Officials: State laws apply to fishing in Texarkana parks
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — As spring weather draws anglers outdoors, city officials are reminding residents that state laws apply to fishing in Texarkana’s parks.
People who fish in the two Arkansas-side and four Texas-side parks that allow it must follow state licensing, limits and other rules.
“Not everybody follows those rules like they’re supposed to, but sometimes it’s because they’re not educated on it. They may not stop and read the signs. They just see water and go fish,” said Ross Cowling, Arkansas-side parks and recreation superintendent.
In Texarkana, Arkansas, fishing is allowed in Bobby Ferguson Park and Bramble Park. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocks the ponds at both parks as part of its Family and Community Fishing Program, which has specific rules.
Family and Community Fishing locations are open to fishing with rods or poles only, according to the AGFC website. Largemouth bass must be released immediately. Catfish daily limit is three. Bream daily limit is 25. Trout daily limit is five.
Anglers 16 and older must have a valid license to fish and must also have a trout permit if they intend to keep trout.
Three of the four Texarkana, Texas, parks that allow fishing — Spring Lake Park, Grady T. Wallace Park and Karrh Park — are part of a similar Community Fishing Lakes Program governed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texarkana Gazette reported .
Fishing at Texas Community Fishing Lakes is by pole and line only, according to the TPWD website. An angler may use no more than two poles while fishing.
For largemouth and smallmouth bass, the minimum length limit is 14 inches. There is no minimum length for Alabama, Guadalupe or spotted bass. Daily bag limit is five fish for all black bass species in any combination.
For striped and hybrid striped bass, minimum length limit is 18 inches and the daily bag limit is five in any combination. For white bass, minimum length is 10 inches and the daily bag limit is 25. There are no bag or size limits for yellow bass.
There is no minimum length limit or daily bag limit for common carp.
For channel and blue catfish, there is no minimum length and the combined daily bag limit is five. For flathead catfish, minimum length is 18 inches and the daily bag limit is five.
For white and black crappie, their hybrids and subspecies, minimum length limit is 10 inches. Daily bag limit is 25 in any combination.
For alligator gar, daily bag limit is one fish of any size. No bag limits on other species of gar. Certain areas may be temporarily closed to alligator gar fishing when optimal spawning conditions occur.
There is no minimum length or daily bag limit on bluegill, redear, warmouth or other species of sunfish, aka bream.
For rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids and subspecies, there is no minimum length and the daily bag limit is five trout in any combination.
The usual, statewide length and limit restrictions apply to fishing at Bringle Lake Wilderness Area, which is not part of the Texas Community Fishing Lakes Program.
Fishing at any Texas-side park requires a valid state license. People younger than 17 years old, Texas residents born before 1931, Louisiana residents 65 years old or older who have a Louisiana license and Oklahoma residents 65 or older may fish without a Texas license.
TPWD is in the process of restocking the pond at Spring Lake Park, starting with about 500 sunfish released a week ago. Fishing is not legally restricted at Spring Lake Park, but the best practice is to avoid harvesting fish from the pond until populations have had some time to recover, said Tim Bister, a TPWD fisheries biologist. Bister advised catching and releasing fish there instead.
Information from: Texarkana Gazette, http://www.texarkanagazette.com