Law:Title 5. Wildlife And Plant Conservation. Subtitle B. Hunting And Fishing from Chapter 66. Fish (Texas)

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Subtitle B. Hunting And Fishing

Contents

Chapter 66. Fish

Subchapter A. Provisions Applicable To Freshwater And Saltwater Fishing

Section  66.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Fresh water" means all lakes, lagoons, rivers, and streams to their mouths, but does not include coastal or tidal water.

(2)  "Prepared feed" means a pelleted ration, 20 percent or more of which consists of plant protein or grain by-products.

(3)  "Salt water" means all coastal or tidal water.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 859, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  66.002.  Consent To Take Fish From Private Water.

(a) No person may catch, take, or attempt to catch or take any aquatic animal life by any means or method from any privately owned waters without the consent of the landowner or the landowner's agent.

(b)  In a prosecution under this section, the burden of proof to show consent is on the person charged.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 59, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 102, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.003.  Placing Explosives Or Harmful Substances In Water.

(a) No person may place in the water of this state an explosive, poison, or other substance or thing deleterious to fish.

(b)  Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to the use of explosives necessary for construction purposes when the use is authorized in writing by the department.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 103, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.004.  Taking Of Fish By Electric Shock Prohibited; Exception.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d) of this section, no person may catch fish by using an electricity-producing device designed to shock fish.

(b)  No person may manufacture or sell an electricity-producing device designed to shock fish.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d) of this section, no person may possess an electricity-producing device commonly used to shock fish. The possession of an electricity-producing device commonly used to shock fish, in a boat or within one-half mile of any water of this state, is a violation of this section by the person in possession of the device.

(d)  This section does not prohibit the use of an electricity-producing device of not more than three volts connected to a shrimp trawl used by an operator of a licensed commercial gulf shrimp boat in the outside water of this state at depths of more than seven fathoms. To qualify under this exemption, the commercial gulf shrimp boat and the trawl must be operating in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 77 of this code relating to the taking of shrimp.

(e)  An electricity-producing device used or possessed in violation of this section is a nuisance, and an officer of the department who has probable cause to believe that a device is used or possessed in violation of this section may search a boat, vehicle, campsite, or person and seize the device and hold it as evidence for the trial of the person in possession of the device. If the person is found guilty of a violation of this section, the department shall be responsible for the destruction of the device unless it can be utilized by the department for research purposes, or upon request the device may be released to a state-supported college or university for use in marine or aquatic research. An officer of the department who seizes or destroys a device is immune from liability for any damages resulting from seizure or destruction, and the department is likewise immune from liability for any damages resulting from seizure, destruction, or disposition thereof.

(f)  For purposes of this section, an "electricity-producing device" includes any device that produces or directs an electrical current and is used to shock, stun, disorient, or kill fish.

(g), (h) Repealed by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1662, ch. 656, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2542, ch. 676, art. 2, Sec. 1 to 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 738, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  66.005.  Wilful Destruction Of Boat, Seine, Or Net.

No person may wilfully, with the intent to injure the owner, take a boat, seine, net, or other device for fishing into prohibited water, or use a boat, seine, net, or other device for fishing to take fish unlawfully, so as to cause the destruction of the boat, seine, net, or device.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 60, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.006.  Possession Of Illegal Fishing Devices.

(a) No person may possess a device designed to catch fish or other aquatic wildlife in or on the public water of this state where the use of the device is not permitted by this code or by a proclamation of the commission under this code unless the device is on board a vessel that is in public coastal water and is:

(1)  in port; or

(2)  in a marked channel and the vessel is going directly to or from public water in this state where the use of the device is permitted.

(b)  No person may possess or use for the purpose of catching finfish a seine, strike net, gill net, or trammel net in or on the public water of this state unless the seine, strike net, gill net, or trammel net is equipped with floats at intervals of six feet or less and of sufficient buoyancy to maintain the seine, strike net, gill net, or trammel net in an upright position in the water so that the floats are visible on the surface of the water thereby avoiding a hazard to motorboat traffic.

(c)(1) No person may possess a seine, strike net, gill net, or trammel net on or within 500 yards of any public coastal water of this state where the use of the seine or net for the catching of fish is not permitted by this code or by a proclamation of the commission under this code.

(2)  It is a defense to prosecution under this subsection that the seine, strike net, gill net, or trammel net was possessed within 500 yards of a public coastal water of this state for a lawful fishing activity.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 27, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  66.007.  Exotic Harmful Or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, And Aquatic Plants.

(a) No person may import, possess, sell, or place into water of this state exotic harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants except as authorized by rule or permit issued by the department.

