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Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 [AR]

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TPWD News Release — May 22, 2006

Public Meetings Slated for Spotted Seatrout Management in South Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries biologists will host three public meetings in June to discuss the Lower Laguna Madre spotted seatrout fishery and to receive public input on the topic.

Meetings are slated for:

All meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are open to anyone interested in spotted seatrout management.

A coast-wide spotted seatrout stock assessment completed by TPWD in April delivered mostly good news about the ever-popular game fish. Stocks overall are doing extremely well in Texas; however, in the Lower Laguna Madre, sampling data and models show a clear downward trend in both the size and numbers of spotted seatrout.

The bay still boasts catch rates as high as or higher than any other bays on the Texas coast.

“This is not a fishery in crisis,” said Randy Blankinship, TPWD ecosystem leader for the Lower Laguna Madre. “There is no danger of spotted seatrout stocks collapsing; it’s more a question of reversing these trends and getting a high quality fishery back to the very high quality fishery we have historically known.”

Coastal Fisheries biologists said several options are under consideration. They include changes in bag and size limits and the possibility of regional management measures that could address the unique spotted seatrout trends observed in the Lower Laguna Madre.

For more information about the meetings, call the TPWD Brownsville Field Station at (956) 350-4490.

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