Fishing in Texas offers a diverse and rewarding experience, whether you’re casting in freshwater lakes or saltwater bays. To ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing trip, obtaining the appropriate fishing license is essential. This guide provides comprehensive information on the types of fishing licenses available in Texas, their costs, purchasing methods, and state-specific regulations for 2024.

Why You Need a Fishing License in Texas

Obtaining a fishing license in Texas is not just a legal requirement but also a crucial step in supporting conservation efforts. The fees collected from fishing licenses fund various initiatives, including:

  • Conservation Funding: Ensures the sustainability of fish populations and the preservation of aquatic habitats.
  • Wildlife Management: Provides valuable data for wildlife agencies to make informed decisions about regulations and stocking programs.
  • Responsible Angling: Contributes to the long-term health of Texas’s diverse fishing resources.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Texas

Resident Fishing Licenses

Texas offers several fishing license packages for residents, catering to different needs and preferences:

Freshwater Fishing Package$30
Saltwater Fishing Package$35
All-Water Fishing Package$40
Senior Freshwater (Ages 65+)$12
Senior Saltwater (Ages 65+)$17
Senior All-Water (Ages 65+)$22
One-Year All-Water$47
One-Day All-Water$11

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Non-residents visiting Texas can choose from the following options:

Freshwater Fishing Package$58
Saltwater Fishing Package$63
All-Water Fishing Package$68
One-Day All-Water$16

Additional Fees and Considerations

In addition to the standard fishing license fees, there are a few other charges to keep in mind:

  • Freshwater Fishing Endorsement: $5
  • Saltwater Fishing Endorsement (includes Red Drum Tag): $10
  • Sportsman’s Oyster Boat License (Resident): $13
  • Sportsman’s Oyster Boat License (Non-Resident): $51

Certain groups, such as disabled individuals and military personnel, may be eligible for fee exemptions or discounts.

Lifetime Fishing Licenses

For those planning to fish in Texas for many years, the state offers lifetime fishing licenses exclusively to residents. The fee for a lifetime fishing license is $1,000, providing a one-time purchase that covers your fishing needs for life.

How to Purchase Your Texas Fishing License

Obtaining your Texas fishing license is a straightforward process that can be completed online, over the phone, or in person:


  • Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Website.
  • Click on the “Buy Licenses & Permits” section.
  • Select the appropriate license type based on your residency status and fishing preferences.
  • Provide the required personal information and payment details.
  • Review and confirm your purchase.
  • Print or save your license for future reference.

Over the Phone

  • Call (800) 895-4248 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to purchase your fishing license.

In Person

  • Purchase your fishing license at various locations throughout Texas, including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offices, sporting goods stores, and other approved retailers.

State-Specific Regulations

General Fishing Regulations

  • License Requirements: Any person who takes or attempts to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish, or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas must have a current Texas fishing license with the appropriate endorsement.
  • Game Fish: Includes hybrids and subspecies of listed fish. Game fish may be taken only by pole and line, except as otherwise provided in the guide.
  • Unlawful Activities: It is unlawful to take, kill, or disturb sea turtles, endangered or threatened fish species, or marine mammals. Specific regulations apply to the use of vessels, seagrass uprooting, and the transport of live, non-game fishes.

Special Licenses and Packages

  • Lake Texoma License: Allows fishing in both Texas and Oklahoma waters of Lake Texoma without additional state licenses. The fee is $12.
  • Super Combo License: Available to resident active military personnel and veterans with a 50% disability rating or who have lost the use of a limb. This package is free and includes the Red Drum Tag.

Conservation Efforts

Fishing license fees support various conservation initiatives, including:

  • Fish Stocking: Ensures the replenishment of fish populations in Texas waters.
  • Habitat Restoration: Maintains and restores aquatic habitats for diverse fish species.
  • Public Access: Enhances public access to fishing opportunities across the state.


Obtaining a Texas fishing license is a simple yet essential step for any angler planning to fish in the Lone Star State. By purchasing a license, you not only comply with state regulations but also contribute to the conservation and management of Texas’s rich fishing resources. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Texas offers a variety of fishing license options to suit your needs, ensuring a memorable and responsible fishing experience.

For more information and to purchase your Texas fishing license, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Website.

Do I need a separate license for freshwater and saltwater fishing in Texas?

Yes, Texas requires separate licenses or endorsements for freshwater and saltwater fishing. You can purchase an All-Water Fishing Package that includes both endorsements, or individual licenses for each type of fishing.

Can I use my Texas fishing license in other states?

No, your Texas fishing license is only valid within the state of Texas. Each state has its own licensing requirements, and you must obtain the appropriate license to fish legally in other states.

How long is a Texas fishing license valid?

Most Texas fishing licenses are valid from the date of purchase until August 31 of the current license year. However, the Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing License is valid for 365 days from the purchase date, and the Lifetime Fishing License is valid for the lifetime of the holder.

Can I purchase a Texas fishing license online?

Yes, you can purchase your Texas fishing license online through the TPWD website or the Texas License Connection sales website. A $5 administrative fee will be charged for online transactions.

Are there any discounts or fee exemptions for Texas fishing licenses?

Yes, Texas offers discounted or free fishing licenses for certain groups, including disabled veterans, legally blind residents, seniors aged 65 and older, and residents with permanent upper-limb disabilities.

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