(b)  The department shall publish a list of:

(1)  exotic fish and exotic shellfish for which a permit under Subsection (a) is required; and

(2)  exotic aquatic plants, as provided by this section, that are approved for importation into or possession in this state without a permit.

(c)  The department shall make rules to carry out the provisions of this section.  In adopting rules that relate to exotic aquatic plants, the department shall strive to ensure that the rules are as permissive as possible without allowing the importation or possession of plants that pose environmental, economic, or health problems.

(d)  A fish farmer may import, possess, or sell harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish species as provided by Section 134.020, Agriculture Code.

(e)  In this section:

(1)  "Approved list" means the list published by the department under Subsection (b)(2) of exotic aquatic plants that a person may import into or possess in this state without an exotic species permit issued by the department.

(2)  "Exotic aquatic plant" means a nonindigenous aquatic plant that is not normally found in aquatic or riparian areas of this state.

(3)  "Exotic fish" means a nonindigenous fish that is not normally found in the public water of this state.

(4)  "Exotic shellfish" means a nonindigenous shellfish that is not normally found in the public water of this state.

(f)  A fish farmer may not import, possess, propagate, or transport exotic shellfish unless the fish farmer furnishes evidence required by the department showing that the shellfish are free of disease.

(g)  The commission may adopt rules to control a disease or agent of disease transmission that:

(1)  may affect penaeid shrimp species; and

(2)  has the potential to affect cultured species or other aquatic species.

(h)  If one or more manifestations of disease is observed in any cultured marine penaeid shrimp species, the department shall immediately place the aquaculture facility under quarantine condition. The department shall determine, by rule, the meaning of "manifestation of disease" and "quarantine condition" under this section.

(i)  The department may coordinate with the Texas Animal Health Commission regarding testing for diseases.

(j)  Except as provided in Subsection (k), an operator of an aquaculture facility under quarantine condition may not discharge waste or another substance from the facility except with approval of the department and a wastewater discharge authorization from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

(k)  Even if under quarantine condition, an aquaculture facility shall discharge wastewater or another substance as necessary to comply with an emergency plan that has been submitted to and approved by the department and incorporated into a wastewater discharge authorization issued by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

(l)  On receiving notice from an owner of the observance of manifestations of disease, the department shall immediately:

(1)  notify the Department of Agriculture, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, and the Texas Animal Health Commission; and

(2)  advise the Department of Agriculture, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, and the Texas Animal Health Commission regarding the appropriate action to be taken.

(m)  A person may not import into or possess in this state an exotic aquatic plant unless:

(1)  the plant is on the approved list; or

(2)  the person has an exotic species permit issued by the department.

(n)  In compiling the approved list, the department shall develop a process to evaluate the potential harm that may be caused by the importation or possession of exotic aquatic plant species into this state. The process must include the use of:

(1)  a risk assessment model to help determine the potential harm of a species to the aquatic environment;

(2)  published scientific research findings;

(3)  findings from regulatory agencies; or

(4)  scientific analyses from third-party laboratories.

(o)  The approved list must include an exotic aquatic plant that:

(1)  is widespread in this state; and

(2)  is not, as determined by the department, a cause of environmental, economic, or health problems.

(p)  The department shall develop an expedited process for obtaining approval for inclusion on the approved list of a previously unknown exotic aquatic plant.  The commission may remove an exotic aquatic plant from the approved list if the results of further analysis conducted under Subsection (n) indicate that the plant should not be on the list.  The department may enact an emergency rule as provided by Chapter 2001, Government Code, to remove an exotic aquatic plant from the approved list if the plant is determined to cause environmental, economic, or health problems.

(q)  The commission shall exercise final approval for the inclusion of each plant on the approved list.

(r)  In accordance with commission rules, the department may issue an exotic species permit to a permit applicant for an exotic aquatic plant not on the approved list if the proposed use of the plant is:

(1)  as an experimental organism in a medical or other scientific research program approved by the department;

(2)  as part of an exhibit approved by the department in a public aquarium or public zoo; or

(3)  for an appropriate use that will not result in potential environmental, economic, or health problems.

(s)  Nothing in this subchapter regarding exotic aquatic plants restricts the department's authority under this code regarding exotic harmful or potentially harmful fish or shellfish.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 637, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 586, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1239, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 952, Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 66.0071.  Removal Of  Harmful Aquatic Plants.

On leaving any public or private body of water in this state, a person shall immediately remove and lawfully dispose of any  exotic aquatic plant not included on the approved list published under Section 66.007(b)(2) that is clinging or attached to the person's:

(1)  vessel or watercraft; or

(2)  trailer, motor vehicle, or other mobile device used to transport or launch a vessel or watercraft.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 992, Sec. 27, eff. June 18, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 952, Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  66.008.  Fishing From Bridge.

