82R20717 JH-D
  By: Bonnen H.C.R. No. 133
         WHEREAS, The lands and waters of Texas are home to a diverse
  range of animals, and a select number of these species have been
  recognized as official state symbols as a result of their
  significance to our history and culture; and
         WHEREAS, A particularly rich natural environment is found
  along the Texas Gulf Coast, and of the many distinctive plants and
  wildlife found in that region, the red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus)
  is particularly deserving of recognition; and
         WHEREAS, Also known as the redfish and the bull red, this
  majestic saltwater fish spends the first three years of its life in
  bays along the coast before heading into the open waters of the Gulf
  of Mexico; it also demonstrates the hardiness and adaptability so
  often found in the Lone Star State, swimming up rivers on occasion
  and also taking up residence in certain inland reservoirs; and
         WHEREAS, Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of the
  fish is its Texas-sized stature; at three years of age, the typical
  red drum is two-and-a-half feet long and will grow larger over the
  course of its long life; the biggest red drum caught in Texas waters
  was 54.25 inches long and weighed nearly 60 pounds; and
         WHEREAS, The fish's size, along with its power, speed, and
  delicious flavor, has made it one of the most popular game species
  in Texas waters; whether wading through the shallows, casting with
  fly rods, or trying their luck in pier or surf fishing, anglers of
  all types prize the red drum as a catch; as a result, the fish plays
  an important role in boosting recreational tourism; and
         WHEREAS, In decades past, redfish also helped drive the
  state's commercial fishing industry and at times made up as much as
  35 percent of its landings; overfishing and illegal netting took a
  toll, however, and by the early 1980s the drum population had
  dropped to dangerously low levels throughout the Gulf of Mexico;
  fortunately, state officials responded to the situation by enacting
  legislation and adopting wise management and enforcement measures,
  including the development of a revolutionary hatchery; today,
  numbers have rebounded to the point where the state has one of the
  best red drum fisheries in the nation; and
         WHEREAS, An environmental success story as well as an
  awe-inspiring and much-sought-after resident of the Gulf Coast
  waters, the red drum is a celebrated member of our natural world,
  and it is indeed a fitting symbol of the Lone Star State; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby designate the red drum as the official State Saltwater Fish
  of Texas.