On March 20, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved all the proposed changes to the saltwater fishing regulations. These changes are intended to streamline regulations for the entire Texas coast for spotted seatrout and modified regulations for certain species to be in line with federal rules to reduce confusion among anglers for sharks and cobia.
The following changes to the 2019-20 Statewide Recreational Fishing Proclamation, details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual, have been adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission:
- Extending the 5 fish bag limit for spotted seatrout to the upper coast, creating a coast-wide 5 fish bag limit.
- Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for sharks in state waters, except when fishing with artificial lures.
- Increasing the minimum size limit to 40 inches total length for Cobia.
- Closing oyster restoration areas in Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay and Copano Bay for 2 harvest seasons.
The changes to the 2019-20 Statewide Recreational Fishing regulations take effect on Sept. 1, 2019.