Anderson: Texas hunting, fishing dates released for 2020-21

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Anderson

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved changes to the 2020-21 Texas hunting and fishing season.

Hunting

Hunters will see some changes in hunt regulations this fall, including automated pronghorn and antlerless mule deer applications and permits and a decrease in daily bag limits for scaup and light goose.

The daily bag limit for scaup will decrease from three to one, while the light goose daily bag limit for the regular season will decrease from 20 to 10 in both zones.

Another change approved by the commission last week will move snipe hunting season back two weeks to allow more hunting opportunities. This season, for the first time, antlerless mule deer and pronghorn permits will be automated.

The online land management assistance program is already used to facilitate the Managed Lands Deer Program, according to Sean Gray, TPWD mule deer and pronghorn program leader.

The rules allow multiple landowners to combine multiple tracts of land that are contiguous to create an aggregate acreage for permits.

The deadline to apply for pronghorn permits is July 1, and the deadline to apply for antlerless mule deer permits is Sept. 1.

Fishing

Saltwater fishing regulations did not change much, except for flounder fishing.

Starting Sept. 1, the minimum size limit for flounder will increase to 15 inches. There has been a noticeable decline in southern flounder collected, according to Dakus Geeslin of the Coastal Fisheries Division at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Department (TPWD).

The commission also approved closing flounder fishing from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 starting in 2021. Most of the flounder harvest occurs during spawning, Geeslin said, so the proposal is expected to increase spawning stock biomass by up to 58 percent over one generation or five years.

The commission approved clarifying language for commercial harvest reporting requirements.

Freshwater fishing regulations were updated for the following lakes: Moss Lake, Brushy Creek Lake and Brushy Creek, Lake Nasworthy, Lake Texoma and the Texas waters of the Red River and Falcon International Reservoir.

Modifications include length limits and harvest regulations at some water bodies for largemouth bass, some species of catfish and black and white crappie. The five-fish alligator gar daily bag limit at Falcon International Reservoir will remain in effect indefinitely.

Other changes

Another change this year will be the release of an all-digital Texas Outdoor Annual.

Due to COVID-19’s economic impact, the Outdoor Annual booklets will not be printed this year.

Instead, the booklets will be available at http://outdoorannual.com and through the free Outdoor Annual mobile app, available for both iOS and Android.

“We are well aware that this change may be disappointing to some of our long-time outdoorsmen and women that have become accustomed to bringing the Outdoor Annual booklets on their hunting and fishing trips. Be assured, it is not going away and will still be accessible via the web and our special Outdoor Annual Mobile app,” Carter Smith, TPWD executive director, said. “We are doing everything we can to ensure hunters, anglers and boaters are aware of this change and utilize the benefits of the digital Outdoor Annual during the upcoming seasons.”

According to TWPD, the Outdoor Annual mobile app provides several interactive features not found in print, including the ability to view regulations offline and in remote locations and to carry a digital license copy. Additional app features include location-based functionality, such as “Seasons and Regulations by Current Location,” “Where to Fish,” “Game and Fish Identification,” “Finding a Nearby License Retailer” and push notifications.

2020–21 Hunting Season Dates

• Dove

– North Zone

Sept. 1-Nov. 12, 2020 and Dec. 18, 2020—Jan. 3, 2021

Central Zone: Sept. 1-Nov. 1, 2020 and Dec. 18, 2020-Jan. 14, 2021

– South Zone

Regular season: Sept. 14-Nov. 1, 2020 and Dec. 18, 2020-Jan. 23, 2021

Additional days for Special White-winged Dove season: Sept. 5, 6, 12, 13 (special regulations apply)

• Duck

– North Zone

Regular season: Nov. 14-29, 2020 and Dec. 5, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021

Youth-only: Nov. 7-8, 2020

– South Zone

Regular season: Nov. 7-29, 2020 and Dec. 12, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021

Youth-only: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020

• High Plains Mallard Management Unit (HPMMU)

Regular season: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020 and Nov. 6, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021

Youth-only: Oct. 24-25, 2020

• Goose

– East Zone

Early Canada goose: Sept. 12-27, 2020

Light and dark geese: Nov. 7, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021

Light goose conservation order: Feb. 1-March 14, 2021

– West Zone

Light and dark geese: Nov. 14, 2020-Feb. 14, 2021

Light goose conservation order: Feb. 15-March 14, 2021

• Javelina

– North Zone: Oct. 1, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021

– South Zone: Sept. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2021

• Mule Deer

– General Season

Panhandle: Nov. 21—Dec. 6, 2020

SW Panhandle: Nov. 21-29, 2020

Trans-Pecos: Nov. 27-Dec. 13, 2020

– Archery Season

Oct. 3-Nov. 6, 2020

• Pheasant

Panhandle: Dec. 5, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021

• Pronghorn

Oct. 3-11, 2020

• Quail

Statewide: Oct. 31, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021

• Rabbits and Hares

No closed season.

• Squirrel

– East Texas: Oct. 1, 2020—Feb. 28, 2021 and May 1-31, 2021

– Other open counties: Sept. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2021

Youth-only season: Sept. 26-27, 2020

• Rio Grande Turkey

– Fall Season

North Zone: Nov. 7, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021

South Zone: Nov. 7, 2020-Jan. 17, 2021

Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy counties: Nov. 7, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021

Archery-Only: Oct. 3-Nov. 6, 2020

– Fall Youth-Only

North Zone: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020 and Jan. 4-17, 2021

South Zone: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020 and Jan. 18-31, 2021

– Spring Season

North Zone: April 3-May 16, 2021

South Zone: March 20-May 2, 2021

One-turkey counties: April 1-30, 2021

– Spring Youth-Only

North Zone: March 27-28 and May 22-23, 2021

South Zone: March 13-14 and May 8-9, 2021

• Eastern Turkey

– Spring Season

East Texas: April 22-May 14, 2021

• White-tailed Deer

– General Season

North Zone: Nov. 7, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021

South Zone: Nov. 7, 2020-Jan. 17, 2021

– Special Late Season

North Zone: Jan. 4-17, 2021

South Zone: Jan. 18-31, 2021

– Youth-only seasons

Early season: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020

Late season: Jan. 4-17, 2021

– Archery Season

Oct. 3-Nov. 6, 2020

– Muzzleloader-Only Season

Jan. 4-17, 2021