The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted multiple changes to the freshwater fishing regulations for the upcoming 2022-2023 season at the meeting held March 24.
Defining reservoir boundaries and modified harvest regulations on designated waterbodies highlight this year’s list of changes. The changes also include modifications on Red River tributaries to prevent the transfer of invasive carp, largemouth bass harvest regulations correction, clarification of striped bass species information and Sam Rayburn Reservoir county designation.
“Our approach this year was to simplify and clarify rules to reduce the potential for confusion near certain river-reservoir boundaries where exceptions to statewide limits exist, eliminate exceptional rules for bygone fisheries, harmonize rules with our Oklahoma neighbors on border waters, sustain quality bass fishing at a newly-opening reservoir, and reduce risks of inadvertent spread of invasive carps from where they currently exist in the Red River and its tributaries in Northeast Texas,” said Craig Bonds, TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division Director.
The changes enacted for the 2022-23 license year take effect Sept. 1, 2022. Texas Parks and Wildlife will incorporate the details of these new regulations into the 2022-23 edition of its Outdoor Annual.
The regulation changes are as follows:
- Sam Rayburn Reservoir (Angelina, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Sabine, and San Augustine counties) — Delineate the upstream reservoir boundary for Sam Rayburn Reservoir to differentiate between the inflowing river and the reservoir where special exceptions to statewide channel and blue catfish daily bag, possession and length limits are in place.
- Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson counties) – Delineate the upstream reservoir boundary for Lake Texoma to differentiate between the inflowing river and lake where special exceptions to statewide daily bag, possession and length limits are in place.
- Bois d’Arc Lake (Fannin County) – Implement largemouth bass harvest regulations for soon-to-be opened Bois d’Arc Lake, establishing a 16-inch maximum size limit and exceptions for temporary possession of 24-inch bass for weighing as potential ShareLunkers.
- Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson counties) – Modify harvest regulations for walleye in Lake Texoma to eliminate special exceptions to statewide daily bag, possession and length limits for walleye in Lake Texoma and return to statewide regulations.
- Lake Texoma (Cooke, Grayson, Fannin, Lamar, Red River, and Bowie counties), Red River and tributaries – Modify harvest regulations for alligator gar in Lake Texoma to expand the harvest closure during May to align with Oklahoma harvest regulations.
- Coleto Creek Reservoir (Goliad and Victoria counties) and Fairfield Lake (Freestone County) – Modify harvest regulations for red drum for lakes Coleto Creek and Fairfield to eliminate special exceptions to statewide daily bag, possession and length limits and return to statewide regulations.
- Red River Tributaries – Modify regulations to prevent transfer of invasive carp as bait, adding tributaries of the Red River in Grayson, Fannin, Lamar, Red River and Bowie counties to the list of designated waters forbidding the transport of live nongame fish.
- Largemouth Bass Harvest Correction — Correct a largemouth bass regulatory exception error for a suite of lakes.
- Striped Bass – Clarify species information.
- Sam Rayburn Reservoir County Designation – Modify Sam Rayburn Reservoir county list.
The online version of the TPWD Outdoor Annual will not reflect any new changes until mid-August. Find more information regarding these amendments and all fishing regulations on the TPWD fishing regulations website.