Hunting and Fishing Regulations
What's New for 2012-2013
- Firearm silencers will be allowed while hunting alligators, game animals and game birds. Hunters wanting to take advantage of this new regulation will still have to comply with applicable federal, state, or local law governing the possession or use of firearm silencers. A prospective user must go through an application process administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
- There will be no pheasant season in Chambers, Jefferson, and Liberty counties. Pheasant season is now closed in all southeastern Texas counties.
- A special archery and general deer season will open in Collin, Dallas and Rockwall counties with the same seasons, bag limits and restrictions as Grayson County. Grayson, Collin, Dallas, and Rockwall counties will allow full-season, either-sex harvest by lawful archery equipment only. Bag limit will be four deer, no more than two antlerless and no more than two bucks.
- Deer hunting will be allowed in Galveston County. Seasons, bag limits, means and methods will be the same as in neighboring Harris County.
Effective Summer 2012 - New regulations to prevent the spread of certain exotic species
- Boaters on lakes Texoma, Lavon, Ray Roberts and Lewisville are asked to drain all bait buckets, livewells, bilges and any other systems or receptacles that could contain water before leaving the lake. This is to prevent accidental transport of zebra mussel larvae, which are too small to be seen without a microscope. The regulation applies to the Red River from the I-44 bridge in Wichita County downstream to the Arkansas border, including all Texas waters of Lake Texoma and Lake Lavon. An emergency order signed July 30 extended the rule to waters of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River above the Lake Lewisville dam, including lakes Ray Roberts and Lewisville.
- Anglers who collect bait fish in the Red River, Sulphur River and Big Cypress Bayou may not transport live, non-game fishes away from those water bodies. This is to prevent the accidental spread of silver and bighead carp, which are known to exist in those riversheds. Juvenile fish of those species can easily be confused with bait fishes such as shad. This regulation applies to the Red River below Lake Texoma downstream to the Arkansas border, Big Cypress Bayou downstream of Ferrell's Bridge Dam on Lake O' the Pines (including all Texas waters of Caddo Lake) and the Sulphur River downstream of the Wright Patman dam.
- See news release for more details on these regulations.
Effective September 1, 2012
- For persons fishing from a dock, pier, jetty or other man-made structure in a state park, the only allowable fishing method is pole and line. On these structures, a person may use no more than two poles at once.
- For fishing devices that require gear tags, tags will be valid for 10 days instead of 30.
- Throwlines and freshwater minnow traps are added to the list of devices that require gear tags.
- Lake Naconiche (Nacogdoches County) opens for fishing September 1 with an 18-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass. The combined daily bag limit for all species of black bass is five fish. Fishing with juglines, trotlines or throwlines is not allowed on this lake.
- Three lakes that had special length limits for largemouth bass are now back to the statewide minimum of 14 inches:
- Aquilla Reservoir (Hill County) - minimum length changed from 18 to 14 inches.
- Proctor Lake (Comanche County) and Fort Phantom Hill (Jones County) - minimum length changed from 16 to 14 inches.
- The daily bag for striped bass on Possum Kingdom Reservoir (Palo Pinto County) increased from two to to the statewide limit of five fish. Minimum length for stripers is still 18 inches.