlawful to use a pole and line to take or attempt to take fish by foul-hooking, snagging, or jerking. A fish is foul-hooked when caught by a hook in an area other than the fish's mouth.

    (B) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line. It is unlawful to take fish with a hand-operated device held underwater except that a spear gun and spear may be used to take non-game fish.

    (C) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line, except that in the Guadalupe River in Comal County from the second bridge crossing on River Road upstream to a point 800 yards downstream of the Canyon Lake dam outlet, rainbow and brown trout may not be retained when taken by any method except artificial lures. Artificial lures cannot contain or have attached either whole or portions, living or dead, of organisms such as fish, crayfish, insects (grubs, larvae, or adults), or worms, or any other animal or vegetable material, or synthetic scented materials. This does not prohibit the use of artificial lures that contain components of hair or feathers. It is an offense to possess rainbow and brown trout while fishing with any other device in that part of the Guadalupe River defined in this paragraph.

  (14) Purse seine.

    (A) Purse seines may be used only for taking menhaden, only from that portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state extending from one-half mile offshore to nine nautical miles offshore.

    (B) Purse seines used for taking menhaden may not be used within one mile of any jetty or pass.

    (C) The purse seine, not including the bag, shall not be less than three-fourths inch square mesh.

  (15) Sail line. For use in salt water only.

    (A) Non-game fish, red drum, spotted seatrout, and sharks may be taken with a sail line.

    (B) Line length shall not exceed 1,800 feet from the reel to the sail.

    (C) The sail and most shoreward float must be a highly visible orange or red color. All other floats must be yellow.

    (D) No float on the line may be more than 200 feet from the sail.

    (E) A weight of not less than one ounce shall be attached to the line not less than four feet or more than six feet shoreward of the last shoreward float.

    (F) Reflectors of not less than two square inches shall be affixed to the sail and floats and shall be visible from all directions for sail lines operated from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.

    (G) There is no hook spacing requirement for sail lines.

    (H) No more than one sail line may be used per fisherman.

    (I) Sail lines may not be used by the holder of a commercial fishing license.

    (J) Sail lines must be attended at all times the line is fishing.

    (K) Sail lines may not have more than 30 hooks and no hook may be placed more than 200 feet from the sail.

  (16) Sand pump. It is unlawful for any person to use a sand pump:

    (A) that is not manually operated; or

    (B) for commercial purposes.

  (17) Seine.

    (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with a seine.

    (B) It is unlawful to use a seine:

      (i) which is not manually operated;

      (ii) with mesh exceeding 1/2-inch square; or

      (iii) that exceeds 20 feet in length.

    (C) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken by seine for bait purposes only.

  (18) Shad trawl. For use in fresh water only.

    (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with a shad trawl.

    (B) It is unlawful to use a shad trawl longer than six feet or with a mouth larger than 36 inches in diameter.

    (C) A shad trawl may be equipped with a funnel or throat and must be towed by boat or by hand.

  (19) Spear. Only non-game fish may be taken with a spear.

  (20) Spear gun. Only non-game fish may be taken with spear gun.

  (21) Throwline. For use in fresh water only.

    (A) Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish may be taken with a throwline.

    (B) It is unlawful to use a throwline in Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

    (C) It is unlawful to use a throwline:

      (i) that is not equipped with a gear tag. A gear tag is valid for 6 days after the date it is set out;

      (ii) for commercial purposes that is not marked by an orange float that is less than six inches in length and three inches in width ; and

      (iii) for non-commercial purposes that is not marked with a float of any color other than orange that is less than six inches in length and three inches in width.

  (22) Trotline.

    (A) Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish may be taken by trotline.

    (B) It is unlawful to use a trotline:

      (i) with a mainline length exceeding 600 feet;

      (ii) with invalid gear tags. Gear tags must be attached within three feet of the first hook at each end of the trotline and are valid for 6 days after date set out, except on saltwater trotlines, a gear tag is not required to be dated;

      (iii) with hook interval less than three horizontal feet;

      (iv) with metallic stakes; or

      (v) with the main fishing line, attached hooks, and stagings above the water's surface.

