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New Saltwater Fishing Regs as of Sept. 1

A speckled trout recently caught in the Gulf of Mexico. A popular game fish for saltwater anglers along the Texas coast, the speckled trout bag limit is five fish per person as of September 1, 2019.

Bag limits and other new regulations for saltwater anglers that go into effect September 1 deal with speckled trout, shark, cobia (also called ling), and oyster harvesting. The new regs were approved earlier in the year by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Bag limits for speckled trout were standardized along the entire 400 miles of the Texas coast. A five-bag limit for the lower Laguna Madre, in effect since 2014, has been made the rule for all state waters, which extend 9 nautical miles from the Gulf Coast shoreline and include bays and estuaries. Until September 1, the bag limit along the upper coastline will remain at 10.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also will regulate equipment used to catch sharks. New rules require the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks, except when fishing with artificial lures.

The minimum size for keeper cobia was increased to 40 inches total length from 37 inches.

As for oysters, Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Copano Bay have been closed to harvesting for two years.

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