Fishing Licenses and Trout Fishing in Texas

Fishing Licenses and Trout Fishing in Texas

Fishing in Texas offers a diverse range of opportunities, from saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico to freshwater fishing in the state’s many lakes and rivers. Among the popular species for anglers are the speckled, rainbow, and brown trout. This article provides a comprehensive guide to fishing licenses in Texas, trout fishing regulations, and the best spots to catch trout in the state.

Understanding Fishing Licenses in Texas

Before you can fish in Texas, you need a valid fishing license with either a freshwater or saltwater endorsement, depending on where you plan to fish. Licenses are available online, by phone, or at approximately 1,700 locations throughout the state, including sporting goods stores, gun shops, department stores, discount stores, bait and tackle shops, and grocery stores.

Fishing Licenses and Trout Fishing in Texas

There are exceptions to the license requirement. For instance, a license is not required for persons under 17 years of age, persons born before January 1, 1931, or persons with an intellectual disability fishing as part of medically approved therapy.

Trout Fishing Regulations in Texas

When it comes to trout fishing, Texas has specific regulations in place. The speckled trout limit in Texas is five fish per day, each measuring between 15 and 25 inches. For brown and rainbow trout, the limit is also five fish per day, with no length limit.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is in charge of enforcing these laws, which are subject to modification. Therefore, it’s essential to check the latest regulations before you go fishing.

Native Trout in Texas

The only native trout species in Texas is the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, which is now a rarity. The only population of these trout that can be found today is in a small stream called McKittrick Creek in the Guadalupe Mountains bordering New Mexico.

In contrast, the speckled trout, a saltwater species, is native to the Gulf of Mexico, which borders Texas to the southeast.

Where to Find Trout in Texas

Trout can be found in various locations across Texas. Local hatcheries work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to annually stock freshwater trout species in rivers, lakes, and ponds all over the state, including significant lakes like Lake Meredith in Sanford, Lake Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, and Lake Travis in Hudson Bend.

Saltwater trout species can be found in the shallow grassy areas along the shoreline in Texas coastal waters. For open-water areas, they prefer places of refuge such as oyster reefs or old gas wells. They can be found up and down the coast of eastern Texas, from Port Arthur to Port Isabel.


Fishing for trout in Texas can be a rewarding experience, whether you’re a novice angler or an experienced fisherman. However, it’s essential to understand the fishing license requirements and regulations to ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing trip. By staying informed and respecting the rules, you can contribute to the conservation of these beautiful species and ensure they can be enjoyed by future generations of anglers.

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