    (C) In fresh water, it is unlawful to use a trotline:

      (i) with more than 50 hooks;

      (ii) in Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Fayette County Reservoir in Fayette County, Pinkston Reservoir in Shelby County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County;

      (iii) for commercial purposes that is not marked by an orange float that is less than six inches in length and three inches in width , and attached to end fixtures; and

      (iv) for non-commercial purposes that is not marked with a float of any color other than orange that is less than six inches in length and three inches in width attached to each end fixture.

    (D) In salt water:

      (i) it is unlawful to use a trotline:

        (I) in or on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state;

        (II) from which red drum, sharks or spotted seatrout caught on the trotline are retained or possessed;

        (III) placed closer than 50 feet from any other trotline, or set within 200 feet of the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway or its tributary channels. No trotline may be fished with the main fishing line and attached hooks and stagings above the water's surface;

        (IV) baited with other than natural bait, except sail lines;

        (V) with hooks other than circle-type hook with point curved in and having a gap (distance from point to shank) of no more than one-half inch, and with the diameter of the circle not less than five-eighths inch. Sail lines are excluded from the restrictions imposed by this clause; or

        (VI) in Aransas County in Little Bay and the water area of Aransas Bay within one-half mile of a line from Hail Point on the Lamar Peninsula, then direct to the eastern end of Goose Island, then along the southern shore of Goose Island, then along the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula, then along the eastern shoreline of the Live Oak Peninsula past the town of Fulton, past Nine-Mile Point, past the town of Rockport to a point at the east end of Talley Island, including that part of Copano Bay within 1,000 feet of the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula.

      (ii) No trotline or trotline components, including lines and hooks, but excluding poles, may be left in or on coastal waters between the hours of 1:00 p.m. on Friday through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday of each week, except that attended sail lines are excluded from the restrictions imposed by this clause. Under the authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.206(b), in the event small craft advisories or higher marine weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service are in place at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, trotlines may remain in the water until 6:00 p.m. on Friday. If small craft advisories are in place at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, trotlines may remain in the water until Saturday. When small craft advisories are lifted by 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, trotlines must be removed by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. When small craft advisories are lifted by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, trotlines must be removed by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. When small craft advisories or higher marine weather advisories are still in place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, trotlines may remain in the water through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. It is a violation to tend, bait, or harvest fish or any other aquatic life from trotlines during the period that trotline removal requirements are suspended under this provision for adverse weather conditions. For purposes of enforcement, the geographic area customarily covered by marine weather advisories will be delineated by department policy.

      (iii) It is unlawful to fish for commercial purposes with:

        (I) more than 20 trotlines at one time;

        (II) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a floating yellow buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to end fixtures;

        (III) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a yellow buoy bearing the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to end fixtures;

        (IV) any trotline that is marked with yellow flagging or with a buoy bearing a commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number other than the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number displayed on the finfish fishing boat.

      (iv) It is unlawful to fish for non-commercial purposes with:

        (I) more than 1 trotline at any time; or

        (II) any trotline that is not marked with a floating yellow buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width, bearing a two-inch wide stripe of contrasting color, attached to end fixtures.

  (23) Umbrella net.

    (A) Only non-game fish may be taken with an umbrella net.

    (B) It is unlawful to use an umbrella net with the area within the frame exceeding 16 square feet.


Source Note: The provisions of this §57.973 adopted to be effective June 27, 2010, 35 TexReg 5564; amended to be effective August 29, 2011, 36 TexReg 5363; amended to be effective September 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 3597; amended to be effective September 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 3790; amended to be effective September 1, 2014, 39 TexReg 6495; amended to be effective September 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 6048; amended to be effective September 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 3389; amended to be effective February 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 580; amended to be effective September 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 5641; amended to be effective September 1,2021, 46 TexReg 5048

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