Tribute to Dickie Colburn and Trout Regulation Proposals

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of longtime friend and TSFMag correspondent Dickie Colburn. Dickie was a talented angler and guide, known throughout the fishing community for his fishing reports in many publications and long career guiding fishermen on Sabine Lake. Dickie’s greatest passion was teaching newcomers to the sport, especially youngsters. He closed nearly all his monthly columns with encouragement to “Take a kid fishing.”

Those who read his columns regularly are sure to remember his no-nonsense style of telling it like he saw it; whether the fishing on Sabine was outstanding or disappointing – Dickie was always honest. Dickie was a dedicated father and grandfather, faithful to his church, and served as role model and mentor to many during his lifetime.

Chuck Uzzle has a fitting tribute in this issue, he credits Dickie for having been a great influence in his life, not only in fishing but for many character-building experiences as well. Dickie will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace, sir. Your work here is done. We pray we can live up to your standards during our own journeys.

In other news, a proposal submitted to the TPWD commissioners by Coastal Fisheries staff has been given the greenlight for them to proceed with public scoping as regards spotted seatrout regulations. This is the beginning of the standard regulatory process to enact reduced bag limits and slot limits for anglers retaining trout in the near future. New regulations, if approved, could be enacted as early as January 2022. These measures will hopefully provide opportunity for the fishery to recover to prior levels of abundance following the devasting February freeze.

Daily Bag Limit – Three Fish
All Coastal Waters: East Matagorda Bay through Lower Laguna Madre
Slot Length: 17- to 23-inches
Expires August 31, 2023

In a nutshell, what this means is that the emergency regulations applied to the spotted seatrout fishery for 120 days and then extended for 60 additional days earlier this year to further conserve spawning biomass in the Laguna Madre, are being expanded and proposed for all middle and lower coast waters from date of enactment through August 31, 2023. This will provide the majority of two additional spawning seasons, a huge boost toward the recovery of Texas’ most popular inshore species.

After witnessing firsthand the devastation of middle coast fisheries last February, it is my personal hope that Texas anglers will support these measures and the fishery will rebound to pre-freeze population levels in the next few years.

Here’s wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers. May God bless each and every one.

December Issue Highlights

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