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SETX Bass Size limit change goes into affect

Special to The Leader

ORANGE — Beginning September 1st, Southeast Texas anglers will be able to keep largemouth bass measuring 12 inches or greater. Previously only largemouth bass 14 inches or greater were legal to harvest. The daily bag limit will remain at five fish and at eight fish for the Sabine River. This new rule will be applied to the Sabine River in Newton and Orange counties, and in Chambers, Jefferson, and Orange counties.

Local civic leaders and sportsman frustrated over the “one size fits all” regulation for largemouth bass suggested this change. Representative Dade Phelan filed and passed HB 1979 out of committee and onto the floor for a vote. At that point, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offered to perform a detailed scientific analysis of the waters in Southeast Texas in lieu of legislation and committed to the new rule if the results justified modification. Their examination concluded that 12 inches is the appropriate size for harvesting largemouth bass for this area.

“I want to thank Texas Parks and Wildlife for their diligent efforts in ensuring the study was a fair and open process. One that considered not only the data but public opinion as well.” Representative Phelan continued, “This was an idea brought to me by John Gothia, Ida Schossow and other leaders in our community. It was an honor to work with them to make a positive impact on local fishing regulations.”