Commission Adopts Fishing License Changes

Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701,

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AUSTIN, Texas — Beginning this fall, Texas anglers will have to pick the fishing license that matches their fishing preference: freshwater, saltwater or both.

That’s because a new $5 freshwater fishing stamp to generate funding for fish hatchery construction and repair will be required to fish in freshwater starting Sept. 1. A similar endorsement to fish in saltwater has been in place for several years, with revenue generated by coastal anglers earmarked for that fishery.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its April 8 public hearing adopted a series of fishing license changes that incorporate the new freshwater stamp into the system. The changes do not take effect until Sept. 1.

Along with the freshwater stamp, TPWD created several new fishing license types, including a new June-July summer license, a new single day license and, for the first time in many years, a "year-round" license good for 365 days from the date of purchase.

Under the new licensing structure, anglers will select from several fishing packages: a freshwater fishing license ($28 for residents, $55 for non-residents), a saltwater fishing license ($33 for residents, $60 for non-residents) or an all-water fishing license good for both fresh and saltwater ($38 for residents, $65 for non-residents). All packages come with the appropriate required stamps.

Similar license packages will also be available in conjunction with hunting licenses, including a freshwater combo ($47 for residents, and $15 for seniors), a saltwater combo ($52 for residents, $20 for seniors) and all-water combo ($57 for residents, $25 for seniors). The popular super combo, "one stop shop" license package will incur just the additional cost of the freshwater stamp ($64), as does the senior super combo ($30).

The commission also changed the types of temporary fishing licenses available, eliminating the 3-day resident, the 5-day non-resident and the 14-day temporary and replacing them with a 1-day temporary with an option to buy additional daily privileges at the time of purchase. A 1-day resident license will sell for $11 for freshwater, $16 for saltwater and $21 for all water privileges. Non-residents could purchase a 1-day license for freshwater for $17, for saltwater ($22) or for all water ($27). Residents could purchase subsequent days for $4 each and non-residents for $8 each.

The commission also created a new summer’s-end license valid for the months of July and August. The freshwater version would cost $25; while the saltwater would run $30 and an all-water license $35.

The agency also created for convenience sake a "year-to-date," all-water fishing license valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Currently, all licenses expire each year on Aug. 31. The cost of this license option will be $45 and available to Texas residents only.