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Capt.Alan

Speckled Trout Limit Changes In Texas

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If  you have haven't heard, the proposal for the daily bag limit for speckled trout along the upper Texas gulf coast to be lowered from 10 to 5 per day per person has passed. Reducing the speckled trout limit by half was first adopted on a regionally limited basis in 2007. The lower Texas gulf coast was first to adopt the 5 fish limit. This was after Texas Parks & Wildlife gill net sampling indicated a decline in mid sized speckled trout south of the Landcut. In 2014, this was extended northward from the south end of the Landcut to just north of East Matagorda Bay near Sergeant.

There have been many explanations and reasons for this change from many different experts in this field including the Texas Parks & Wildlife commission. Some of the reasons are less big trout in our bays, too many mid sized trout are being harvested, our bays are being effected negatively due to warming bays, toxins and algae blooms and especially in the upper coast the rains and floods over the past 5 years have been damaging to the trout population.

Over time many things have changed in the fishing industry. There are more anglers fishing today and with such better equipment. Anglers today have a plethora of advanced GPS's and fish finders, they have better rod & reels, better artificial baits and quieter trolling motors. Let's face it, people are just a lot better at catching fish today than they were 20 years ago. You can't forget to mention social media where every great catch seems to be posted now days. Last but not least, today compared to years in the past, we have much more fishing guides and charters. Add technology with a changing climate and more and better anglers, that's how we get to where we are today.

The over all goal for this change, which I understand has been approved to begin on September 1st 2019, is to help improve and restore the speckled trout population throughout all our bays in Texas. Most anglers surveyed are in favor of the limits, with only about 18 percent of guides and charters and 25 percent of private anglers opposed. As a professional guide in Galveston Texas for the past 18 years, I am on board with the change. I believe the lowering of the limit will have a positive effect on our overall population of speckled trout. Most of my clients don't care to take home 10 per person anyway and I believe they will be fine with 5 per person. If this change helps increase our trout population and overall health for the future, how can you not be in favor of the change. You will still be able to catch as many as you want, just only keep 5

Capt. Alan

Galveston Fishing Guides

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