So, I decided they needed to use this time to learn a few fishing laws. The Wildlife contest has a station related to all gaming and fishing laws for Texas. I thought I would share a few of the laws we discovered today. All of these laws and so much more can be found on the following site: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/regulations/fish_hunt/fish/general.phtml.
Fishing License RequiredAny person who takes or attempts to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas must have a current Texas fishing license with the appropriate stamp endorsement. A saltwater endorsement is required to fish in coastal waters; a freshwater endorsement is required for inland waters. A fishing license is not required to fish in privately owned lakes or ponds.
It is a violation to:
- Take, kill, or disturb sea turtles or sea turtle eggs;
- Take, kill, or disturb any endangered or threatened species (paddlefish, shovel-nosed sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, and others);
- Take or kill diamondback terrapin, largetooth sawfish, porpoises, dolphins (mammals), or whales;
- Possess tilapia, grass carp, or any other fish listed as harmful or potentially harmful, without immediately removing the intestines, except on waters where a valid Triploid Grass Carp Permit is in effect. In those waters, it is illegal to possess grass carp. Any grass carp caught must be immediately returned to the water unharmed
- Any fish caught must be taken by legal means and methods.
- Fish caught and immediately released are not considered to be in your possession. Any fish not immediately released that are retained by using any type of holding device such as stringer, cooler, livewell, or bucket are considered in your possession and must adhere to established protected length and bag limits.
- While fishing, it is illegal to be in possession of more fish than the daily bag limit or fish that are within a protected length limit.
And, since most of our catch today were catfish, I found some information about them as well. These illustrations show how to identify the different types of catfish.
Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish
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Channel CatfishA Body with dark spots (spots may be absent in large adults)
B Outer margin of anal fin rounded, and anal fin with 24 to 29 rays
Blue CatfishA Body without dark spots
B Outer margin of anal fin straight, and anal fin with 30 to 36 rays