Don’t Have A Fishing License? You Don’t Need One At Texas State Parks
Earlier this week, when I was writing the article about "Family Friendly Fun Things to See and Do In the Abilene Area," I came across some interesting information that I was unaware of. The first thing I learned from our friendly Game Wardens, is that there are certain lakes in the Lone Star State where certain laws DO NOT apply.
Ever since I can remember, I've always lived by the law that if you're going to get a line wet, you had better have a 'valid Texas State fishing license' on your person at ALL TIMES no matter what, period end of conversation! However, that is not the case when it comes to State Parks in Texas.
After speaking with our Game Wardens, James Cummings, and Amelia Springer, they informed me that the Abilene State Park falls under the “Community Fishing Lake” regulations, exempting it from the 'required fishing license laws.' The reason for that is if you have to pay to enter the park, the State has collected a park fee, and no fishing license is not required.
A fishing license and endorsement are not required if fishing on state park property or in waters completely enclosed by a state park. On man-made structures (docks, piers, jetties, etc.) within state parks, fishing is allowed by pole-and-line only, and each person is limited to two poles. Please check with the park before participating in any fishing activity and confirm any additional regulations.
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department TPWD
Do You Need a Fishing License to Fish in Private Tanks?
The "no fishing license required" law applies to State Parks and one other area. If you are fishing in private waters such as a stock tank, you do not need a fishing license. Beware though, if you're transporting fish from someone's private tank, whether the fish are alive or dead, you need some sort of documentation to prove where these fish were caught. It's a lot like when you're hunting deer, the minute it hits the red dirt "tag it."
Want to Go Fishing Around Abilene?
Check out the Abilene State Park, but please be aware that there are fish size requirements. Lake Abilene has a variety of fish which include largemouth bass, channel catfish, and white crappie. The largest largemouth bass caught at Lake Abilene was caught in 2010 weighing in at 12.26 lbs.
Want to know where the biggest fish lake records are? All the latest State Park records are found on the TPWD website.