New This Year: Fishing

Effective September 1, 2018

Saltwater Fishing

  • To reduce confusion, Texas modified king mackerel harvest regulations to be in line with federal rules. The daily bag limit for king mackerel is being increased to 3 fish per day.
  • The private recreational red snapper season in federal waters will be managed by Texas again in 2018. This will allow TPWD to set the season opening date and maximize angling opportunity.

Freshwater Fishing

Largemouth bass limits have been modified on 20 reservoirs:

  • Twelve lakes that had slot limits or other special regulations for largemouth bass are reverting to the statewide 14-inch minimum length and five fish per day bag limit. These include lakes Bridgeport, Bryan, Burke-Crenshaw, Cooper, Georgetown, Granbury, Madisonville, Old Mount Pleasant City, Possum Kingdom, Ratcliff, San Augustine City and Sweetwater.
  • Fayette, Gibbons Creek and Monticello reservoirs now have a 16- to 24-inch slot limit. Only one of the five-bass daily bag can be longer than 24 inches.
  • Anglers at Lake Raven and Purtis Creek State Park Lake (formerly catch-and-release for largemouth bass) can now keep up to five bass per day with a 16-inch maximum length limit. The same limit applies to lakes Bellwood and Davy Crockett. At these four lakes, a bass measuring 24 inches or more may be temporarily retained and weighed for possible submission to the Toyota ShareLunker Program.
  • Grapevine Lake no longer has a slot limit or minimum length limit on largemouth bass. However, only two of its five-fish daily bag can measure less than 18 inches.

Effective September 1, 2017

Saltwater Fishing

  • To reduce confusion, Texas modified harvest regulations for certain offshore species to be in line with federal rules.
  • The minimum length for scalloped, smooth and great hammerhead sharks is 99 inches, total length.
  • The minimum length for gag grouper is 24 inches, total length.
  • The daily bag limit for black grouper is four fish, with a daily bag limit of four fish.
  • For Nassau grouper, a threatened species, no harvest is allowed.
  • All regulations go into effect September 1, 2017

Freshwater Fishing

  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass regulations have been modified to catch-and-release only on the 38-mile stretch of the Devils River from Baker’s Crossing to Big Satan Creek along the downstream end of the Dan A. Hughes Unit of the Devils River State Natural Area.
  • Established a catch-and-release-only rule for largemouth bass and sunfish in Bedford Boys Ranch Lake (Tarrant County).
  • Alabama bass has been added to the list of game fishes, and bass regulations for Alan Henry Reservoir in Garza County are updated to reflect this change.
  • The collection of gizzard and threadfin shad from public water for use as bait now requires a $60 permit for the possession or sale of nongame fish if the container capacity used to hold the shad exceeds 82 quarts.

Effective September 1, 2016

Saltwater Fishing

  • Recreational maximum size limit for black drum clarified to 30 inches, and the recreational minimum total length limit on greater amberjack is 38 inches.

Freshwater Fishing

  • Largemouth bass regulations modified on Lake Naconiche to a 16-inch maximum length.
  • Smallmouth bass regulations modified on Lake Meredith to a 14-inch minimum length limit and 5-per-day bag.
  • Channel and blue catfish regulations modified on Lake Tawakoni by removing the 12-inch minimum length limit and adding a 25-fish daily bag for blues and channels combined, only seven of which could exceed 20 inches and only two of which could exceed 30 inches.
  • Largemouth bass regulations modified on the Sabine River in Newton and Orange counties, and in Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, and Orange counties by reducing the minimum length limit to 12 inches. The daily bag limit would remain at five fish in the four counties and at eight fish for the Sabine River.
  • Saugeye regulations modified to remove the current 18-inch minimum length limit and change the daily bag limit from three to five, with only two greater than 16 inches.

Effective September 1, 2015

Freshwater Fishing

  • In Braunig and Calaveras reservoirs, minimum length limit for largemouth bass is lowered to 14 inches. Daily bag limit remains at five.
  • On O.H. Ivie Reservoir, smallmouth bass minimum length limit is lowered to 14 inches. Daily bag limit is increased to five.
  • On Lake Nasworthy, largemouth bass length limit changes to prohibit harvest of bass 14–18 inches long (14–18-inch slot). Daily bag limit remains at five.
  • On Falcon Lake, alligator gar daily bag limit is increased to five per day.
  • On Lake Texoma, in addition to the prohibition on the "take" of alligator gar during May from Lake Texoma from the U.S. 377 bridge (Willis Bridge) up-stream to the I-35 bridge, no person "shall fish for or seek to take" alligator gar in that area.

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