(a) No person may fish from the deck or road surface of any bridge or causeway on a road maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation.

(b)  No person may deposit or leave any dead fish, crab, or bait on the deck or road surface of any bridge or causeway on a road maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation.

(c)  The Texas Department of Transportation shall post appropriate signs on all bridges and causeways affected by this section.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 22(66), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  66.009.  Navigation Districts.

(a) No person may use a seine or net of any type, trotline, or other mechanical or physical device, except hook and line, to catch fish in a channel, turning basin, or other water of a navigation district operating under Chapter 63, Water Code.

(b)  The possession of a mechanical device referred to in Subsection (a) of this section within a navigation district operating under Chapter 63, Water Code, is prima facie evidence of a violation of Subsection (a) of this section.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.0091.  Fishing In Certain Man-made Waterways.

(a) This section applies to a county in which at least 60 percent of the total area of the county is regularly covered by water and in which the majority of the total area of a wildlife refuge for species of wildlife on the federal endangered species list is located.

(b)  No person may take or attempt to take fish of any variety by the use of nets, except hand-cast nets or minnow seines, from any canal or other artificial or man-made waterway within any platted subdivision platted under Chapter 231, Acts of the 40th Legislature, Regular Session, 1927 (Article 974a, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), if two or more residences abut onto the canal or waterway.

(c)  No person may set any net in the mouth of a canal or waterway described in this section that interferes with or impedes the free movement of fish into or out of the canal or waterway.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 635, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1987.



Section  66.011.  Leaving Fish To Die.

A person commits an offense if the person leaves edible fish or bait fish taken from the public waters of this state to die without the intent to retain the fish for consumption or bait.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 4, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.012.  Penalties. (

a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a person who violates a provision of this subchapter or a rule adopted by the commission under this subchapter commits an offense that is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(b)  A person who violates Section 66.003, 66.004, 66.005, 66.006(c), 66.007, 66.009, 66.015, 66.021, or 66.0091 of this code commits an offense that is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(c)  If it is shown at the trial of the defendant for a violation of Section 66.004, 66.006(c), 66.007, or 66.015 of this code that the defendant has been convicted once before the trial date of a violation of the same section, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a Class A Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(d)  If it is shown at the trial of the defendant for a violation of Section 66.004, 66.007, or 66.015 of this code that the defendant has been convicted two or more times before the trial date of a violation of the same section, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a Parks and Wildlife Code felony.

(e)  If it is shown at the trial of the defendant for a violation of Section 66.020(f) or 66.020(g) of this code or a proclamation adopted by the commission under those sections that the defendant has been convicted within five years before the trial date of a violation of the section for which the defendant is being prosecuted, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(f)  If it is shown at the trial for a violation of Section 66.020(f) or 66.020(g) of this code or a proclamation adopted by the commission under those sections that the defendant has been convicted two or more times within five years before the trial date of a violation of the section for which the defendant is being prosecuted, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a Class A Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 61, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 635, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 637, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 738, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  66.013.  Federal Grants.

Federal grants for research and development of commercial fisheries may be used for individual fishery projects with the approval of the department.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 637, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  66.014.  Identification Of Vehicle Transporting Aquatic Products.

(a) No person may transport any aquatic product for commercial purposes unless the person clearly identifies the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer as a vehicle that carries aquatic products. The commission shall prescribe by proclamation the identification requirements for a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer transporting aquatic products, and the commission may prescribe that the identification shall list the state of origin of the aquatic products. In this subsection, "motor vehicle," "trailer," and "semitrailer" have the meanings assigned by Section 541.201, Transportation Code.

(b)  A person who violates this section commits an offense. An offense under this section is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(c)  "Aquatic product" means any uncooked, fresh or frozen aquatic animal life.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 827, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. Renumbered from Sec. 66.011 by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 5.01(a)(40), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.235, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 104, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.015.  Introduction Of Fish, Shellfish, And Aquatic Plants.

(a) In this section, "public water" means the bays, estuaries, and water of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the state, and the rivers, streams, creeks, bayous, reservoirs, lakes, and portions of those waters where public access is available without discrimination.

(b)  No person may place any species of fish, shellfish, or aquatic plant into the public water of the state without a permit issued by the department.

(c)  The department shall establish rules and regulations governing the issuance of permits under this section.

(d)  Subsection (b) of this section does not apply to native, nongame fish as defined by the commission, except in waters designated by the commission where threatened or endangered fish are present.

(e)  A person violates this section if fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants the person possesses or has placed in nonpublic water escape into the public water of the state and the person does not hold a permit issued under this section.

