Texas isn’t just about cowboys and boots. You can do fishing too. In this article, you will be able to find answers to some of your fishing license inquiries such as the cost of the license, where to buy Texas fishing license, or do veterans get free fishing license in Texas?
Average Cost of Fishing License in Texas
Compared to some states, Texas fishing license fees are relatively lower. The price of a resident license ranges from $0 to $47 for one day to annual validity, while non-residents will have to pay from $16 to $68. Other license variations can range from $50 up to $1,800, depending on different factors which will be discussed below.
The following are the costs of fishing licenses in Texas by residency status:
1.Resident Fishing License Fees
Purely Fishing License (One Day to Annual):
- One-Day All-Water Fishing – $11.00
- Freshwater Fishing Package – $30.00
- Saltwater Fishing Package – $35.00
- All-Water Fishing Package – $40.00
- Senior Freshwater Fishing Package – $12.00
- Senior Saltwater Fishing Package – $17.00
- Senior All-Water Fishing Package – $22.00
- Year-From-Purchase All-Water Package – $47.00
- Special All-Water Fishing (legally blind) – $7.00
- Active Military All-Water Fishing Package – $0
Fishing and Hunting License Combo (Annual)
- Combo Hunting and Freshwater Fish Package – $50.00
- Combo Hunting and Saltwater Fish Package – $55.00
- Combo Hunting and All-Water Fish Package – $60.00
- Combo Senior Hunting and Freshwater Fish – $16.00
- Combo Senior Hunting and Saltwater Fish – $21.00
- Combo Senior Hunting and All-Water Fish – $26.00
- Active Duty Military Super Combo – $0
- Lifetime Combination Hunting and Fishing Package – $1,800.00
- Lifetime Fishing Package – $1,000.00
- Lifetime Fishing to Combo Upgrade – $800.00
- Lifetime Hunting Upgrade to Combo Package – $800.00
- All-Water Fishing Guide License – $210
- All-Water Paddle-craft Fishing Guide License – $210
2.Resident and Non-resident
- Lake Texoma Fishing – $12.00
- Saltwater Sportfishing Endorsement – $10.00
- Freshwater Fishing Endorsement – $5.00
- Exempt Angler Tag – $3.00
- Disabled Veteran Super Combo – $0
- Freshwater Fishing Guide License – $132
- One-Day All-Water Fishing – $16.00
- Freshwater Fishing Package – $58.00
- Saltwater Fishing Package – $63.00
- All-Water Fishing Package – $68.00
- All-Water Fishing Guide License – $1,050
- All-Water Paddle-craft Fishing Guide License – $1,050
Factors Affecting Texas Fishing License Price
Evidently, the fishing license fees in Texas are not one size fits all. It will all depend on the following criteria:
- Age – your age will determine if you have to buy a fishing license or you are exempt from getting one. As per Texas fishing regulations, people 17 years old and above should secure a license before they can be allowed to fish in Texas waters. Do senior citizens need a fishing license in Texas? Yes, but at a much lower rate as a special privilege.
- Residency – understandably, residents are charged lower rates compared to nonresidents.
- Package – there are various fishing license package you can choose from based on your preference or need and can help you save on cost. You can opt for the combination of fishing and hunting license, or if you are expert enough about fishing, you can acquire a fishing guide license.
- Validity – you can buy a one-day, annual, and lifetime fishing license and this affects the rate of your license.
- Disability – special rates are given to blind or legally blind, while the mentally disabled are exempted from the need to secure a license to fish.
- Saltwater/Freshwater or both – whether you prefer to fish from just one type of water or you want both types can affect the Texas fishing license cost. You can also be specific to just one location like Lake Texoma. It’s all up to you.
Where to Purchase Texas Fishing License
Buy Texas fishing license online conveniently through Texas Parks and Wildlife website. You can also search online for the links to locate some of the license retailers. There are actually more than 1,800 retailers you can find countrywide, which include grocery and department stores, sporting goods and tackle shops, and even gun shops.
What’s nice about the Texas Parks and Wildlife is that it now has the Outdoor Annual mobile app where you can view your fishing license and even the history of your license subscription. This eliminates the need for stamps or tags by just showing your license information from the app.
Exempt from Fishing License
Certain people are exempted from getting a fishing license and are allowed to fish so you can totally forget about the Texas fishing license price if you fall in one of the following criteria:
- If you are 16 years of age and below
- If you are a senior citizen and were born before January 1, 1931
- If you are a mentally disabled individual who is doing recreational fishing as part of a therapy, and who is fishing under the supervision of personnel employed by the hospital, or other residence or school for mentally disabled
- If you are a mentally disabled individual who is doing recreational fishing under the direct supervision of a family member who is a licensed angler. They may also be supervised by any person who has been permitted by the licensed angler family member to assist the mentally disabled person in fishing.
- If you are a Louisiana resident 65 years or older and who possesses a valid Louisiana recreational fishing license, or an Oklahoma resident 65 years and above.
The annual fishing packages for resident, senior resident, special resident or nonresident fishing licenses are valid from the date of purchase up to August 31. On the other hand, a Lake Texoma license is valid up to December 31.
The senior resident fishing packages include a senior resident fishing license and either freshwater or a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag or both.
The special resident all-water fishing license is given to legally blind persons, does not require an endorsement, and no additional charge for one red drum tag.
The year-from-purchase all-water fishing package includes a resident fishing license, a freshwater endorsement, and a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag and shall be valid from the date of purchase up to the end of the purchase month of the next year.
If you own a freshwater fishing package, you will be able to purchase a saltwater endorsement and vice versa.
A fishing license is not required if you are fishing from the bank or waters of a state park or completely enclosed by the state park.
Recreational anglers are required to have a Texas fishing license and saltwater endorsement to possess in Texas any fish caught in federal waters or possess fish on a watercraft in the waters of Texas.
Lastly, regardless if you are exempted from securing a license or not but for free, all regulations still apply, such as fish size requirements, net measurements, etc.
Consequences of Fishing Without a License in Texas
All Texas fishing license fee proceeds will be used to support activities related to conservation of fishery, habitat protection and development, and even education. This is probably why the government is very strict when it comes to imposing these rules.
And just what do you get when you mess up with Texas fishing license regulations? Some of the minor offenses that you could get fined with are as follows:
- No resident fishing license – $115
- No non-resident fishing license – $165
- Fishing using electrical devices – $565
- Fishing using illegal nets – $565
- Fishing with untagged trotlines – $165
- Possession of undersized fish – $165
Some of the more severe penalties you could get from violating fishing laws in Texas include getting your license revoked for a maximum of five years, compensating for your catch for $2,000 per fish, getting fined for up to a whopping $10,000, or worse, getting imprisoned for up to a year.