Proposed Changes to Hammerhead Shark and Grouper Regulations

AUSTIN —The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking public comment on proposed modifications to hammerhead shark and grouper regulations. The proposed changes would alter the current size and possession limits for hammerhead sharks and grouper to be consistent with federal regulations. This will reduce confusion for anglers fishing in state and federal waters and enhance compliance, administration and enforcement. All public input will be considered prior to any action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 23 public hearing.

The proposed changes to the 2016-17 Statewide Saltwater Recreational Fishing regulations include:

Increasing the minimum size limit to 99 inches for scalloped, smooth, and great hammerhead sharks;
establishing a 24-inch minimum size limit and a 4 fish per day bag limit for black grouper;
establishing a bag limit of catch and release only for Nassau grouper and;
increasing the minimum size limit to 24 inches for gag grouper.

Additional details on these proposals will be published in the Texas Register and available for review in February and in narrated presentations to be archived on TPWD’s website.

Comments on the proposed great hammerhead shark and grouper regulations may be submitted by phone or e-mail to Tiffany Hopper (512) 389-4650; e-mail:, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. Comments may also be submitted through the department’s Internet web site once the proposals have been published in the Texas Register.

A live online public hearing via webinar will also be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Details and instructions for participation in the online public hearing webinar will be made available on the TPWD website.