(f)  An employee of the department acting at the direction of the commission is exempt from this section.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 637, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 105, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.016.  Commercial Fishing Regulations Applicable If Commercial Plates On Board.

(a) A person on board a boat licensed or required to be licensed for a commercial fishing activity under Chapter 47, 76, 77, or 78, or any other chapter of this code may not catch and retain any fish species whose sale is prohibited when taken from Texas waters. While commercial fishing plates are on board, all commercial fishing regulations, size limits, bag limits, possession limits, and the prohibited possession of noncommercial fish species apply.

(b)  Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to a person on board a boat licensed under Chapter 47, 76, 77, or 78 of this code if no commercial fishing plates are on board. While no commercial fishing plates are on board, all recreational fishing regulations, size limits, bag limits, and possession limits apply.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 73, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 455, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  66.017.  License, Tag, And Permit Expirations And Transfers.

(a) All licenses, tags, and permits issued under the authority of Chapter 66 of this code are valid only during the yearly period for which they are issued without regard to the date on which the licenses are acquired. Each yearly period begins on September 1 or another date set by the commission and extends through August 31 of the next year or another date set by the commission. The commission by rule may set the amount of a license fee for a license issued during a transition period at an amount lower than prescribed in this chapter and provide for a license term for a transition period that is shorter or longer than a year.

(b)  All licenses, tags, and permits issued under the authority of Chapter 66 of this code may not be transferred to another person except that a license issued in the name of a business shall remain valid for the business location specified on the license or permit if a change of ownership and/or business name occurs. A license issued under the authority of Section 66.020(e) may be transferred to a new address if the business moves to another location. The commission, by regulation, may prescribe requirements necessary to clarify license and permit transfer procedures and may prescribe, by regulation, forms to be used and fees to be charged for transfer of licenses and permits in this chapter and for duplicate or replacement licenses, tags, and permits.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 365, Sec. 15, eff. May 31, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 931, Sec. 67, eff. June 16, 1995.



Section  66.018.  Crab Trap Tags.

(a) The department may issue tags for crab traps placed in public water.

(b)  The commission may make regulations for the safe use of crab traps and to carry out the provisions of this section.

(c)  A crab trap tag issued under this section shall be attached to each crab trap placed in public water. The department may collect a maximum fee of $1.50 for each tag issued under this section; provided, however, that upon adoption of a crab management plan and the establishment of a crab advisory committee, the commission may determine the amount of the fee.

(d)  No person may place a crab trap in public water unless a crab trap tag is attached to the trap unless a proclamation under Subchapter B, Chapter 78, requires a license that does not require the use of crab trap tags.

(e)  This section shall not apply to persons taking crabs from public water for personal use.

(f)  If the commission adopts a license under Subchapter B, Chapter 78, the department may not collect a fee for any crab trap tag.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 908, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 129, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.019.  Statistical Reports.

(a) The department shall gather statistical information on the harvest of aquatic products of this state.

(b)  The department shall prescribe the method or methods used to gather information and shall produce and distribute any applicable report forms.

(c)  Unless otherwise required by the department, no dealer who purchases or receives aquatic products directly from any person other than a licensed dealer may fail to file the report with the department each month on or before the 10th day of the month following the month in which the reportable activity occurred. The report must be filed even if no reportable activity occurs in the month covered by the report. No dealer required to report may file an incorrect or false report. A culpable mental state is not required to establish an offense under this section.

(d)  Unless otherwise required by the department, no dealer who purchases, receives, or handles aquatic products, other than oysters, from any person except another dealer may fail to:

(1)  maintain cash sale tickets in the form required by this section as records of cash sale transactions; or

(2)  make the cash sale tickets available for examination by authorized employees of the department for statistical purposes or as a part of an ongoing investigation of a criminal violation during reasonable business hours of the dealer.

(e)  All cash sale tickets must be maintained at the place of business for at least one year from the date of the sale.

(f)  A cash sale ticket must include:

(1)  the name of the seller;

(2)  the general commercial fisherman's license number and the commercial finfish fisherman's license number or the general commercial fisherman's license number and the commercial crab fisherman's license number, as applicable, if the holder of the general commercial fisherman's license is selling finfish or crabs;

(3)  the general commercial fisherman's license number, the commercial crab fisherman's license number, the commercial finfish fisherman's license number, the commercial shrimp boat captain's license number, the commercial shrimp boat license number, or the commercial fishing boat license number of the seller or of the vessel used to take the aquatic product, as applicable;

(4)  the number of pounds sold by species;

(5)  the date of sale;

(6)  the water body or bay system from which the aquatic products were taken; and

(7)  price paid per pound per species.

