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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

(a) In fresh water only, it is unlawful to fish with more than 100 hooks on all devices combined.

(b) Game and non-game fish may be taken only by pole and line in or on:

  (1) community fishing lakes;

  (2) sections of rivers lying totally within the boundaries of state parks;

  (3) any dock, pier, jetty, or other manmade structure within a state park;

  (4) Canyon Lake Project #6 (Lubbock County);

  (5) Lake Pflugerville (Travis County);

  (6) North Concho River (Tom Green County) from O.C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam;

  (7) South Concho River (Tom Green County) from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam; and

  (8) Wheeler Branch (Somervell County).

(c) No person may employ more than two pole-and-line devices at the same time on:

  (1) any dock, pier, jetty, or other manmade structure within a state park;

  (2) community fishing lakes that are not within or part of a state park;

  (3) Canyon Lake Project #6 (Lubbock County);

  (4) North Concho River (Tom Green County) from O. C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam; and

  (5) South Concho River (Tom Green County) from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam.

(d) It is unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess fish caught in public waters of this state by any device, means, or method other than as authorized in this subchapter.

(e) In salt water only, it is unlawful to fish with any device that is marked with a buoy made of a plastic bottle(s) of any color or size.

(f) Aquatic life (except threatened and endangered species) not addressed in this subchapter may be taken only by hand or with the devices defined as lawful for taking fish, crabs, oysters, or shrimp in places and at times as provided by the Parks and Wildlife Commission and regulations adopted by the Parks and Wildlife Code.

(g) Device restrictions. Devices legally used for taking fresh or saltwater fish or shrimp may be used to take crab as authorized by this subchapter.

  (1) Cast net. It is unlawful to use a cast net exceeding 14 feet in diameter.

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

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

  (2) Crab line. It is unlawful to fish a crab line for commercial purposes that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length and six inches in width bearing the commercial crab fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the end fixtures.

  (3) Crab trap. It is unlawful to:

    (A) fish for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial crab fisherman's license with more than 200 crab traps at one time;

    (B) fish for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial finfish fisherman's license with more than 20 crab traps at one time;

    (C) fish for non-commercial purposes with more than six crab traps at one time;

    (D) fish a crab trap in the fresh waters of this state;

    (E) fish a crab trap that:

      (i) exceeds 18 cubic feet in volume;

      (ii) is not equipped with at least two escape vents (minimum 2-3/8 inches inside diameter) in each crab-retaining chamber, and located on the outside trap walls of each chamber; and

      (iii) is not equipped with a degradable panel. A trap shall be considered to have a degradable panel if one of the following methods is used in construction of the trap:

        (I) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390). The trap lid must be secured so that when the twine degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

        (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;

    (F) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial crab fisherman's license:

      (i) that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

      (ii) that is not marked with a white buoy bearing the commercial crab fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

      (iii) that is marked with a buoy bearing a commercial crab fisherman's license plate number other than the commercial crab fisherman's license plate number displayed on the crab fishing boat;

    (G) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial finfish fisherman's license:

      (i) that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

      (ii) that is not marked with a white buoy bearing the letter 'F' and the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

      (iii) that is marked 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;

    (H) fish a crab trap for non-commercial purposes without a floating white buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width, bearing a two-inch wide center stripe of contrasting color, attached to the crab trap;

    (I) fish a crab trap in public salt waters for non-commercial purposes without a valid gear tag. Gear tags must be attached within 6 inches of the buoy and are valid for 10 days after date set out;

    (J) fish a crab trap within 200 feet of a marked navigable channel in Aransas County; and in 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 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 or possess, use or place more than three crab traps in waters north and west of Highway 146 where it crosses the Houston Ship Channel in Harris County;

    (K) remove crab traps from the water or remove crabs from crab traps during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise;

    (L) place a crab trap or portion thereof closer than 100 feet from any other crab trap, except when traps are secured to a pier or dock;

    (M) fish a crab trap in public waters that is marked with a buoy made of a plastic bottle(s) of any color or size; or

    (N) use or place more than three crab traps in public waters of the San Bernard River north of a line marked by the boat access channel at Bernard Acres.

  (4) Dip net.

    (A) It is unlawful to use a dip net except:

      (i) to aid in the landing of fish caught on other legal devices; and

      (ii) to take non-game fish.

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

  (5) Folding panel trap.

    (A) Only crabs may be taken with a folding panel trap.

    (B) It is unlawful to use a folding panel trap with an overall surface area, including panels, exceeding 16 square feet.

  (6) Gaff.

    (A) It is unlawful to use a gaff except to aid in landing fish caught by other legal devices, means or methods.

    (B) Fish landed with a gaff may not be below the minimum, above the maximum, or within a protected length limit.

  (7) Gig. Only non-game fish may be taken with a gig.

  (8) Handfishing. For use in fresh water only.

    (A) Only blue, channel, and flathead catfish may be taken by means of handfishing.

    (B) It is unlawful to intentionally place or use a trap in public waters for the purpose of taking catfish by handfishing.

  (9) Jugline. For use in fresh water only. Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish may be taken with a jugline. It is unlawful to use a jugline:

    (A) with invalid gear tags. Gear tags must be attached within six inches of the free-floating device, are valid for 10 days after the date set out, and must include the number of the permit to sell non-game fish taken from fresh water, if applicable;

    (B) for commercial purposes that is not marked with an orange free-floating device;

    (C) for non-commercial purposes that is not marked with a free-floating device of any color other than orange;

    (D) 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.

  (10) Lawful archery equipment. Only non-game fish may be taken with lawful archery equipment or crossbow.

  (11) Minnow trap (fresh water and salt water). It is unlawful to use a minnow trap that is not equipped with a gear tag. A gear tag is valid for 10 days after the date it is set out.

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

    (B) It is unlawful to use a minnow trap that exceeds 24 inches in length or with a throat larger than one by three inches.

  (12) Perch traps. For use in salt water only.

    (A) Perch traps may be used only for taking non-game fish.

    (B) It is unlawful to fish a perch trap that:

      (i) exceeds 18 cubic feet in volume;

      (ii) is not equipped with a degradable panel. A trap shall be considered to have a degradable panel if one of the following methods is used in construction of the trap:

        (I) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #390). The trap lid must be secured so that when the twine degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

        (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

Cont'd...

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