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New rules in Texas seek to prevent invasive species

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a rule requiring anyone leaving or approaching public waters in 17 north Texas counties to drain their boats to prevent the further spread of invasive zebra mussels and is proposing that 28 additional north and central Texas counties be added to the mandate.

As a result of the rule, live fish could not be transported in water that comes from the water body where they were caught, which could affect off-site tournament weigh-ins, according to Water News of Texas.

Personally caught live bait could be used only in the water where it was caught.

Anglers would be allowed to transport and use commercially purchased live bait in water, provided they have a receipt that identifies the source of the bait. Any live bait in water purchased from a location on or adjacent to a public water body could only be used as bait on that water body.

Anglers and boaters leaving or approaching public water will be required to take all reasonable steps to drain all water from their vessel, including live wells, bilges, motors and any other receptacles or water intake systems that resulted from contact with public water.

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