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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 58OYSTERS, SHRIMP, AND FINFISH
SUBCHAPTER BSTATEWIDE SHRIMP FISHERY PROCLAMATION
RULE §58.160Taking or Attempting to Take Shrimp (Shrimping)--General Rules

(a) It is unlawful to:

  (1) take or attempt to take shrimp within the boundaries of any natural or man-made pass leading from the inside waters to the outside waters (Gulf of Mexico) of the state;

  (2) use a trawl at a time when shrimping is prohibited;

  (3) possess a trawl of any type or mesh size in an area where the trawl or mesh size are prohibited. Such trawls may be possessed on vessels in port or in a marked channel going directly to or from an area where the use of the trawl is permitted; or

  (4) head shrimp aboard a boat in inside water or dump or deposit shrimp heads in the inside water.

(b) A commercial shrimp boat license must be prominently displayed as to be clearly visible from both sides of the boat.

(c) All commercial shrimp boats are required to exhibit the vessel's documentation or registration number on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull and on an appropriate weather deck. The number in block numerals in contrasting color to the background must be at least 18 inches in height on vessels over 65 feet and ten inches in height for all other vessels and be permanently attached.

(d) Gear Measurements: Except as otherwise provided in this section, all gear measurements are made as follows:

  (1) Otter trawls (main net and try net)--Total net width is measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door to leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline.

  (2) Beam Trawls (main net and try net)--measured along the beam of a beam trawl in its fully extended position.

  (3) Doors--measured along the door centerline from the leading tip to the trailing edge of the door, excluding any add-on devices of any type.

  (4) Mesh sizes--measured between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used, and applies to the trawl, bag and bag liner. Mesh size requirements do not apply to net material used in any approved excluder device.

  (5) Functional tailbag length--that portion of the cod end forward of the tail rope tie off rings toward the mouth of the trawl.

  (6) TED Length: if the webbing immediately surrounding a hard TED has a mesh size smaller than that allowed for the trawl for that area or season, such webbing may not be greater than 60 total stretched meshes in length, not including the escape flap.

(e) Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) requirements.

  (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all shrimp boats must have an approved BRD installed in each trawl that is rigged for fishing. A trawl is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp boat.

  (2) Exemptions from the BRD requirement--A shrimp boat is exempt from the BRD requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection if it:

    (A) is fishing under the provisions of a commercial bait shrimp license as established in §58.164 of this title (relating to Shrimping Inside Waters--Commercial Bait Shrimping); or

    (B) is fishing under the provisions of a individual bait-shrimp trawl tag as established in §58.165 of this title (relating to Non-commercial (Recreational) Shrimping).

    (C) Shrimp boats may substitute tow-time restrictions for the BRD requirement of this subsection when the Assistant Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has determined, under 50 CFR §223.206(d)(3)(ii), that special environmental conditions in a particular area make trawling with TED-equipped nets impracticable. Compliance with tow-time restrictions in place of the BRD requirement shall be subject to the limitations established by NMFS in its notice under 50 CFR §23.206(d)(3)(iv), including time period, locations, and any other conditions or restrictions that NMFS establishes.

  (3) A single try net that is 21 feet in total width or less is exempt from the BRD requirement.

  (4) Approved BRDs:

    (A) In outside waters: Any BRD that meets the dimensions and specifications of an approved device as described in 50 Code Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 622 §622.41 in effect as of June 23, 2010.

    (B) In inside waters:

      (i) Any BRD (other than an extended funnel devices similar to "Jones/Davis" and "large mesh" devices) that meets the dimensions and specifications of an approved device as described in 50 Code Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 622 §622.41 as of June 23, 2010; or

      (ii) An extended funnel device similar to "Jones/Davis", "large mesh" constructed and installed as follows:

        (I) Extension Material. The small-mesh sections used on both sides of the large-mesh escape section are constructed of No. 18 nylon webbing with a mesh size of 6-7/8 inches over 5 stretched meshes. The front section is 120 meshes around by 6-1/2 meshes deep. The back section is 120 meshes around by 23 meshes deep.

        (II) Large-Mesh Escape Section. The large-mesh escape section is constructed of webbing with a mesh size of 40-50 inches over 5 stretched meshes. This section is cut on the bar to form a section that is 15 inches by 75 inches in circumference. The leading edge is attached to the 6-1/2-mesh extension section and the rear edge is attached to the 23-mesh extension section.

        (III) Funnel. The funnel is constructed with a mesh size of 6-7/8 inches over 5 stretched meshes, No. 18 depth-stretched and heat-set polyethylene webbing. The circumference of the leading edge is 120 meshes and the back edge is 78 meshes. The short side of the funnel is 30 to 32 inches long and the opposite side of the funnel extends an additional 20 to 22 inches. The circumference of the leading edge of the funnel is attached to the forward small-mesh section three meshes forward of the large-mesh escape section and is evenly sewn, mesh for mesh, to the small-mesh section. The after edge of the funnel is attached to the after small-mesh section at its top and bottom eight meshes back from the large-mesh escape panel. Seven meshes of the top and seven meshes of the bottom of the funnel are attached to eight meshes at the top and bottom of the small-mesh section, such eight meshes being located immediately adjacent to the top and bottom centers of the small-mesh section on the side of the funnel's extended side. The extended side of the funnel is sewn at its top and bottom to the top and bottom of the small-mesh section, extending at an angle toward the top and bottom centers of the small-mesh section.

