At What Age Are You Exempt from Texas Fishing License Requirements?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Texas, attracting anglers from across the state and beyond. However, to ensure sustainable management of fish populations and fund conservation efforts, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) requires most individuals to obtain a fishing license. This article will provide a detailed overview of the age-based exemptions for fishing licenses in Texas.

Age Exemptions

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, the following individuals are exempt from the requirement to obtain a fishing license:


  • Individuals under 17 years of age
  • Individuals born before January 1, 1931


It’s important to note that these exemptions apply only to the fishing license requirement. Individuals may still need to obtain additional endorsements, tags, or permits depending on the type of fishing they plan to engage in and the specific regulations in place.

Fishing License Options

For those who do not qualify for the age-based exemptions, TPWD offers various fishing license options:

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

  • Resident: $30
  • Non-Resident: $58
  • Senior Resident (65+): $12

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

  • Resident: $35
  • Non-Resident: $63
  • Senior Resident (65+): $17

All-Water Fishing Licenses

  • Resident: $40
  • Non-Resident: $68
  • Senior Resident (65+): $22
  • Year-from-Purchase (Resident only): $47
  • One-Day (Resident): $11
  • One-Day (Non-Resident): $16

Additionally, TPWD offers lifetime fishing licenses exclusively for Texas residents at a cost of $1,000.

Other Exemptions and Free Fishing Opportunities

Apart from the age-based exemptions, TPWD provides several other opportunities for individuals to fish without a license:

  • Free Fishing in State Parks: No license is required when fishing from banks or piers within the boundaries of Texas State Parks.
  • Annual Free Fishing Day: On the first Saturday of June each year, everyone can fish recreationally without a license or endorsements.
  • Reciprocal Agreements: Oklahoma residents aged 65 or older are exempt from fishing license requirements in Texas, including on Lake Texoma. Similarly, Louisiana residents aged 65 or older are exempt from fishing license requirements in Texas when fishing in waters shared between the two states.

Purchasing Licenses and Supporting Conservation

Fishing licenses can be purchased online, at TPWD offices, or through various retailers across the state. It’s essential to note that license fees contribute directly to TPWD’s conservation efforts, including fish stocking programs, habitat restoration, and the protection of Texas’s diverse aquatic ecosystems.

By obtaining the appropriate fishing license or taking advantage of the available exemptions and free fishing opportunities, anglers can enjoy the rich fishing experiences Texas has to offer while supporting the state’s commitment to sustainable resource management.

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