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The public is being asked for input on proposed changes to length and bag limits for freshwater blue and channel catfish statewide by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Comments will be considered before the TPWD commission takes action on the changes at its March 25 public hearing. 

The department is holding an online webinar at 7 p.m. March 4, which will be posted on the department’s YouTube and Facebook pages. 

“These proposed regulations address what we have heard from anglers about their fishing motivations and can be appropriately used across the diversity of our state’s waters,” said Craig Bonds, director of the Inland Fisheries Division. “A team of TPWD fisheries biologists have worked for the past two years to review our current catfish regulations with the goals of continuing to provide good angling, meeting current angler needs, and reducing the number of regulation categories.” 

Proposed changes include removing the minimum length, which is currently 12 inches, from blue and channel cats, allowing any length to be harvested. While the 25-fish daily bag limit would remain, anglers would be limited to keeping no more than 10 fish that measure 20 inches or longer. 

Two exceptions to the length limit are also being proposed, but only affect 12 locations in the state. None of these are in the Highland Lakes. 

Other changes proposed address standardization of float dimensions for some passive gears as length and width rather than height and diameter. 

You can find more details about proposed regulation changes in narrated presentations online on the public comment page and in the Texas Register

Comments can be submitted to Ken Kurzawski by email at ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov or by phone at 512-389-4591. Deadline for submission is March 24. 

editor@thepicayune.com