(g)  Any person who violates Subsection (c) or (d) of this section is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 827, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Redesignated from Sec. 66.209 and amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 586, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991 and Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 221, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 862, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 455, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  66.020.  Sale And Purchase Of Protected Fish.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to buy or offer to buy, sell or offer to sell, possess for the purpose of sale, transport or ship for the purpose of sale, barter, or exchange bass of the genus Micropterus, blue marlin, crappie, flathead catfish, jewfish, longbill spearfish, muskellunge, northern pike, red drum, sailfish, sauger, snook, spotted sea trout, striped bass, tarpon, walleye, white bass, white marlin, yellow bass, or hybrids of any of those fish.

(b)  This section applies to the possession, transportation, sale, or purchase of any fish described by Subsection (a) of this section without regard to where the fish was taken, caught, or raised, but does not apply to:

(1)  the transportation or possession of fish taken, caught, or raised outside this state and transported by common carrier without being unloaded from outside this state to a point of delivery outside this state;

(2)  fish raised by being continuously fed a prepared feed and sold by a licensed Texas fish farmer if marked and identified as required under Chapter 134, Agriculture Code; or

(3)  the lawful importation by the holder of a Texas finfish import license into this state from another state or foreign country of farm-raised red drum, bass of the genus Micropterus, crappie, flathead catfish, striped bass, white bass, or a hybrid of any of those fish that have been continuously fed a prepared feed as a primary food source or lawfully taken, caught, or raised blue marlin, jewfish, longbill spearfish, muskellunge, northern pike, sailfish, sauger, snook, spotted sea trout, tarpon, walleye, white marlin, yellow bass, or a hybrid of any of those fish, if the fish are transported or sold when not alive and are tagged, invoiced, packaged, and labeled under regulations of the commission and if the license holder complies with any requirements the commission may establish by proclamation that the fish enter the stream of commerce for sale in this state in a condition allowing ready identification of the species, including a requirement that the fish come into the state with the head and tail intact and tagged and a requirement that an invoice accompany all imported fish regulated by this section through each sales transaction, including transactions at the place of the final sale to the consumer.

(c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (b)(3) of this section, the commission may allow subsequent sale of lawfully imported fish without the head and tail intact and without a tag if the fish are labeled in a manner prescribed by the commission and the tag when removed is destroyed. A tag, if required, must be of a type prescribed by the commission and shall be sold to an applicant at a cost as determined by the commission that is reasonable to defray the administrative costs incurred in connection with the tag requirement.

(d)  It is unlawful for any person to receive directly from another state or foreign country, import, transport, or sell bass of the genus Micropterus, blue marlin, crappie, flathead catfish, jewfish, longbill spearfish, muskellunge, northern pike, red drum, sailfish, sauger, snook, spotted sea trout, striped bass, tarpon, walleye, white bass, white marlin, yellow bass, or a hybrid of any of those fish unless the person holds a Texas finfish import license issued by the department.

(e)  The fee for a Texas finfish import license is $50 or an amount set by the commission, whichever amount is more.

(f)  The commission by proclamation may require fish imported under this section to be tagged, packaged, and labeled and to be accompanied by an invoice. The department may provide a prenumbered invoice to a person importing any of the fish described by Subsection (a) of this section into this state from another state or foreign country and may charge a fee for the invoice in an amount determined by the commission that is reasonable to defray the administrative costs incurred under this subsection. The invoice shall be used to report shipments of any of the fish described by Subsection (a) of this section. A person who receives invoices under this subsection must account to the department for all invoices received as required by rules adopted by the commission. A person commits an offense if the person fails or refuses to account for an invoice as required by commission rules.

(g)  It is unlawful for a person to sell or offer to sell any imported fish described by Subsection (a) of this section unless it is tagged, packaged, invoiced, and labeled for identification as provided by this section.

(h)  A person may purchase at any season of the year fish described by Subsection (a) as provided by this section.

(i)  A person possessing more than three times the possession limit, as provided by this code or by a proclamation of the commission under this code, of fish described by Subsection (a) of this section without lawful documentation commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class A Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(j)  In this chapter the names of fishes are those prescribed by the American Fisheries Society in the most recent edition of "A List of Common and Scientific Names of Fishes of the United States and Canada."

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 859, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1239, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  66.021.  Protected Fish: Display Of Documents.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person possesses a fish described by Subsection 66.020(a) of this code under Subsection 66.020(b) of this code and:

(1)  fails to keep with the fish a document or documents that verify the place of origin of the fish; or

(2)  fails, on the request of a game warden, to present to the game warden without delay a document or documents that verify the place of origin of the fish.

(b)  Documents that verify the place of origin of any fish described by Subsection 66.020(a) of this code include tags, labels, or invoices required by this code, a regulation of the commission, Chapter 134 of the Agriculture Code, or a regulation of the commissioner of agriculture.

