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Semper Piscandi
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Haven't seen this posted here. Regulations go into effect September 1, 2019. The main two restrictions:

"Enact a 48-inch maximum length limit for alligator gar on the Trinity River from the I-30 bridge in Dallas downstream to the I-10 bridge in Chambers County, including the East Fork of the Trinity River upstream to the dam at Lake Ray Hubbard."

and

"Between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise, no person may take or possess an alligator gar by means of lawful archery equipment or crossbow on the Trinity River unless they have received a harvest authorization through the drawing system."

Copied-and-pasted from https://ccatexas.org/texas-parks-an...proves-changes-to-fishing-regulation-changes/

(Apologies if this is a repost, etc.)
 

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that's why there are very few legal size black or white bass,crappie,striper or catfish in the "Port of Liberty" ....over run the A-Gars and Gators.......
 

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Retired opinionated old fart
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This is just an opinion, but people I trust are indicating there are plenty of gar. I believe in the balance of nature, and don't really like seeing the aftermath of guys using bows and arrows on gar, but I am curious if this additional protection is needed now?


I am speaking of the Trinity only, and admit ignorance on other water sheds in this regard.
 

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I have no issues with it at all. Every modern study done has shown that alligator gar are not major predators of any species of game fish, it's a myth that they harm game fish population.
 

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I am likely the minority here...but I like alligator gar, mostly due to the fact that they've been on this earth in some form for 100 million years. Again, I'm likely the minority here, but I can't fathom shooting a gar and throwing it on the bank to rot. I do believe there are times to cull invasive species, for the record.

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I posted this in the similar thread on the Freshwater General page thought it should be said here also.


I was at the 'LL Dam Saturday and once again saw what causes me to support gar regulations and not support killing fish with a bow. I have seen the following so many times it sickening. My daughter spotted them first, and was absolutely disgusted by what some people do. She caught her first one at about seven years old while perch fishing in a small creek and has loved catching them ever since.

Lined up in nice and neat rows for the picture was five alligator gar from four to five feet long, and I don't know ten or so spotted/long nose and lots of buffs. All had the usual arrow hole. Take a pic and then leave em lay to rot and stink up the boat ramp. Those that enjoy killing fish with a Bow will be the ones that drive the continued tightening of the rules. They are their own worst enemy.

What a shame.
 

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It is illegal to return the fish to the water from which it was taken, it is also illegal to dump them on the banks. This ****** me off horribly. As a bowfishing guide, I take the steps to ensure that the kills that are not taken for food or used as bait are disposed of properly. As with all bowfishing a large majority of what is taken is not used for anything. MIne are typically dumped in a pit on private property where they are turned in to fertilizer. The biggest problem we see is that most bowfishers do not have a place to put their kills after the fishing is done if they choose to not clean them. That's when they get lazy, break the law, and dump them.
 

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It is illegal to return the fish to the water from which it was taken, it is also illegal to dump them on the banks. This ****** me off horribly. As a bowfishing guide, I take the steps to ensure that the kills that are not taken for food or used as bait are disposed of properly. As with all bowfishing a large majority of what is taken is not used for anything. MIne are typically dumped in a pit on private property where they are turned in to fertilizer. The biggest problem we see is that most bowfishers do not have a place to put their kills after the fishing is done if they choose to not clean them. That's when they get lazy, break the law, and dump them.
I am glad to hear dumping them at the ramp bothers you...it should bother every one.

On another note:

As you are a bow guide I am sure you know that the law states that these fish must be taken with the intention of using them for only two purposes.
1. Human consumption.
2. Fish bait.

There is no "choosing not to clean them". There is only eat them or use them for bait, anything else is not legal.

Dumping them in a pit and calling it "fertilizer" is no more legal or ethical than dumping them at the boat ramp. It is just killing them and dumping them where no one knows about it.

Again this is why I cannot support killing any fish with a bow. I have yet to discuss this with anyone that shoots fish with a bow that does it legally. Some may eat one every now and again but I have found none that legally utilize most if any of the fish they kill.
 

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'81 Aggie
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Looks like there will be a drawing for taking gar over 48" from the Trinity between I-30 and I-10. That could really put a dent in the bowfishing side of the guide business. No word yet (apparently) on how many permits will be available in the draw.

Hopefully, it will steer the trophy seekers toward more sustainable methods that allow a fish to survive its interaction with human beings. You can still catch and release a monster with rod and reel. Bow fishing is rather final.

Gotta admit, I've seen hundreds of giant gar taken on TV shows and videos filmed on the Trinity, but never seen a trophy gar on a wall in anyone's living room. And I've never been offered a "gar steak" from anyone's freezer. C,P,R seems like a more sustainable way to go now that everyone carries a camera in their pocket.

On the issue of predation, I suspect it's fishing pressure that's doing the damage to game fish populations. But we'll see.

Edit: I'd add that my ex used to have a family place on the Trinity and it was appalling how many people used illegal methods to net whatever they could, while others took advantage of the remoteness to bring home several limits of fish in a day... day in and day out. But that was 20+ years ago. Hopefully, it's better now. But I doubt it. Old habits die hard.
 

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8-7-2019....Trinity River

I have noticed that there are large numbers of small A-Gar (3-10") in every single ditch I've checked around Liberty...soon to die as the ditches are drying up from the non-stop flooding event since 2015 ....also present are large numbers of the "not for human consumption,for "Trophy Retention Only" ,max bag limit5(LOL),endangered, Black Bass about the same size(2-5")...which will meet the same fate shortly.....

from this observation the populations must be in great shape in the greater Trinity River and surrounding tributaries.....
 

