TPWD Seeks Public Comment on Trot Line Rules

Catfish are a favorite for trot line anglers. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is eyeing changes to requirements for trot lines and other passive fishing gear. The department opened a public comment period on changes through November 7. Commissioners will meet the same day to consider changes. Texas Parks and Wildlife photo by Larry D. Hodge

From Staff Reports

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department commissioners are asking for public comment on proposed changes to the regulations on trot lines and other “passive” fishing gear. Changes include adding requirements and specification for floats and reducing the valid period for gear tags to reduce the negative impacts of abandoned gear in Texas public waters. Other types of passive fishing gear include jug lines, minnow traps, perch traps and throwlines.

The public commenting period is through Thursday, November 7. Comments can be submitted:

online;

• in person during the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at 9 a.m. November 7 at TPWD headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road in Austin;

• by phone at 512-389-4853;

• or email at jarret.baker@tpwd.texas.gov.

“Abandoned passive fishing gear is not easily identified and can harm fish and wildlife resources and present a nuisance and safety hazard to recreational users of public waters,” said Jarret Baker, TPWD assistant commander for marine enforcement. “These proposed changes would aid in identifying and monitoring lawful passive gear and help facilitate the removal of abandoned gear.”

The proposed changes would require passive fishing gear to have properly marked gear tags and floats attached to aid in distinguishing active gear from abandoned fishing gear and litter. These changes include adding a customer number from a valid fishing license on the gear tag and marking all passive fishing gear with floats that are at least six inches in length and not less than three inches in width. Floats for recreational anglers can be any color other than orange. Commercial fishing license holders will be required to use orange-colored floats.

The changes would also reduce the time between angler inspections to four days from 10. Scientific investigations conducted by TPWD show that fish mortalities as a result of “ghost fishing,” or the continuing effect of unattended passive gear, can increase after four days. Requiring the gear tags and the accompanying gear to be checked more frequently should reduce those unintended mortalities.

Additionally, the removal of abandoned fishing gear will have the added benefit of reducing threats to human health and safety.

editor@thepicayune.com

7 thoughts on “TPWD seeks public comment on proposed trot line rules

  1. Abandoned gear such as trot-lines, drop-lines and jug-lines are a huge problem especially on non-constant level lakes. I am hoping new regulations enacted by TPWD will help clean up our lakes and make them a little safer for everyone to enjoy.

  2. I agree with these new proposals. I strictly jugline and see the same jugs left/abandoned month to month. Most have a moss line on them that show extended stays, most I feel need removal. Thank you for continuing to improve our waterways (BUCHANAN). Jeff

  3. I believe two days in the water is adequate. I also agree attaching a fishing license number to them. while fishing, I have come across too many abandon lines with dead fish on them. “passive” fishing shouldn’t become a set it and forget it sport. I jug fish, and set the lines at night, and check them in the morning, or set them in the morning, and check them at night, but rarely leave them out more than a day.

  4. I’m ok with the ID part due to its no different than filling out a gear tag with your info. But this whole buoy thing is a joke. So now you want me to put this big buoy on my line so the trotline fish robbers can find it easier ? Next I will have to purchase a 10.00 licence extra for a trotline. It’s hard enough from keeping the bass fisherman from cutting them. These lines done right cost 75.00 each. And I have yet in 40 years of running them ever hear of a bass fisherman being fined for cutting a man’s trotline. This is about money driven by fines. Make no mistake about it. I got a better idea…. when a line is found and not tagged properly or is left past the 10 days, fine the hell out of them. Don’t slap them with a 50.00 fine. Throw the whole book at them with a 500.00 first offence. Why punish the legal guy. These lines left over are usually the weekend warriors. And we’re is the report that shows data on fish snagged or found on abandon lines ? Think it’s another bogus call just like the alligator gar rule. Texas Parks and Wildlife I use to hold my head up high for y’all. But these stupid rules with no common sense are tarnishing y’alls reputation.

  5. I believe 2 days would be an adequate time and I’m fine with a license number attached but honestly I would be happy if the people that put out lines in lake marblefalls would at least label their jug lines and stop cutting others lines and stealing fish… its happens so often on the west end that my sons and I have quit putting out lines all together.

  6. Maybe the better solution would be to shrink the number of days to 6 that a line can be left out and only allow them to be put out on Sunday afternoon and be pulled on Friday night or Saturday mornings. Also if not properly tagged allow to be pulled and tossed . At the same token make it an offense to tamper with a legally tagged rig so as to deter line thieves.

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