(c)  To commit an offense under Subsection (a) of this section, a person is not required to have a culpable mental state.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  66.022.  Purchase For Evidence.

A person authorized by the department who, for the purpose of establishing testimony, purchases or sells any aquatic life the purchase or sale of which is prohibited or regulated by this code is immune from prosecution for the purchases or sales. A conviction for the unlawful purchase or sale of any aquatic animal may be sustained on the uncorroborated testimony of the person authorized by the department to purchase or sell aquatic life.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Subchapter B. Fresh Water Fishing

Section  66.102.  Placing Prohibited Devices In Public Water.

A device designed to catch fish or other aquatic wildlife resources that is placed in the public fresh water of this state in violation of a law or commission proclamation is a nuisance, and a game warden or other peace officer shall confiscate and dispose of the device as provided by Section 12.1105 of this code. A game warden or other peace officer is immune from liability for the destruction of devices found in violation of this section.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 23, ch. 9, art. I, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 29, 1983.



Section  66.109.  Fish Ladders.

(a) The department, by written order, may require the owner of a public or private dam or other obstruction on a regularly flowing public freshwater stream to construct or repair fishways or fish ladders sufficient to allow fish in all seasons to ascend or descend the dam or other obstruction for the purpose of depositing spawn.

(b)  An owner who fails to construct or repair a fishway or fish ladder within 90 days after receiving the written order commits an offense. Each week of violation following the 90-day period constitutes a separate offense.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 62, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 106, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.110.  Screens To Protect Fish.

(a) The department may direct a person or corporation taking fresh water of the state to cover the entrance of the intake canal, pipe, or other device used for taking water with a screen to protect fish.

(b)  The department may regulate the manner of installation and the specifications of screens and other obstructions required under this section.

(c)  No person may fail to comply with a direction of the department made in writing under Subsection (a) of this section.

(d)  Each day's failure to comply with this section constitutes a separate offense.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 63, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.111.  Sale And Purchase Of Certain Fish.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) no person may buy or offer to buy, sell or offer to sell, possess for the purpose of sale, transport or ship for the purpose of sale, or barter or exchange:

(1)  freshwater crappie, bass of the genus Micropterus, striped bass and hybrids of striped bass, white bass, walleye, sauger, northern pike, muskellunge, trout of the family Salmonidae, flathead catfish; or

(2)  any other fish taken from the public fresh water of this state.

(b)  Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to:

(1)  a fish, other than a bass of the genus Micropterus, reared in private water under a fish farmer's license;

(2)  a fish possessed legally outside this state and transported into this state;

(3)  bass of the genus Micropterus reared in private water under a fish farmer's license and marketed for the purpose of stocking the water of this state;

(4)  nongame fish regulated under Chapter 67 of this code;

(5)  channel catfish of more than 14 inches in length or blue catfish of more than 14 inches in length taken from the public fresh water of Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Franklin, Freestone, Gregg, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Jasper, Jefferson, Lamar, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Red River, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, or Walker County, the public fresh water of the Neches or Trinity River in Houston County, or the public fresh water of the Colorado River in Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, Matagorda, or Wharton County.

(c)  The fish shipped into this state must have a bill of lading with the shipment stating the number, pounds, and species of fish in the shipment, their place of origin, the name and address of the shipper, the name and address of the receiver, and the date of the shipment. The receiver of the shipment must keep the bills of lading on file for not less than one year from the date of shipment.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1204, ch. 456, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 908, ch. 416, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 27, 1979; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, art. 4, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 827, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 608, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 586, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 409, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 912, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  66.114.  Game And Nongame Fish Defined: Commission Proclamation.

The commission by proclamation shall define game and nongame fish.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 4, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 409, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  66.119.  Fraud In Freshwater Fishing Tournaments.

(a) In this section, "fishing tournament" means a contest in which a prize is to be awarded to one or more participants in the contest based on the weight, length, number, or type of freshwater fish caught by the participants or based on any other criteria applicable to the fish caught.

(b)  A person commits an offense if, with intent to affect the outcome of a fishing tournament:

(1)  the person provides, offers to provide, sells, or offers to sell a fish to a participant in the tournament for the purpose of representing that the fish was caught by the participant in the course of the tournament;

(2)  the person, as a participant in the tournament, accepts or agrees to accept a fish from another person for the purpose of representing that the fish was caught by the participant in the course of the tournament; or

(3)  the person, as a participant in the tournament, represents that a fish was caught by the person in the course of the tournament when in fact the fish was not caught by that person or the fish was not caught in the course of that tournament.

