2013 - 2014
Outdoor Annual

Shark Limits and Identification

Daily Bag Limit

Anglers in Texas are allowed one shark per person per day with a two-shark possession limit.

 

Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacktip and Bonnethead Sharks

 

Atlantic Sharpnose

Minimum size limit: 24 inches, total length

Body usually has several prominent white spots; second dorsal fin originates over midpoint of anal fin.

Atlantic Sharpnose

 

Blacktip

Minimum size limit: 24 inches, total length

Similar to spinner but first dorsal fin originates over the pectoral fins and anal fin lacks black tip.

 

Bonnethead

Minimum size limit: 24 inches, total length

Rounded, shovel shaped head with no indentation at midline of snout; maximum size about 5 feet.

 

All Other Allowable Shark Species

 

Minimum size limit for other allowable species: 64 inches

 

Allowable species include:

Bull
Stocky body; no interdorsal ridge; large triangular sloping dorsal fin; bluntly rounded snout.
Finetooth
Fins unmarked; slender smooth teeth; color bluish-grey above and white below.
Spinner
Similar to blacktip but first dorsal fin originates begin behind the pectoral fins and anal fin has black tip.
Hammerheads
Head hammer-shaped; incudes scalloped, great, smooth and smalleye hammerheads.
Lemon
First and second triangular dorsal fins about equal in size.
Blacknose
Grey to black blotch on tip of snout.
Thresher
Upper lobe of caudal fin extremely long and about half of total body length; similar to bigeye thresher but has no grooves on top of head and white abdominal coloring extends above pectoral fins.
Tiger
Distinctive vertical blotches or stripes.
Blue
Slender body of metallic blue color.
Shortfin Mako
Similar to longfin mako but underside of snout and mouth are white; similar to blue shark but has caudal keel.
Nurse
Brown color; first dorsal fin over pelvic fins; very small eyes; barbels on each side of mouth; no distinct lower lobe of caudal fin.
Oceanic Whitetip
Broadly rounded white tipped first dorsal fin.

More Information

Visit NMFS for additional shark identification and general information.

Visit the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council for fishing regulations in Gulf of Mexico federal waters.

*Photos courtesy of Guide to Sharks, Tunas & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico published by NOAA & Rhode Island Sea Grant.


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