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By TexasJim
#2315605
I keep seeing references to the Release Over 20 Initiative. What do y'all think of it? I personally would like to catch a gator trout, but would CPR it. I'd rather catch 3 under 20" and release the rest. I don't even need five of those. A 19 inch flounder is also plenty big for me.

Maybe Ron & Neumie can re-educate us on the male/female stats of trout over and under 20 inches? When the TPWD finishes their freeze evaluations, they may set our limits for us. TexasJim
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By Ron Mc
#2315613
My trout life cycle theory is big females live alone and stake out an area that can support their young. They breed in this area, but still travel up to 20 miles to structure to feed, and return to their breeding turf. This has been documented with tagging from tournaments.
The nursery trout live in the nursery until about 15 to 16". At that age, the females spread out to find their own turf, and the males school together to chase bait - schoolies - also traveling 20-25 mi/day to feed.
We routinely catch schoolie males to 23", prinicipally in the Arroyo, but have also found them coming to the Aransas Bay platforms to feed, and of course many times in the surf.
A rare 28" male trout was reported and verified on corpusfishing forum.

I see the purpose of the state reg one-over-25" limit, because that fish is most probably a female. But after catching hundreds of trout to 23" in the Arroyo in winter, and only filleting one 16" female from that total number, there is no reason to have an arbitrary 20" fish limit. We normally go the other way, and prefer those 17" to 22" males as the perfect fillet size.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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By Ron Mc
#2315615
none that I know of - I kept a 17" fish at Estes last September, and was disappointed at the fillet table to discover she was hen.
The best approach is releasing those fish over 25" or if you want to pick a smaller number, make it 23"
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By Neumie
#2315617
TexasJim wrote:I keep seeing references to the Release Over 20 Initiative. What do y'all think of it? I personally would like to catch a gator trout, but would CPR it. I'd rather catch 3 under 20" and release the rest. I don't even need five of those. A 19 inch flounder is also plenty big for me.

Maybe Ron & Neumie can re-educate us on the male/female stats of trout over and under 20 inches? When the TPWD finishes their freeze evaluations, they may set our limits for us. TexasJim


This TPWD pamphlet has quite a bit of information in it: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwd ... atrout.pdf

Basically, speckled trout reach sexual maturity around 2 years of age. At that point a male trout is 14" and a female is 17". It takes about 8 years for a male trout to reach 20" whereas a female reaches 20" around its 3rd year.
By SWFinatic
#2315652
Is this a long term initiative or an interim initiative? I'm more concerned with the short term right now. TPWD likely won't have their recommendations from the fish kill out until July. Lots of damage can be done to the trout population in 4 months with the amount of pressure on the fish these days especially when that time frame encompasses the spawn.
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By K5RCD
#2315995
I intend to concentrate on catching and keeping reds and flounder as usual, along with a few trout. The few trout I keep will likely be under about 20 inches, or maybe larger only if they are gut or gill hooked.

As far as the long term regulations are concerned, TPWD will have completed their studies in time for their biologists recommendations to be adopted on September 1 as is normal. I hope TPWD will adopt their BIOLOGISTS recommendations, and not be influenced by political interests, (PARTICULARLY FROM CCA) or armchair opinions from we amateurs in the peanut gallery. While we are all entitled to our feel good opinions, we should rely on the experts who consider the entire biomass conditions.
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By K5RCD
#2315996
TexasJim wrote:Thanks for your input Ron. Is there a way, without killing the fish, to tell males from females? TexasJim


The females smell like FISH! :lol:

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