(c)  A person commits an offense if the person sponsors or conducts a fishing tournament and knows of the occurrence in the tournament of activity prohibited by Subsection (b) of this section and does not immediately notify a law enforcement officer commissioned by the director of its occurrence.

(d)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that if the offense occurred during a tournament in which any prize or combination of prizes to be awarded for any one category for which an award is given, whether the prize or prizes are to an individual or a team, is worth $10,000 or more in money or goods, the offense is a felony of the third degree.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 109, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.121.  Penalty. A Person Who Vi

olates Section 66.109, 66.110, 66.111, or 66.117(b) of this code or a regulation adopted under Section 66.115 of this code commits an offense that is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 64, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Renumbered from Sec. 66.119 by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 5.01(a)(41), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter C. Saltwater Fishing

Section  66.2011.  Red Drum And Speckled Sea Trout: Penalties.

In addition to the penalty provided in Section 66.218, a person who violates a proclamation issued under Chapter 61 shall have all equipment, other than vessels, in the person's possession used for the taking of red drum or speckled sea trout confiscated. A person who violates a proclamation issued under Chapter 61 three or more times within a five-year period shall have all equipment, including vessels, in the person's possession used for the taking of redfish or speckled sea trout confiscated.

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 722, ch. 270, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 375, ch. 153, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 33, ch. 9, art. II, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 29, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 969, ch. 229, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4054, ch. 634, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 66, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 107, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.2012.  Regulation Of Commercial Uses Of Redfish And Speckled Sea Trout.

(a) The commission by proclamation may regulate the catching, possession, transportation, sale, and purchase for commercial purposes in this state of redfish and speckled sea trout. A proclamation issued under this section must contain findings by the commission that support the need for the proclamation.

(b)  In determining whether to permit or prohibit any commercial use of redfish and speckled sea trout under Subsection (a) of this section, the commission shall consider:

(1)  the availability of redfish and speckled sea trout in the coastal water of this state;

(2)  the availability of redfish and speckled sea trout from sources other than the coastal water of this state;

(3)  the economic interests of commercial and sports fishermen and related industries in this state;

(4)  the research of the department made under Section 66.217 of this code;

(5)  the protection of redfish and speckled sea trout habitat; and

(6)  the degree of compliance with state law and previous regulations of the commission by fishermen and fish dealers in this state.

(c)  A proclamation issued under Subsection (a) of this section may limit the number and size of redfish and speckled sea trout that may be caught, possessed, transported, sold, or purchased and may prescribe the times, places, conditions, and means and manner of catching redfish and speckled sea trout.

(d)  A proclamation of the commission under this section prevails over any conflicting provision of Section 66.020 to the extent of the conflict and only during the period that the proclamation is in effect.

(e)  This section does not apply to activities that are regulated under the exceptions provided by Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Section 66.020(b) or under Subsections (f) and (g) of that section.

(f)  A person who violates a proclamation issued under Subsection (a) is guilty of an offense and is punishable for the first and subsequent offenses by the penalties prescribed by Sections 66.2011 and 66.218.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 378, ch. 153, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 970, ch. 229, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1256, Sec. 108, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  66.204.  Vessels And Obstructions In Fish Passes.

(a) The commission by proclamation may regulate the placement of obstructions, traps, and mooring in fish passes and the marking of restricted areas in any natural or artificial pass that is opened, reopened, dredged, excavated, constructed, or maintained by the department as a fish pass between the Gulf of Mexico and an inland bay.

(b)  No person may operate, possess, or moor a vessel or other floating device, or may place any piling, wire, rope, cable, net, trap, or other obstruction, in a natural or artificial pass opened, reopened, dredged, excavated, constructed, or maintained by the department as a fish pass between the Gulf of Mexico and an inland bay within the distance inside the pass from the mouth of the pass where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico to a marker or sign erected by the department indicating the restricted area.

(c)  This section does not restrict the power of the United States to regulate navigation.

(d)  Repealed by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 1, eff. April 25, 1997.



Section  66.206.  Trotline Tags.

(a) The department shall issue numbered tags for trotlines used in public salt water.

(b)  The commission may make regulations for the safe use of trotlines and to carry out the provisions of this section.

(c)  A trotline tag shall be attached to each 300 feet of trotline or fractional part of 300 feet. The department shall collect a fee of $2 for each tag issued or an amount set by the commission, whichever amount is more.

(d)  No person may use a trotline in public salt water unless the trotline has attached to it the proper number of trotline tags.

(e)  This section does not apply to a person fishing trotlines under a commercial finfish fisherman's license.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 382, ch. 190, Sec. 5(2), eff. May 20, 1977.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 382, ch. 190, Sec. 5(2), eff. May 20, 1977; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 1337, ch. 277, Sec. 44, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 2, Sec. 61, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 455, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2000.



