Management of the red drum resource in Texas.
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Management concepts, prior to the initial life-history study of Texas Sciaenids by Pearson (1928), were directed by state legislature toward reduction of fishing pressure and protection of the spawning fish stocks believed then to be in the estuaries. The legislature, in 1925, closed approximately 50% of the public coastal waters to the use of nets, and the closed areas have remained essentially the same since. In 1973, responsibility for managing the red drum in Texas was delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by legislative action which gave the Department regulatory responsibility in 14 counties, and in the remaining four counties following the passage of the Red Drum Conservation Act in 1977. Present management recommendations in Texas are based on data derived from a finfish population study which provides data on relative density, seasonal trends and species diversity, and on a harvest - monitoring program which provides harvest data, catch rates and pressure for both recreational and commercial fisheries on a coastwide basis.