Fishing Licenses, Stamps, Tags & Packages
A valid fishing license with a freshwater or saltwater stamp endorsement is required to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas. A hunting license is required to take turtles and frogs.
The first Saturday in June of each year is the annual Free Fishing Day and no person is required to have a fishing license or stamp endorsements while fishing on that day.
A fishing license and stamp endorsement are not required if fishing from the bank in a state park or in waters completely enclosed by a state park. All other fishing regulations, such as length and bag limits, remain in effect.
Recreational anglers must have a Texas fishing license and saltwater endorsement to bring any fish taken in federal waters ashore in Texas (see Fishing in Federal Waters) or possess fish on a vessel in the tidal waters of Texas.
Resident Fishing Licenses
You do not need a fishing license/package if you:
- are under 17 years of age.
- were born before January 1, 1931.
- are a mentally disabled person who is engaging in recreational fishing as part of a medically approved therapy, and who is fishing under the immediate supervision of personnel approved or employed by a hospital, residence or school for mentally disabled persons. The mentally disabled person must carry an authorization identifying the entity supplying the service. This authorization may be in the form of an I.D. card that contains the name of the sponsoring entity.
- are a mentally disabled person who is recreational fishing under the direct supervision of a licensed angler who is a family member or has permission from the family to take the mentally disabled person fishing. While fishing, the mentally disabled person needs a note from a doctor stating the person has been diagnosed as mentally disabled.
A resident fishing license is included in all Super Combo and Combination packages (including Texas Resident Active Duty Military), the Resident Combination and Lifetime Resident Fishing licenses and the various resident fishing packages offered by the Department. A resident who holds one of these licenses/packages is not required to purchase a separate resident fishing license.
Non-Resident Fishing Licenses
- non-resident under 17 years of age;
- Louisiana resident 65 years of age or older who possesses a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License (includes Senior Fish/Hunt License); or
- Oklahoma resident 65 years of age or older.
Fishing License Packages
A variety of fishing packages are offered from which the public may select based on the type of fishing (freshwater, saltwater or both) and duration of license desired.
License Year Fishing Packages
License Year Fishing Packages include a resident, senior resident, special resident or non-resident fishing license valid from the date of sale to Aug. 31, 2015 and either a freshwater stamp endorsement, a saltwater stamp endorsement with a red drum tag or both stamp endorsements valid for the same time period.
Senior Resident Fishing Packages
Senior Resident Fishing Packages are available to any Texas resident who is at least 65 years of age and was born on or after January 1, 1931. The packages include a senior resident fishing license and either a freshwater stamp endorsement, a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag or both depending on the package selected.
Special Resident All-Water Fishing License
Special Resident All-Water Fishing License is available to any Texas resident who is legally blind. Stamp endorsements are not required for this license. One red drum tag shall be available at no additional charge.
One-Day All-Water Fishing License
One-Day All-Water Fishing License includes resident or non-resident fishing license valid for the selected day or days purchased. Stamp endorsements are not required for this license. Consecutive days may be bought at the time of purchase. One red drum tag shall be available at no additional charge with the purchase of the first one-day license only.
Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package
Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package (Texas residents only) includes a resident fishing license, a freshwater stamp endorsement and a saltwater stamp endorsement with a red drum tag, all valid from the date of purchase through the end of the purchase month of the next license year.
- Freshwater Package:
- Saltwater Package:
- All-Water Package:
- Senior Freshwater Package:
- Senior Saltwater Package:
- Senior All-Water Package:
- Special Resident All-Water License (for legally blind):
- Year-from-Purchase All-Water Package:
- One-Day All-Water License:
- Freshwater Package:
- Saltwater Package:
- All-Water Package:
- One-Day All-Water License:
Please note that if you own any valid freshwater fishing package, you will be able to purchase a saltwater stamp endorsement, and conversely, if you own any valid saltwater fishing package you will be able to purchase a freshwater stamp endorsement.
