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State Rep. Wants Noodling Legalized

Thursday, Apr 28, 2011  |  Updated 9:17 AM CDT
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State Rep. Wants Noodling Legalized

National Geographic/Getty Images

Catfish fans who prefer using their hands to grab and haul in the big ones might get the chance to noodle legally in Texas.

State Rep. Gary Elkins of Houston has proposed legislation that would make noodling legal under certain circumstances.

If you aren't familiar with noodling, watch this YouTube video of two men noodling in Oklahoma. In short, it involves the angler diving into the water, corraling the fish and then using their arm as bait.  In many cases, the fish latch-on up to the anglers elbow before being pulled from the water. 

The bill would allow the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to set standards for noodling. The guidelines would also be designed to protect the interests of the huge flathead catfish often the target of noodlers.

The bill has passed through the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The measure awaits full House action.

TWPD official Ken Kurzawski told the Austin American-Statesman that one suggestion was to limit noodling when water temperatures are 50 degrees or less, when catfish would be spawning.

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