CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Another fish species in the Coastal Bend is currently on the chopping block when it comes to facing a smaller bag limit.
According to the Texas Parks and Wild Life Department, the proposal to change the size and the bag limit of speckled trout comes after the species was impacted heavily following the February freeze last year.
Its important to note that this is only a proposal from the TPWD, which suggests lowering the bag limit of speckled trout from five-to-three per angler, and raising the size of trout that can be kept from what used to be 15-25 inches to 17-23 inches.
According to Texas Game Warden, Lerrin Johnson this proposal is still in the public comment phase, and they are seeking feedback from local anglers. Johnson said the speckled trout species is seeing a huge decline from their historical averages.
"Our parks and wildlife fisheries division does not want to see a full closure," Johnson said. "Because that would effect small businesses, families everything like that."
The proposal is to change these regulations for the next two years. In an effort to strengthen the speckled trout population in Texas bay systems, which include the Corpus Christi and Aransas Bay, along with the upper and lower Laguna Madre.
"The freeze last year took away quite a bit of our population of trout which had been building up over the last few years to one of the all time highs," Johnson said.
Local fishing guide, Joey Farrah said although it was devastating to see such a decline in the population, the goal now is not just about building back the population.
"It's more about conditioning the anglers to be sportsman instead of just a harvest of sea trout," Farrah said.
Farrah adds that fishing guides might have to overcome and adapt if these new regulations go into effect, but it's for the greater good of the fish and their longevity.
"Our biggest responsibility as a fishing guide is to educate our clients," Farrah said. "It's not about how many fish you bring home, it's about the experience of how many fish you touch that day and release. Not just the ones you hang up dead."
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