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I am glad to hear dumping them at the ramp bothers you...it should bother every one.

On another note:

As you are a bow guide I am sure you know that the law states that these fish must be taken with the intention of using them for only two purposes.
1. Human consumption.
2. Fish bait.

There is no "choosing not to clean them". There is only eat them or use them for bait, anything else is not legal.

Dumping them in a pit and calling it "fertilizer" is no more legal or ethical than dumping them at the boat ramp. It is just killing them and dumping them where no one knows about it.

Again this is why I cannot support killing any fish with a bow. I have yet to discuss this with anyone that shoots fish with a bow that does it legally. Some may eat one every now and again but I have found none that legally utilize most if any of the fish they kill.
According to TPWD bowfishing regulations, it states that " Any fish that is edible or can be used for bait (includes all gar species, common carp and buffalo) may not be released back into the water after being taken with lawful archery equipment." Now what is considered edible is up for interpretation. Who determines what is considered edible? What is not listed on the states own regulations for bowfishing is waste of fish. You have to go to a separate page of definitions to find a reference to it. Also for use as bait, technically you can use anything for bait, who determines what is bait? That's also up for interpretation, but my understanding is, what are normal practices. Carp and buffalo are great bait and I give away as much as possible.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/fishing/bow-fishing-regulations

On a side note, I do not shoot "trophy" alligator gar nor do I offer/encourage others to take them. So I am not against the changes on the Trinity.
 

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No Beaux it is pretty simple. It is illegal to shoot fish with no intentions of using them for consumption or bait. It is illegal to shoot fish with a Bow an dump them anywhere including a hidden pit on private property.

No what is edible is not open to individual interpretation. As you posted all gar, carp, and buff species are included in the rule.
What is that?

Because they're perfectly edible.

I won't repost what you did about not returning shot fish to water and that ALL gar carp an buff are included.
I will add the remaining piece from the TPWD Outdoor Journal. Clearly All Gar, Carp and Buff species are very much edible as lots of people myself included have eaten lots of them. If fact there folks that absolutely love them.

Waste of Fish
It is unlawful to leave edible fish or bait fish taken from the public waters of the state to die without the intent to retain the fish for consumption or bait.
 

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Lip Jerker
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"It is unlawful to leave edible fish or bait fish taken from the public waters of the state to die without the intent to retain the fish for consumption or bait."

I have no dog in this fight as I do not fish or bowfish for gar, but what is the definition of consumption?

Google yields me this:

  • the using up of a resource: "industrialized countries should reduce their energy consumption" synonyms: using up, use, utilization, expending, expenditure, ... more
  • â-ª the eating, drinking, or ingesting of something: "liquor is sold for consumption off the premises" synonyms: eating, devouring, ingestion, swallowing, gobbling (up), ... more
  • â-ª an amount of something which is used up or ingested: "a daily consumption of 15 cigarettes"
  • â-ª the purchase and use of goods and services by the public: "an article for mass consumption"
  • â-ª the reception of information or entertainment by a mass audience: "his confidential speech was not meant for public consumption"
Wouldn't something being used for a purpose other than dumping them to rot be considered consuming them?

I know toilet paper is considered a consumable, I bet gar scales would be mighty rough on the b-hole, but they can be used or consumed as a fertilizer.
 

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Lip Jerker
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^^ Getting off my soap box, but as long as the fish is being USED FOR A PURPOSE and not being discarded.. It is considered as being consumed. I'm sure a lawyer would agree.



I would never kill something that I was not going to eat. The family didn't raise me that way, but by definition consumption could be anything as long as it is not wasted. I'm sure it was taught in school that the Indians used fish as fertilizer for their corn. Maybe we should demand the native descendants to pay reparations for those fish as well.



Sorry in advance.. I just like rattling cages.
 

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The new regulations on alligator gar are the direct result of gar trophy guides who lobbied for these regulations.
The alligator gar trophy guides are very busy, make very good money and even have customers from Europe who fly in to fish with them.
They lobbied successfully taking tpwd members on trips on the Trinity and were successful in getting the regulations changed to protect their lively hood.
The American way, money and influence wins.

This coincides with several years of above average,by a long shot, of floods. Floods fill ditches and distributaries ( low rivulets that fill then drain back to creeks and rivers) where gar spawn and create super spawns overpopulating the river with gar.
Several years of floods created the huge population of A gar in the Trinity watershed.
This year the gar were thick on the lake and below the dam and ate catfish off of the lines of trotlines, one longtime Livingston commercial catfisherman told me last week that he usually buys a 1k hooks and they would last two to three years, this summer he had to buy 2k because of all the hooks broke and straighten out by gar.
Midsummer his lines yielded the same number of catfish as usual, however half or more would be just heads left or be so damaged by gar they could not be sold.
More than once he saw a large alligator gar swim by his boat with a three to five pond catfish in its mouth. Third generation commercial catfisherman and he had never seen that before.
As a white bass guide I have always had alligator gar come explode on the school we were working. And would often catch white bass bleeding from a fresh gar slash.
This year more than once I had gar come and get the white bass being reeled in, Never had that happen before in 50 years of white bass fishing.
When any population of predators gets higher than usual they start eating whatever is available.
If you don’t think gar eat a healthy portion of white bass. Book a trip with one of the trophy gar guides.



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Just plain old bowfisherman
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It's a ******** rule cast down from the Head of the Commission.
Who, by the way, owns land on the upper Trinity and likes to fly
fish for them. A rule that was not and is not necessary. It is and will
continue to cause problems
 
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