J.D. Murphree WMA: Fishing

Phone: (409) 736-2551
10 Parks & Wildlife Dr.
Port Arthur, TX 77640

Contact: Michael Rezsutek

Dates Open:

Fishing, wildlife viewing and other non-consumptive uses are available seasonally as provided in the TPWD Public Hunting Lands Permit Map Booklet. These activities are limited during scheduled public hunts for September teal and regular waterfowl, feral hog and alligator seasons. A Limited Public Use permit is available for non-consumptive uses (e.g., bird watching, photography). An Annual Public Hunting permit is required for participating in public hunts.


Fishing Permitted

For general information on fishing requirements and restrictions, see the Outdoor Annual Fishing Regulations. For information on fishing licenses, stamps, and tags see Outdoor Annual Fishing Licenses.

The WMA has access to freshwater and coastal fishing and the compartments and ditches are open from March 1 through August 31.

In addition, fishing is allowed in the Big Hill Bayou from the Mon. following the close of the regular duck season until Oct. 31. Fishing is permitted from 30 min. before sunrise to 30 min. after sunset. The Big Hill Unit is a freshwater marsh divided by levees where bass, crappie, bream and catfish are the predominant fish species.

The Salt Bayou Unit, located south of the GIWW doesn't have levees. Keith Lake, Johnson Lake and Salt Bayou are open to fishing year round with no daylight fishing restrictions. Keith Lake and Johnson Lake along with the coastal channels provide redfish, speckled trout and flounder as the primary fish species. Blue crabs are plentiful and easily caught.

An Annual Public Hunting Permit (APH) is required to fish within the WMA unless all activity is confined to a boat within navigable waters. Except in Keith Lake, no commercial fishing or crabbing is allowed.