Regulations for Oysters and Other Aquatic Life
- Oysters may be taken for personal use (food). Oysters taken with recreational license for personal use may not be sold.
- A person taking oysters is required to have a valid fishing license
and a saltwater stamp endorsement.
- Persons fishing with tongs or a dredge must hold a sport oyster boat license.
- Oysters may be taken only from waters approved by the Texas Department of State
Health Services. For more information call (800) 685-0361 or check the TDSHS website.
- Oysters may not be taken from marked private leases except by permission of the lessee.
- November 1 through April 30, sunrise to sunset, coastwide.
Length and Possession Limits:
- Oysters must be 3 inches or larger as measured by the greatest length of the shell.
- Oysters 3/4 inch to 3 inches must be culled and returned to the reef from which taken.
- Oysters 3/4 inch to 3 inches may not make up more than 15% by number of oysters in possession.
- No more than 2 sacks of legal oysters may be possessed per person. A
sack is defined as 110 pounds of oysters including the sack.
- Oysters may be taken by hand, with tongs or by oyster dredge.
- Oyster dredges may not be more than 14 inches in width.
More information about oysters
Other Aquatic Life (Fresh & Salt Waters)
- Aquatic life, except threatened and endangered species, not addressed in this guide may be taken only
by hand or with the devices defined as lawful for taking fish, crabs, oysters, or shrimp in places and at times as provided
in this guide.
- In public fresh waters, a fishing license and freshwater fishing stamp
endorsement is required to take mussels, clams, crayfish and
other aquatic life for personal use. In salt water, a saltwater fishing
stamp endorsement is required with the fishing license.
- A hunting license is required to hunt non-protected turtles and
sections on hunting license and nongame species )
- No more than 25 pounds of whole mussels and clams, or 12 pounds of mussel and clam shells may be taken per day for personal use only.
- Clams, Mussels and Other Molluscan Shellfish may be taken only from salt waters approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). Maps identifying approved areas may be obtained from the TDSHS Seafood and Aquatic Life Group, (512) 834-6757. Additional information concerning area closures may be obtained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (800) 685-0361.
- Consumption of Clams and Mussels taken from public fresh waters is prohibited by the TDSHS.
- Mussels and clams may only be taken by hand.
- Freshwater mussels of the following species may be taken only when they will not pass through a ring with an inside diameter (I.D.) specified for that species.
|Freshwater Mussels Species and ring size for inside diameter
||Ring ID in Inches
|Threeridges and roundlakes
|Mapleleafs and pimplebacks
| All Other Species of Freshwater Mussels
- More information on harvesting freshwater mussels and clams, including
areas closed to harvest, can be obtained by calling TPWD in Austin at 512-389-4444.
- It is unlawful to take more than 15 live univalve snails during a day which include no more than 2 each of the following snails: lightning whelk, horse conch, Florida fighting conch, pear whelk, banded tulip, or Florida rocksnail.
- It is unlawful to take or kill shell-bearing mollusks, hermit crabs, starfish, or sea urchins from Nov. 1 through Apr. 30 within the following boundary: the bay and pass sides of South Padre Island from the east end of the north jetty at Brazos Santiago Pass to the west end of West Marisol Drive in the town of South Padre Island, out 1,000 yards from the mean high-tide line, and bounded to the south by the centerline of the Brazos Santiago Pass.