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Just about all old timer fishermen have at least one story to tell concerning our local Laguna Madre
commercial fishermen. And, when they tell their stories most likely names such as Grabowoske, Smith,
Fanchier, and Barta along with the infamous Vannoys will certainly be mentioned. However, in the near
future these individuals, along with all the other Laguna Madre inshore commercial fishermen, will probably
be remembered only as relics of the past.
Now only has a moratorium been placed on issuing new inshore commercial licensee, the TPWD also
initiated an inshore shrimp fishery limited entry and buyback program in 1996. They then followed that by
adding the crab and finfish to the program in 2000 and 2001. As of February 2012, $13.9 million has been
spent buying back and retiring commercial bay and bait shrimp boat licenses. According to the TPWD this
represents 65% of the initial 3231 licenses grandfathered into the fishery program in 1995. Another $1.7
million has been spent purchasing and retiring commercial finfish and crab fisherman licenses.
The TPWD moratorium and buyback program has resulted in an underground market for the inshore
commercial fishing licenses. The only way to obtain a license is to purchase one from a current license
holder. I have been told that the going rate is on an average of $10,000, and that one individual actually paid
as much as $17,000 for a license, while others lease their license to allow others to fish under their license.
For further information contact the TPWD website - tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/commercial/buyback.phtml
Will Texas Inshore Commercial Fishermen Be Relics Of The Past?
Devary fishing the Laguna Madre flats.
This months Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, article is by Kevin
Cochran. Charles said that this the second time he has been blessed to
have his photo being used in one of Kevin's articles.
Charles of Corpus Christi's dedicated fishermen, on any given morning if
he's not working, he's fishing somewhere along the Laguna Madre
Featured in Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine
Corpus Christi's Own, Charles Holloway