Section  66.208.  Commercial Joint Fishing Ventures.

(a) No person who is engaged in taking seafood in a commercial joint venture may sell or offer to sell the products of the joint venture except in the regular course of the joint venture with the express or implied consent of the co-venturer.

(b)  No person who is employed to take seafood may sell or offer to sell the products taken in the course of his employment without the express or implied consent of his employer.

(c)  No person may purchase seafood with the knowledge that it is sold in violation of Subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(d)  Repealed by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.215.  Tags For Noncommercial Nets And Seines.

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b) of this section, no person may place or use in the coastal water of this state a net or seine unless there is attached to the net or seine a tag that discloses the name and address of the owner of the net or seine.

(b)  This section does not apply to a person who holds a commercial fishing license under Chapter 47 of this code or to a net or seine on which there is attached the license required by Section 47.015 of this code.

(c)  Authorized employees of the department may seize a net or seine in coastal water in violation of this section and retain the net or seine as evidence. If the owner of the net or seine seized under this subsection is not identified before the expiration of 90 days after its seizure, the net or seine may be disposed of under Section 12.011 of this code or as provided by other law.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1166, ch. 565, Sec. 1, eff. July 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 72, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.216.  Possession Of Headed Or Tailed Fish.

No person may possess a finfish of any species taken from coastal water, except broadbill swordfish, shark, and king mackerel, that has the head or tail removed unless the fish has been finally processed and delivered to the final destination or to a certified wholesale or retail dealer.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 376, ch. 153, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 73, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.217.  Finfish Research.

(a) The department shall conduct continuous research and study of:

(1)  the supply, economic value, environment, and breeding habits of the various species of finfish, including red drum and speckled sea trout;

(2)  factors affecting the increase or decrease of finfish supply;

(3)  the use of trawls, nets, and other devices for the taking of finfish;

(4)  the effect on finfish of industrial and other types of water pollution in areas naturally frequented by finfish; and

(5)  statistical information gathered by the department on the marketing, harvesting, processing, and catching of finfish landed in this state.

(b)  The department shall make findings based on the research required by Subsection (a) of this section.

(c)  The findings shall be filed in the permanent records of the department.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 378, ch. 153, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 391, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.



Section  66.218.  Penalties.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a person who violates a provision of this subchapter or a proclamation adopted under this subchapter commits an offense that is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(b)  If it is shown at the trial for a violation of Section 66.2011, 66.2012, 66.2014, or 66.208 of this code or a proclamation adopted under those sections that the defendant has been convicted within five years before the trial date of a violation of the section for which the defendant is being prosecuted, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 74, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 723, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Subchapter D. Texas Territorial Water

Section  66.301.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "coastal water" means all of the salt water of this state, including that portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.



Section  66.303.  Prohibited Acts.

No unlicensed alien vessel may take or attempt to take by any means or possess any natural resource of the coastal water of this state.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 75, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  66.304.  Port Authorities And Navigation Districts.

It is the duty of the port authorities and navigation districts of this state to prevent the use of any port facility in a manner that they reasonably suspect may assist in the violation of this subchapter. They shall use all reasonable means, including the inspection of nautical logs, to ascertain from masters of newly arrived vessels of all types, other than warships of the United States, the presence of alien commercial fishing vessels within the coastal water of this state and shall promptly transmit the information to the department and to law enforcement agencies of this state as the situation may indicate. They shall request assistance from the United States Coast Guard in appropriate cases to prevent unauthorized departure from any port facility.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.



Section  66.305.  Harbor Pilots.

All harbor pilots shall promptly transmit any knowledge coming to their attention regarding possible violations of this subchapter to the appropriate navigation district or port authority or the appropriate law enforcement officials.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.



Section  66.306.  Enforcement.

All law enforcement agencies of the state, including agents of the department, are empowered and directed to arrest the masters and crews of vessels that are reasonably believed to be in violation of this chapter and to seize and detain the vessels and their equipment and catch. The arresting officer shall take the offending crews or property before the court having jurisdiction of the offense. The agencies are directed to request assistance from the United States Coast Guard in the enforcement of this Act when the agencies are without means to effectuate arrest and restraint of vessels and their crews operating in violation or probable violation of this subchapter.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.



Section  66.307.  Political Asylum.

No crew member or master seeking bona fide political asylum shall be fined or imprisoned under this subchapter.

Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1405, ch. 545, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.



Section  66.308.  Penalty.

A captain, master, or owner of an unlicensed alien vessel or boat who violates Section 66.303 of this code commits an offense that is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 267, art. 3, Sec. 76, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


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