How Much Does a Texas Fishing License Cost? (2023 Update)

How Much Does a Texas Fishing License Cost? (2024 Update)

Fishing in Texas is not just a hobby; it’s a way of life for many residents and visitors. The Lone Star State boasts an abundance of fishing opportunities, from the Gulf Coast to the numerous lakes and rivers scattered throughout the state. However, before you can cast your line and reel in the big one, you need to obtain a valid Texas fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the various types of fishing licenses available in Texas and their costs for the year 2024.

Why Are Fishing Licenses Required in Texas?

Fishing licenses are essential for the conservation and management of Texas’ diverse aquatic resources. The fees collected from fishing licenses directly support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) efforts to:

  • Maintain and improve fish habitats
  • Stock fish in public waters
  • Conduct research and monitoring of fish populations
  • Enforce fishing regulations to ensure sustainability
  • Provide educational programs to promote responsible fishing practices

By purchasing a fishing license, anglers not only gain access to Texas’ world-class fishing opportunities but also contribute to the preservation of these resources for future generations.

Texas Fishing License Types and Costs for 2024

Texas offers a variety of fishing licenses to cater to the needs of different anglers, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, a senior citizen, or a special resident. The cost of these licenses varies depending on factors such as residency status, age, and the type of fishing you plan to do. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the costs for 2024:

Texas Resident Freshwater Fishing License Cost

If you’re a Texas resident looking to fish in the state’s public freshwater bodies, you’ll need to purchase a Resident Freshwater Fishing License. In 2024, this license will cost you $30. This license grants you the right to fish in all public freshwater areas in Texas, including lakes, rivers, and streams.

Texas Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License Cost

For non-residents eager to experience the thrill of fishing in Texas, a Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License is required. In 2024, this license will cost $58. As a non-resident, you’ll have access to the same public freshwater fishing areas as Texas residents.

Texas Senior Freshwater Fishing License Cost

Texas residents who are 65 years or older and were born on or after January 1, 1931, are eligible for a discounted Senior Freshwater Fishing License. In 2024, this license will cost just $12. This discounted rate is a testament to Texas’ commitment to making fishing accessible to all, regardless of age.

Texas One-Day All-Water Fishing License Cost

For those who only plan to fish for a single day, Texas offers a convenient One-Day All-Water Fishing License. This license allows you to fish in both freshwater and saltwater areas for a 24-hour period. In 2024, the cost of this license will be $11 for Texas residents and $16 for non-residents.

Texas Special Resident All-Water Fishing License Cost

Texas residents who are legally blind can purchase a Special Resident All-Water Fishing License at a reduced cost. In 2024, this license will be available for just $7. This special license allows legally blind individuals to fish in both freshwater and saltwater areas throughout the state.

Texas Lake Texoma Fishing License Cost

If you plan to fish in the waters of Lake Texoma, which straddles the border between Texas and Oklahoma, you’ll need a specific Lake Texoma Fishing License. In 2024, this license will cost $12. It’s important to note that this license is required in addition to your regular Texas fishing license when fishing on the Texas side of Lake Texoma.

Where to Purchase a Texas Fishing License

Obtaining a Texas fishing license is a simple process, with several convenient options available to anglers. Whether you prefer to purchase your license online, in person, or through a mobile app, Texas makes it easy for you to get licensed and start fishing.

Online Purchase

The quickest and most convenient way to obtain your Texas fishing license is by purchasing it online through the official Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) website. Visit to buy your license using a credit card (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard). Please note that there is a $5 administrative fee for online transactions.

When purchasing your license online, you’ll have the option to choose between a printed (paper) license or a digital license, if available for the specific license type. If you opt for a printed license that includes tags, or if the license you purchase is only available in printed format, you’ll receive the paper license and tags by mail, which you must carry with you when fishing.

Retail Purchase

If you prefer to buy your fishing license in person, Texas has you covered. With approximately 1,700 retail locations throughout the state, you can easily find a store near you that sells fishing licenses. These retailers include:

  • Sporting goods stores
  • Gun shops
  • Department stores
  • Discount stores
  • Bait and tackle shops
  • Grocery stores

Simply visit your preferred retailer and ask for a Texas fishing license. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through the process and ensure you obtain the correct license for your needs.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Offices

For certain commercial hunting and fishing licenses, you’ll need to visit the TPWD headquarters in Austin or one of the TPWD law enforcement offices located throughout the state. These offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please keep in mind that TPWD offices do not accept credit cards for all boat/outboard motor transactions.

Mobile App

In keeping with the digital age, Texas now offers the convenience of using a mobile app to show proof of your hunting and fishing licenses. The Outdoor Annual mobile app, available for free on both iOS and Android devices, allows you to store your license information electronically. Simply download the app, enter your license details in the “Licenses” section, and you’ll have your license readily available on your mobile device.

However, it’s important to note that a physical license and tags are still required for hunting and fishing activities that involve tagging, such as deer and turkey hunting. The mobile app serves as a convenient option for activities that don’t require physical tags or stamps.

Texas Fishing License Exemptions

While most anglers in Texas are required to have a valid fishing license, there are a few exemptions. The following groups are not required to purchase a fishing license:

  1. Persons under 17 years of age: Children and teenagers under the age of 17 can fish without a license in Texas. This exemption encourages young people to get involved in fishing and helps foster a love for the outdoors from an early age.
  2. Persons born before January 1, 1931: Texas residents who were born before January 1, 1931, are exempt from purchasing a fishing license. This exemption honors the contributions of older generations and ensures that they can continue to enjoy fishing throughout their golden years.
  3. Persons with an intellectual disability: Individuals with an intellectual disability are exempt from purchasing a fishing license if they are fishing as part of medically approved therapy or under the direct supervision of a licensed angler who is either a family member or has permission from the family to take the person fishing. This exemption ensures that individuals with intellectual disabilities can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of fishing without the added cost of a license.

Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Fishing Licenses

Do I need a fishing license if I’m fishing on private property?

If you are fishing in private waters that are not connected to public waters and are not community fishing lakes, you do not need a fishing license. However, if the private water body is connected to public waters or is a community fishing lake, a valid Texas fishing license is required.

Can I purchase a fishing license for someone else?

Yes, you can purchase a fishing license as a gift for someone else. You will need to provide their personal information, such as name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number (required for Texas residents only), at the time of purchase.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you lose your fishing license, you can easily replace it online through the TPWD website, by phone, or at a TPWD office or participating retailer. There is a small fee for replacement licenses, which varies depending on the license type.

How long is my Texas fishing license valid?

Most Texas fishing licenses are valid from the date of purchase through August 31 of the same year. However, some licenses, such as the one-day all-water fishing license, are only valid for the specified time period.

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

No, Texas does not require a separate license for saltwater fishing. The all-water fishing licenses, such as the resident all-water fishing license or the one-day all-water fishing license, cover both freshwater and saltwater fishing in the state.


Fishing in Texas is an experience like no other, offering anglers the chance to connect with nature, relax, and reel in some impressive catches. By understanding the different types of fishing licenses available and their associated costs for 2024, you can ensure that you’re properly licensed before embarking on your fishing adventure.

Remember, every dollar spent on your fishing license directly supports the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s conservation efforts, helping to maintain and improve fishing habitats throughout the state. So, not only will you be enjoying the thrill of the catch, but you’ll also be contributing to the preservation of Texas’ rich fishing heritage for generations to come.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of Texas fishing license costs and requirements for 2024, it’s time to grab your gear, purchase your license, and head out to the water. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-time fisher, Texas’ diverse fishing opportunities await.

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