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Texas Minimum Sizes and Fishing Regulations
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Minimum Sizes & Regulations

 

 

Bag and Length Limits for Saltwater Fish

  • Daily bag is the quantity of a species of a wildlife resource that may be taken in one day.
  • Possession limit is twice the daily bag on game and nongame fish, except as provided in this guide.
  • Possession limit does not apply to wildlife resources in the possession of or stored by a person at their permanent residence.
  • There are no bag, possession, or length limits on game or nongame fish, except as listed in this guide.
Bag and Length Limits for Saltwater Fish
Species
Daily Bag
Length in Inches
(Minimum-Maximum)
Amberjack, Greater
1
32 - No limit
Bass: striped, its hybrids and subspecies

5
(in any combination)

18 — No limit
Catfish: channel and blue catfish,
their hybrids and subspecies
25 (in any combination)
12 — No limit
Catfish, flathead
5
18 — No limit
Catfish, gafftopsail
No limit
14 — No limit
Cobia
2
37 — No limit
Drum, black
5
14 — 30
Drum, red*
3
20 — 28*
Flounder: all species, their hybrids and subspecies
10 (in any combination)
14 — No limit
Grouper, goliath (formerly called Jewfish)
0
Catch and release only
Mackerel, king
2
27 — No limit
Mackerel, Spanish
15
14 — No limit
Marlin, blue
No limit
131 — No limit
Marlin, white
No limit
86 — No limit
Mullet: all species, their hybrids
and subspecies**
No limit
No limit — 12** (during Oct., Nov., Dec. & Jan.)
Sailfish
No limit
84 — No limit
Seatrout, spotted***
10
15 — 25***
Shark: all species, their hybrids
and subspecies
1
24 — No limit
Sheepshead
5
12 — No limit
Snapper, lane
No limit
8 — No limit
Snapper, red
4
15 — No limit
Snapper, vermilion
No limit
10 — No limit
Snook
1
24 — 28
Tarpon****
0
Catch and release only****

* Red drum special regulation: During a license year, one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be retained when affixed with a properly completed Red Drum Tag and one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be retained when affixed with a properly completed Bonus Red Drum Tag. Any fish retained under authority of a Red Drum Tag or a Bonus Red Drum Tag may be retained in addition to the daily bag and possession limit as stated in this section.

** May not take from public waters, or possess on board a boat, mullet over 12 inches during October, November, December, and January. No limits apply during other months.

*** No more than one spotted seatrout over the stated maximum length may be retained per person per day and counts as part of the daily bag and possession limit.

**** Tarpon special regulation: One tarpon 80 inches or larger in length may be retained during a license year when affixed with a properly executed Tarpon Tag.


Freshwater Fishing Harvest Regulations

Statewide regulations apply for all public fresh waters except for those locations noted in the Exceptions to Statewide Freshwater Harvest Regulations. For game or nongame fish not listed below, there are NO statewide bag or length limits. The only exception is shad (Trinity River).

A person taking or attempting to take game and nongame fish from fresh water for non-commercial purposes is required to have a valid fishing license and a freshwater fishing stamp endorsement.

Possession limit is twice the statewide daily bag. There are no exceptions to the statewide possession limits in fresh water. Fish stored by a person at their permanent residence do not apply to their possession limit.

For saltwater finfish species caught in the public fresh waters of this state, saltwater bag, possession, and length limits apply. Some reservoirs have special regulations for red drum: see exceptions.

Statewide Bag and Length Limits

Species Daily Bag Length (minimum)
Bass: 5 (in any combination)  
largemouth and smallmouth 14 inches
spotted and Guadalupe No minimum
Bass, striped and hybrid 5 (in any combination) 18 inches
Bass, white 25 10 inches
Bass, yellow No limit No minimum
Catfish: channel and blue, their hybrids and subspecies 25 (in any combination) 12 inches
Catfish, flathead 5 18 inches
Crappie: white and black, their hybrids and subspecies 25 (in any combination) 10 inches
Paddlefish No harvest allowed  
Saugeye 3 18 inches
Sunfish: various species including bluegill, redear, green, warmouth and longear No limit No minimum
Trout: rainbow and brown, their hybrids and subspecies 5 (in any combination) No minimum
Walleye 5 (only 2 can be less than 16 inches in length) No minimum

 


 

Endangered Fish in Texas

For additional information on Texas Threatened and Endangered Species, please call (512) 912-7011.

Large River Fish State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Shovelnose Sturgeon
Scaphirhynchus platorynchus
Threatened
Paddlefish
Polyodon spathula
Threatened
Minnows State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Mexican Stoneroller
Campostoma ornatum
Threatened
Devils River Minnow
Dionda diaboli
Threatened Threatened
Rio Grande Chub
Gila pandora
Threatened
Rio Grande Silvery Minnow
Hybognathus amarus
Endangered Endangered
Chihuahua Shiner
Notropis chihuahua
Threatened
Arkansas River Shiner
Notropis girardi
Threatened Threatened
Bluehead Shiner
Pteronotropis hubbsi
Threatened
Bluntnose Shiner*
Notropis simus
Threatened
Proserpine Shiner
Cyprinella proserpina
Threatened
Suckers State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Blue Sucker
Cycleptus elongatus
Threatened
Creek Chubsucker
Erimyzon oblongus
Threatened
Catfishes State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Widemouth Blindcat
Satan eurystomus
Threatened
Toothless Blindcat
Trogloglanis pattersoni
Threatened
Killifishes State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Leon Springs Pupfish
Cyprinodon bovinus
Endangered Endangered
Comanche Springs Pupfish
Cyprinodon elegans
Endangered Endangered
Conchos Pupfish
Cyprinodon eximius
Threatened
Pecos Pupfish
Cyprinodon pecosensis
Threatened
Livebearers State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Big Bend Gambusia
Gambusia gaigei
Endangered Endangered
San Marcos Gambusia *
Gambusia georgei
Endangered Endangered
Clear Creek Gambusia
Gambusia heterochir
Endangered Endangered
Pecos Gambusia
Gambusia nobilis
Endangered Endangered
Blotched Gambusia**
Gambusia senilis
Threatened
Perches State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Fountain Darter
Etheostoma fonticola
Endangered Endangered
Rio Grande Darter
Etheostoma grahami
Threatened
Blackside Darter
Percina maculata
Threatened
Coastal Fishes State Status Federal Status (Listed)
Opossum Pipefish
Microphis brachyurus
Threatened
River Goby
Awaous banana
Threatened
Blackfin Goby
Gobionellus atripinnis
Threatened
*Species extinct
**Species extinct in the wild (except some experimental populations)
 
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