Catfish anglers have until July 26 to comment on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) proposed catfish management plan.
The TPWD plan has two goals: increase fishing opportunities and access for the species and develop and implement best practices to manage catfish populations statewide.
TPWD drafted the plan because catfish are one of the most popular fish among Texas anglers. Also, by 2050 the population of Texas is expected to double to 50 million people.
Most population growth will occur in urban areas, and without proper planning, says TPWD, further urbanization is likely to reduce water quality and fish habitats and decrease public access to fishing and outdoor recreation.
TPWD’s research shows that most anglers don’t want to travel far to fish, so new angling opportunities need to be in urban areas and close to home.
Texas’s public waters have great potential for providing these opportunities for generations to come, says TPWD. It says its fisheries management experience and expertise can maintain and expand the state’s high-quality catfish fisheries.
However, TPWD says success will require broad-based public support, including partnerships with anglers, private industry, civic organizations, and local governments.