Is a fishing license required at 16 in Texas? Find out now!

Is a fishing license required at 16 in Texas? Find out now!

Fishing is a beloved pastime in Texas, with its abundance of lakes, rivers, and coastal waters teeming with diverse fish species. However, before you embark on your angling adventure, it’s crucial to understand the state’s fishing license requirements, especially if you’re 16 years old. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to ensure you’re fully compliant with the regulations, allowing you to focus on the thrill of the catch.

Fishing License Requirements in Texas

In Texas, the general rule is that anyone 17 years of age or older must have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters. This applies to both residents and non-residents alike. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, which we’ll explore in detail.

Exemptions for Residents

Texas residents are exempt from needing a fishing license in the following cases:

  • If you’re under 17 years old
  • If you were born before January 1, 1931
  • If you have an intellectual disability and are fishing as part of medically approved therapy or under the direct supervision of a licensed angler who is a family member
  • If you’re fishing during the annual Free Fishing Day, which is held on the first Saturday of June

Exemptions for Non-Residents

Non-residents are exempt from needing a fishing license in Texas if:

  • You’re under 17 years old
  • You’re a Louisiana resident aged 65 or older with a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License
  • You’re an Oklahoma resident aged 65 or older
  • You’re fishing during the annual Free Fishing Day

Types of Fishing Licenses in Texas

If you don’t fall under any of the exemptions mentioned above, you’ll need to purchase a fishing license in Texas. The state offers several options to cater to different fishing preferences and locations.

Freshwater Fishing License

A freshwater fishing license is required if you plan to fish in lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and other inland waters in Texas. The cost for a resident freshwater fishing license is $30, while non-residents pay $58.

Saltwater Fishing License

If you’re planning to fish in the coastal waters of Texas, you’ll need a saltwater fishing license. The cost for a resident saltwater fishing license is $35, and non-residents pay $63.

All-Water Fishing Package

For those who want to fish in both freshwater and saltwater, Texas offers an all-water fishing package. This package includes a fishing license, a freshwater endorsement, and a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag. The cost for a resident all-water fishing package is $40, while non-residents pay $68.

Where to Buy a Fishing License in Texas

You can purchase a fishing license in Texas through various channels, making it convenient for anglers to comply with the regulations.

  • Online: Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) website ( and purchase your license online.
  • Local Retailers: Many sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and even some grocery stores sell fishing licenses.
  • TPWD Law Enforcement Sales Offices: You can also purchase licenses directly from TPWD law enforcement sales offices located throughout the state.

Additional Considerations

Lake Texoma Fishing License

If you plan to fish in Lake Texoma, which is located on the Texas-Oklahoma border, you’ll need a special Lake Texoma fishing license. This license is valid for fishing in both the Texas and Oklahoma waters of the lake and costs $12.

Fishing in State Parks

One of the great perks of fishing in Texas is that you don’t need a fishing license if you’re fishing from a bank or pier within the boundaries of a Texas State Park. However, you’ll still need to follow all other fishing regulations, such as bag limits and size limits.

Bag and Size Limits

Regardless of your age or whether you need a fishing license, you must adhere to the bag and size limits set by the TPWD. These limits are in place to ensure the sustainability of fish populations and promote responsible fishing practices.

By understanding the fishing license requirements in Texas, you can ensure that you’re fully prepared and compliant with the regulations before embarking on your next fishing adventure. Remember, purchasing a fishing license not only allows you to legally fish but also contributes to the conservation efforts that help maintain the state’s rich fishing resources for generations to come.

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