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PhotO: Will Leschper

The speckled the middle. There trout hasn’t been were 621 in favor of without its own rollkeeping regulations ercoaster of a ride the same while there though. were 608 in favor of From the days of some type of alteraanglers boxing almost tion, ranging from every fish they caught implementing a fiveto the implementafish limit to changtion of more rigid ing the minimum bag and size limlength limit. its, the fish’s future As part of their always has been tied ongoing research, to the ebb and flow TPWD officials of conservation meahave projected sures. For the most the reductions in part, those actions speckled trout harhave been successful vest expected as in aiding recruitment a result of changof fish and ensuring ing the daily trout what has remained a limit from 10 fish solid fishery up and to five, and those down the coast. figures show some In December interesting trends. The speckled trout bag 2010, an interesting This especially is limit in the Lower Laguna Madre is five fish per trickle of news turned true in regards to day. The limit is 10 along into a river of speculation guided fishing pursuits in the rest of the Texas as it was announced that some notable Coastal Bend coast with a slot limit of Texas Parks and Wildlife bay systems. 15 inches to 25 inches. Department coastal fisherAransas Bay would see Anglers may keep only ies division staff would host a 9 percent harvest reducone oversize fish per day meetings along the coast to tion during non-guided trips as part of their bag limit. gauge interest and get input and a 13 percent reduction on what were termed potential “conserva- from guided trips, according to TPWD protion measures” for speckled trout. Included jections, while Corpus Christi Bay would see in that discussion were length limit altera- a 3 percent harvest reduction during nontions and the lowering of the daily trout bag guided trips and a 27 percent reduction from limit in places where it currently was 10 to guided trips. The Upper Laguna Madre five. seemingly would benefit the most from a A month later, after multiple meetings, bag limit change, with a 14 percent harvest including one in Corpus Christi that had reduction during non-guided trips and a 30 a turnout of more than 100, the agency percent reduction from guided trips, accordproclaimed that it would not recommend ing to the department data. changes to any speckled trout regulations. Coast wide, the halving of the daily bag The department cited no urgency on biologi- limit would elicit a 12 percent reduction cal issues and split reactions to any number during non-guided trips and a 22 percent of alternatives that were received at public reduction from guided trips. meetings and online. According to more data gleaned on the Robin Riechers, coastal fisheries division Lower Laguna Madre by TPWD offidirector for TPWD, noted that speckled cials, non-guided anglers on average return trout recruitment has remained stable or from a day of fishing with about two trout. increased in a number of bay systems while Meanwhile, anglers who pay to utilize the angler surveys showed that they continued to services and know-how of fishing guides be satisfied with their trout fishing pursuits. typically bring home an average of more It should be no surprise, but TPWD than twice that. It’s clear that when you fish received more feedback than it ever has with someone who spends lots of time on on the speckled trout issue, with more the water you’ll have a bigger impact on the than 1,200 comments split almost down trout population. G a m e ®

2/7/12 9:58 AM

March 2012  

THE Authority on Texas Fishing & Hunting Texas Fish & Game is the largest, oldest, and best outdoors resource of its kind in the nation. No...

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