Shrimp Regulations & Restrictions

  • Shrimp may be taken for personal use (bait or food) with a recreational fishing license but may not be sold.
  • A person taking or attempting to take shrimp from salt water for non-commercial purposes is required to have a valid fishing license and a saltwater fishing stamp endorsement.

Legal Sport Shrimping Devices

See Legal Devices list for detailed descriptions and restrictions.

Coastal Water Areas (all salt waters of the state)

Outside Water

Gulf of Mexico extending from the shoreline seaward to nine nautical miles. Shrimp may not be taken from outside waters during closed seasons.

Inside Water

All bays, passes, rivers or other bodies of water landward from the shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. In these waters, the tide rises and falls and saltwater shrimp are found or migrate. Shrimping is not permitted within any natural or man-made pass leading from the inside waters to the outside waters of the state.

Major Bays

  • Sabine Lake north of Cameron Causeway to south of a line marked by the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Sabine Neches Canal/Sabine River) between the easternmost tip of Goat Island to the western most tip of Stewts Island
  • Trinity Bay southward from a line extending from the mouth of Double Bayou in Chambers County to Double Bayou Channel Marker 14, to Separator C-2, to Point Barrow in Chambers County
  • Galveston Bay
  • East Bay westward from a line extending from Frozen Point to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Marker 12
  • Matagorda Bay westward of a line extending from a location on the mainland (where a line running immediately northwest [bearing 330 degrees] from Shellfish Marker A intersects the mainland), thence southeasterly to Shellfish Marker A located near the mainland, thence to Shellfish Marker B located near the end of Shell Island Reef, thence to the tide gauge located near the Matagorda Peninsula, and thence southeasterly [bearing 153 degrees] to the Matagorda Peninsula.
  • East Matagorda Bay
  • Tres Palacios Bay south from a line from Grassey Point to the mouth of Pilkington Bayou
  • Espiritu Santo Bay
  • Lavaca Bay southward of State Highway 35
  • San Antonio Bay southward of a line from McDowell Point to Mosquito Point
  • Aransas Bay
  • Corpus Christi Bay exclusive of the area bounded by the line extending from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at the southwest point of the Dagger Island chain, along Dagger Island to the southeast tip of Ransom Island, then southeast to the westernmost point of land north of Marker 14 in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel
  • All exclusive of tributary bays, bayous and inlets, lakes and rivers

Bait Bays

Includes major bays and those listed here:

  • Chocolate Bay
  • West Bay south and west of Interstate Highway 45 Causeway bridge and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway inclusive of the area south of a line extending westward from Interstate Highway 45 Causeway Bridge at Virginia Point, along the southern edge of Tiki Island to the northeastern tip of North Deer Island at Channel Marker 48
  • Trinity Bay northward from a line extending from the mouth of Double Bayou in Chambers County to Double Bayou Channel Marker 14, to Separator C-2, to Point Barrow in Chambers County
  • The Old Brazos River lying north of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Brazoria County
  • Upper Laguna Madre
  • Baffin Bay
  • Alazan Bay
  • Barroom Bay
  • Lower Laguna Madre, including the Brownsville Ship Channel
  • The entire Gulf Intracoastal Waterway exclusive of all tributaries

Nursery Areas

No Shrimping Allowed. Those coastal waters not specifically named above as Major Bays or Bait Bays are considered Nursery Areas. Includes tributary bays, bayous, inlets, lakes and rivers that serve as significant growth and development environments for postlarval and juvenile shrimp. Does not include outside waters, major bays or bait bays.

Nueces County Recreational Shrimping Restrictions

It is unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take shrimp with a trawl in the Laguna Madre north of a line starting on the mainland at the most northeasterly point on the north side of the entrance to Whiteley Channel then proceeding in a straight line to the north end of Pita Island; then continuing on a line to the southernmost point on the westerly most spoil island bordering the north side of the New Humble Channel (commonly referred to as Hap's Channel); then continuing on a line along the north edge of the New Humble Channel (commonly referred to as Hap's Channel) to its junction with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway; then continuing on a straight line to the Nueces/Kleberg County line marker on Padre Island.