Requirements for Federal, State & Border Waters

Requirements for Federal Waters and State Tidal Waters

Recreational anglers must have a Texas fishing license and saltwater endorsement to:

  • Possess in state water any fish taken in federal waters
  • Possess fish on a vessel in the tidal waters of Texas (see Fishing in Federal Waters)

Requirements for Border Waters

All fish landed in Texas must comply with Texas bag and length limits. No exceptions.


In Arkansas waters of the Red River, requirements of that state apply.


  • In Oklahoma waters of the Red River, requirements of that state apply.
  • A person may fish in Texas or Oklahoma waters on Lake Texoma only with the appropriate license from Texas or Oklahoma, unless the person possesses a Lake Texoma fishing license.
  • A person must have a valid Texas fishing license to fish from the Texas bank from Denison DamDenison Dam to Shawnee Creek map to Shawnee Creek (south of the line between border markers 1 and 2 on the map illustration). GPS coordinates are as follows: Marker 1(Lat 33.81892, Long -96.56806), Marker 2 (Lat 33.81986, Long -96.5556). 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.
  • The upstream boundary of Lake Texoma is Sycamore Creek at Latitude 33°53.663’, Longitude -96°59.009’.


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.


Border States Include Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Chihuahua

A recreational fishing license or Permiso de Pesca Deportiva [managed by the Mexican federal agency CONAPESCA (Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca)] is required to fish in Mexican waters. Recreational anglers can buy permits for a single day, week, month or year.