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Spearfishing Regulations This area is for the topic of existing or proposed Spearfishing Regulations.

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Old 06-30-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
Mark D
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Texas Regs

Only after a long day trying to get a fishing licenses in the Houston Area ( none of the computer to Fish and Game would tie in for a sale)
Was I given a small booklet that had the following:

Spear:
Any shaft with single or multiple points, barbed or barbless, which may be propelled by any means, but does not include arrows.
• May be used to take NONGAME fish only.
Spear Gun:
Any hand operated device designed and used for propelling a spear, but does not include the crossbow.
• May be used to take NONGAME fish only.

Game fish are defined in another area of the code but are all of the big boys
What is going on here? Why should we be excluded from fishing?
I take far fewer fish than pole fishermen and free dive to get them


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Old 06-30-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
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Re: Texas Regs

The species of fish you may spear in Texas water is indeed very limited. Spearfishermen are a small contingency in relation to the fishing community at large. The answer to your "Why" is likely due to our lack of political clout. One of the arguments I've heard posed against the taking of gamefish by spear is the inability to measure the fish prior to its death, thereby creating an opportunity to take undersized or oversized fish.

You may take fish on the Texas gamefish list in international waters by spear then land them in Texas, but Texas size and bag limits apply.

Long and the short of it is, if you dive on the jetties, you are going to have to let lots of Redfish, trout, and Snook swim past unharmed. It's a bummer, but at this point we don't have any political organization as spearfisherman and therefore aren't likely to see any change any time soon. The FRA is dedicated to protecting access to fishing, but their focus seems to be in Florida. Still a very worthy organization as any devoted to such a cause is.

This thread might garner a bit more attention if posted in the Texas section.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Texas Regs

Most people around here that spear in salt water spear in federal waters which is 9nm offshore. Hopefully one day we can get the regs changed. What are you doing this Weekend im thinking about trying to get a trip together for an overnighter for the freeport fishin fiesta, spearfishing division.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:25 AM   #4
Mark D
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Re: Texas Regs

Thank you,
I think what was the shock is that it is hard to imagine a regulative environment more restrictive than California. Texas always seemed to be a hunter friendly state and to find out that it has all of the strange biases that seem to plague the west coast.
I was looking to drive down to the Padre Islands this holiday week end just to see the coast and find some clear water but the Storm has come in there and will put it off for a month or so.

Snook is a new species for us coming from California but we will let them swim by ( get out the flash cards)
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: Texas Regs

Mark,
I know what you mean, we are going thru the process of trying to get the regulations changed here in Colorado to allow spearfishing game fish in all waters.
First you need to find out the process of how and when they make changes to the fishing regulations. For instance, here they only do it once every 5 years, so we go it when we could and got the ball rolling this year.
2nd, you will need to be very organized and have all your "ducks in a row", ready to present facts to the DFG. It helps to have one or more local marine biologist on your side and willing to assist in the efforts.
Then of course go to all the meetings you can no matter where they are, have a small group show up to each one. Here they had meetings in many different regions of the state to ensure everyone had a chance to speak thier mind, we had someone attend just about every meeting in each region to show that we are serious and we are organized.
It does and can work, I know most states are battling to keep thier rights (FL and CA) but in Nebraska we (spearos) just recently had a victory by getting them to change thier regulations.
I think most important is to be flexible, at first we asked to open all waters and to have bag limits equal to H&L. They (DOW) told us straight up that isn’t going to happen and for us to start by selecting a small list of lakes that we would like to see opened, so we did.
If you decide to organize a group of spearos to try and change the regulations utilize this forum and others to get the word out, it helps to have people send emails to the right people asking for their support. I am sure a lot of spearos would like to see Texas change their strict and outdated regulations to allow for gamefish to be taken by spear. Just remember, baby steps.

Good luck and feel free to PM me with any questions.

Aloha,
Chad
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: Texas Regs

Our biggest problem here in Texas people don't understand spearfishing. Maybe it is about time that all the spearos get together to change a few things. Write a few letters to your state reps. and see what they think about spearfishing. As small of a group of people as we are it can be hard to be heard. We might have to form a non-profit org to really get anything done but nothing will change if we don't ever let anyone know we are unhappy.

This might be better to move to teh Texas page.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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Re: Texas Regs

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelBaranows View Post
Our biggest problem here in Texas people don't understand spearfishing. We might have to form a non-profit org to really get anything done but nothing will change if we don't ever let anyone know we are unhappy.
That is not limited to Texas, we travel to many states and spear freshwater, it seems that no one knows or understands our sport but they are very quick to judge us and label us.
Point, when we where at a DOW meeting a couple of us stayed after to speak with anyone willing to listen. We had brought our gear, pics and underwater videos along to show them as well. Some of the DOW biologist, wardens and H&L guys stayed because they wanted to know what we do.
After we answered all their questions they had a totally different view/outlook on spearing. They had so many misconceptions about what we do, it was crazy.
You need to be willing to educate them and work with them.

We did put together an organization, it helps to show that you are real and here to stay.

I would love to help where I can, I am and will remain a lifetime hunting and fishing license holder from Texas. I want to see the rules changed my self but since I dont live there any longer I cant do much excpet send emails and letters. I am willing to do that and help any other way possible from a far.

Good luck !
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