        (IV) Semi-Rigid Hoop. A 24-inch diameter hoop constructed of plastic-coated trawl cable, swaged together with a 3/8-inch micropress sleeve, is installed five meshes behind the trailing edge of the large mesh section. The extension webbing must be laced to the ring around the entire circumference and must be equally distributed on the hoop, that is, 30 meshes must be evenly attached to each quadrant.

        (V) Installation. The extended funnel BRD is attached 8 inches behind the posterior edge of the TED. If it is attached behind a soft TED, a second semi-rigid hoop, as prescribed in subclause (IV) of this clause, must be installed in the front section of the BRD extension webbing at the leading edge of the funnel. The cod end of the trawl net is attached to the trailing edge of the BRD.

      (iii) Expanded Mesh. The expanded mesh BRD is constructed and installed exactly the same as the standard size extended funnel BRD, except that one side of the funnel is not extended to form a lead panel.

(f) Turtle Excluder Device (TED) requirements.

  (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all shrimp boats fishing in Texas outside waters must have an approved TED installed in each trawl that is rigged for fishing. A trawl is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp boat.

  (2) Exemptions from the TED requirement. A shrimp boat is exempt from the TED requirements if it:

    (A) has on board no power or mechanical-advantage trawl retrieval system (i.e., any device used to haul any part of the trawl aboard); or

    (B) has only a pusher-head trawl, skimmer trawl, or wing net rigged for fishing.

    (C) Shrimp boats may substitute tow-time restrictions for the TED requirement of this subsection when the Assistant Administrator of NMFS has determined, under 50 CFR §223.206(d)(3)(ii), that special environmental conditions in a particular area make trawling with TED-equipped nets impracticable. Compliance with tow-time restrictions in place of the TED requirement shall be subject to the limitations established by NMFS in its notice under 50 CFR §223.206(d)(3)(iv), including time period, locations, and any other conditions or restrictions that NMFS establishes.

  (3) Exempted gear or activities. The following fishing gear or activities are exempted from the TED requirements:

    (A) A single test net (try net) that is 21 feet in total width or less, if it is either pulled immediately in front of another trawl or is not connected to another trawl in any way, if no more than one test net is used at a time, and if it is not towed as a primary trawl;

    (B) A beam or roller trawl, if the frame is outfitted with rigid vertical bars, and if none of the spaces between the bars, or between the bars and the frame, exceeds 4 inches.

(g) Other aquatic life taken incidental to legal shrimping operations.

  (1) Licensed Commercial Shrimp Boats.

    (A) Other aquatic life taken incidental to legal shrimping operations may not be retained except as provided in this section.

    (B) On board a licensed commercial shrimp boat, a catch of finfish or other aquatic life may be retained in any combination not to exceed 50% by weight of the total weight of the trawl catch of shrimp.

      (i) Finfish or other aquatic life may be retained under the provisions of this subparagraph only by:

        (I) the holder of the current commercial shrimp boat license for that vessel; and/or

        (II) the holder of a current commercial shrimp boat captain's license on board the vessel.

      (ii) Finfish or other aquatic life retained under the provisions of this subparagraph must comply with the bag and length limits established for that species under §57.981 of this title (relating to Bag, Possession, and Length Limits), if applicable.

      (iii) A catch of finfish or other aquatic life retained under this subparagraph may be shared among persons authorized under clause (i) of this subparagraph to retain finfish or other aquatic life, but no person or persons, singly or in the aggregate, may retain more than 50% by weight of the total trawl catch of shrimp by weight while on board a licensed commercial shrimp boat.

      (iv) From May 1 through September 30 of each year, in addition to the provision of this subparagraph:

        (I) up to 1,500 live non-game fish, not regulated by bag or size limits, may be retained on board a licensed commercial bait-shrimp boat for bait purposes only; and

        (II) up to 3,600 (300 dozen) Atlantic cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus) (also known as ribbonfish) may be retained on board a licensed commercial bait-shrimp boat for bait purposes only.

  (2) Non-commercial shrimping. A person using an individual bait shrimp trawl for non-commercial purposes may retain for bait purposes only up to 200 non-game fish, not regulated by bag or size limits.


Source Note: The provisions of this §58.160 adopted to be effective October 3, 1996, 21 TexReg 9176; amended to be effective May 22, 1997, 22 TexReg 4251; amended to be effective June 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 5726; amended to be effective October 10, 2000, 25 TexReg 10157; amended to be effective January 2, 2002, 26 TexReg 11004; amended to be effective March 27, 2006, 31 TexReg 2693; amended to be effective November 18, 2008, 33 TexReg 9264; amended to be effective November 30, 2010, 35 TexReg 10511; amended to be effective May 29, 2011, 36 TexReg 3331; amended to be effective June 12, 2013,38 TexReg 3649

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