If you’re an angler in Texas or planning a fishing trip to the Lone Star State, one of the first things you’ll need to know is the cost of a fishing license. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the various types of fishing licenses in Texas, their costs, and where to purchase them. Let’s dive in!
Types of Fishing Licenses in Texas
In Texas, the type of fishing license you need depends on a few factors, including your residency status, age, and the type of fishing you plan to do. Here are the main types of fishing licenses and their costs:
- Resident Freshwater Package: This package is available to Texas residents and costs $30. It includes a resident fishing license valid from the date of sale to August 31 of the same year and a freshwater endorsement.
- Senior Freshwater Package: Texas residents who are 65 years of age and older can avail of this package for $12. It includes a senior resident fishing license and a freshwater endorsement.
- Non-resident Freshwater Package: Non-residents can purchase this package for $58. It includes a non-resident fishing license and a freshwater endorsement.
- Non-resident All-Water Package: This package, available to non-residents for $68, includes a non-resident fishing license and a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag. A freshwater endorsement may also be purchased.
- One-Day All-Water License: This license, available to both residents and non-residents, is valid for the selected day or days purchased. It costs $11 for residents and $16 for non-residents.
- Fishing Guide Licenses: These licenses are required for any person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists, or transports any person engaged in fishing in the waters of the state. The cost of a Freshwater Fishing Guide License is $132 for both residents and non-residents. The Resident All-Water Fishing Guide License and the Resident All-Water Paddle-craft Fishing Guide License cost $210 each. The non-resident all-water fishing guide license and the non-resident all-water paddlecraft fishing guide license cost $1,050 each.
Where to Purchase a Fishing License in Texas
If you’re planning to cast a line in the Lone Star State, you’ll need to secure a fishing license first. But don’t worry, getting your hands on one is as easy as baiting a hook. Here’s everything you need to know about where and how to purchase a fishing license in Texas.
The most convenient way to purchase a Texas fishing license is online. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) offers official hunting and fishing licenses on their Texas License Connection sales website, txfgsales.com. There’s a $5 administrative fee for online transactions, but the convenience is worth every penny. You can purchase your license from the comfort of your home, and it’s available for immediate use for activities that don’t require physical tags.
If you prefer a more traditional route, you can also purchase your fishing license at a retailer. Texas offers approximately 1,700 retail locations throughout the state where you can buy your license. These include sporting goods stores, gun shops, department stores, discount stores, bait and tackle shops, grocery stores, and many other types of stores.
For certain commercial hunting and fishing licenses, you’ll need to visit a TPWD law enforcement office. These offices are located throughout the state, and their hours are typically Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you’re not a fan of online shopping or can’t make it to a retailer or TPWD office, you can also order your fishing license by phone. Simply call (800) 895-4248 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. CST. Just like online transactions, there’s a $5 administrative fee for phone purchases.
Before you rush off to buy your license, it’s worth noting that certain individuals are exempt from needing a fishing license in Texas. These include:
- Persons under 17 years of age
- Persons born before January 1, 1931
- Persons with an intellectual disability fishing as part of medically approved therapy
- Non-residents under 17 years of age
- Louisiana residents 65 years of age or older who possess a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License
Your Contribution to Conservation
When you purchase a fishing license in Texas, you’re not just buying a ticket to some of the best fishing in the country. You’re also contributing to the conservation of Texas’ natural resources. 100% of your hunting and fishing license fees go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for on-the-ground conservation efforts. These initiatives include fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, land conservation, and supporting Texas Game Wardens.
Digital vs. Printed Licenses
When purchasing your license, you’ll have the option to choose between a digital or printed license. If you opt for a digital license, you can show proof of your hunting and fishing licenses on a mobile device for activities that do not require tagging or physical stamps. However, physical licenses and tags are required for hunting and fishing activities that require tags, such as deer and turkey.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Texas offers a variety of fishing licenses to suit your needs. Remember, all the fees from license sales support conservation efforts that help make Texas one of the best places in the country to fish. So grab your fishing gear, purchase your license, and Get ready for an unforgettable fishing adventure in Texas!