Fishing Stamp Endorsements
Freshwater Fishing Stamp Endorsement
- Type 256:
This stamp endorsement is required in addition to a valid fishing license if you take or attempt to take fish in the public fresh waters of Texas. If you are not required to hold a fishing license, or if you hold a lifetime combination or lifetime fishing license, this stamp endorsement is not required. A freshwater fishing stamp is included in freshwater and all-water fishing packages.
Saltwater Fishing Stamp Endorsement
- Type 211:
This stamp endorsement is required in addition to a valid fishing license if you take or attempt to take fish in the public salt water of Texas. If you are not required to hold a fishing license, or if you hold a lifetime combination or lifetime fishing license, this stamp endorsement is not required. A red drum tag shall be issued at no additional charge with each saltwater fishing stamp endorsement. A saltwater fishing stamp is included in saltwater and all-water fishing packages.
Red Drum Tag
Persons who want to obtain a red drum tag and are EXEMPT from fishing license requirements may purchase an Exempt Angler Red Drum Tag for $3.
This tag is required for an individual to take one red drum per license year over the maximum length limit of 28 inches, and is included free with the purchase of a saltwater fishing stamp endorsement or any package that includes the saltwater fishing stamp endorsement. See tagging information.
Bonus Red Drum Tag
- Type 599:
This tag is required for an individual to take an additional red drum per license year over the maximum length limit of 28 inches. Bonus tag can be purchased at any license sales location upon presenting a valid fishing license or other valid personal identification. Only one bonus tag allowed per person per year.
Saltwater Trotline Tag
- Type 307:
Required for each 300 feet, or fraction thereof, on all non-commercial trotlines and sail lines placed in the coastal waters of Texas. Available at TPWD Coastal Law Enforcement offices.
Individual Bait-shrimp Trawl Tag
- Type 334:
Required for trawls used to take shrimp for any purpose under a recreational license. Available at TPWD Coastal Law Enforcement offices.
Border Water License Requirements
ALL fish landed in Texas must comply with Texas bag and length limits. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Texas-Oklahoma and Texas-Arkansas
- In Oklahoma or Arkansas waters of the Red River, the requirements of those states apply, including fishing regulations.
- A person must have a valid Texas fishing license to fish from the Texas bank from Denison Dam to Shawnee Creek (see illustration). An Oklahoma fishing license is required to wade-fish or fish from a boat in these waters.
- An Oklahoma resident 65 years of age or older is exempt from fishing license requirements in Texas, including on Lake Texoma.
- A person may fish in Texas or Oklahoma waters on Lake Texoma only with the appropriate license from the respective state, unless the person possesses a Lake Texoma fishing license, which is valid anywhere on Lake Texoma.
- On the Red River below Denison Dam, a person with a Texas fishing license may fish south of the line between border markers 1 and 2 on the referenced map.
- GPS coordinates are as follows: Marker 1- (Lat 33.81892, Long -96.56806), Marker 2- (Lat 33.81986, Long -96.5556)
- Lake Texoma License (Type 208):
- $12 - With this license, which is valid until December 31 following the date of issuance, a person may fish in both the Texas and Oklahoma waters of Lake Texoma without any additional Texas or Oklahoma fishing licenses or stamps. A Texas resident 65 years of age or older does not need this license to fish in the Oklahoma portion of Lake Texoma. A Lake Texoma license is valid ONLY on Lake Texoma (see .)
Residents of either state, who are properly licensed in their state (or are exempt because of age), or persons who hold valid non-resident fishing licenses issued by either state may fish in any portion of the lakes and rivers forming a common boundary between Louisiana and Texas inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point. Fish landed in Texas must adhere to the Texas bag and length limits.
A fishing license issued by Mexico is required to fish in Mexican waters.
Boat & Guide Licenses
Sport Oyster Boat License
Required when using a sport oyster dredge or tongs to take oysters
- Resident (Type 328):
- $13 - For boats registered in Texas or having a U.S. Coast Guard document that shows the owner's address is in Texas.
- Non-resident (Type 428):
Fishing Guide License
Required for any person who for compensation, accompanies, assists or transports any person engaged in fishing in the waters of the state. For fees and details, see Commercial Licenses or download the .