Fishing & Boating News

New Hunting and Fishing License Packages Go on Sale Aug. 15

by: Steve Lightfoot,

(Aug. 09, 2004 - Austin, TX) New hunting and fishing licenses for 2004-05 will be available beginning Aug. 15, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is reminding customers to be aware of some significant changes. All current annual hunting and fishing licenses expire on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The biggest change will affect recreational fishermen. Beginning this fall, Texas anglers will have to pick the fishing license package that matches their fishing preference: freshwater, saltwater or both. That's because a new $5 freshwater fishing stamp to generate funding for fish hatchery construction and repair will be required to fish in freshwater starting Sept. 1. A similar endorsement to fish in saltwater has been in place for several years, with revenue generated by coastal anglers earmarked for that fishery. According to the new licensing structure, anglers will select from several fishing packages: a freshwater fishing license ($28 for residents, $11 for seniors and $55 for non-residents), a saltwater fishing license ($33 for residents, $16 for seniors and $60 for non-residents) or an all-water fishing license good for both fresh and saltwater ($38 for residents, $21 for seniors and $65 for non-residents). All packages come with the appropriate required stamps. Similar license packages will also be available in conjunction with hunting licenses, including a freshwater combo ($47 for residents, and $15 for seniors), a saltwater combo ($52 for residents, $20 for seniors) and all-water combo ($57 for residents, $25 for seniors). The popular super combo "one stop shop" license package will incur just the additional cost of the freshwater stamp ($64), as does the senior super combo ($30). The types of temporary fishing licenses available also has changed. The 3-day resident, the 5-day non-resident and the 14-day temporary have been replaced by a 1-day temporary with an option to buy additional daily privileges at the time of purchase. The first time a resident purchases a 1-day resident license the price will be $11 for freshwater, $16 for saltwater and $21 for all water privileges, with additional consecutive days costing $4 per day. The same customer may choose to purchase the same 1-day license package at a later date for only $6 with each consecutive additional day costing $4. The first time a non-resident buys a 1-day license the cost will be $17 for freshwater, $22 for saltwater or $27 for all water, with additional consecutive days costing $8 each. The same non-resident customer may choose to purchase the same 1-day license package at a later date for $12 with each consecutive additional day costing $8. There is also a new summer's-end license for Texas residents only valid for the months of July and August. The freshwater version will cost $25; while the saltwater will run $30 and an all-water license $35. The agency also created for convenience sake a "year-from-purchase" all-water fishing license valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. The cost of this license option will be $45 and available to Texas residents only. Texas issues 3.2 million hunting and fishing licenses annually through 28 TPWD field offices, more than 100 state parks and at many retailers across Texas. Also for the first time, Texas hunting and fishing licenses may be purchased over the Internet ( Hunters and anglers can also purchase licenses by calling (800) 895-4248. The phone license operation serves both Texans and non-residents, enabling hunters and anglers to buy licenses by phone using a major credit card. Call center hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday — Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. A license confirmation number is issued at the time of purchase for online and phone orders, and the physical license is mailed separately. Confirmation numbers will verify that a license has been purchased but will not allow hunters to take fish or wildlife that requires a tag. A $5 convenience fee is charged for ordering online or by phone. Anyone planning to hunt migratory game birds such as dove and waterfowl this year must be certified under the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Migratory game bird hunters (doves and migratory game birds) are urged to check their new license at the time of sale; HIP certification will be printed on the license at the time of sale only after the purchaser answers a few brief migratory bird questions. Lifetime license holders must also be HIP-certified to hunt migratory birds. Online and wherever licenses are sold, several other items for the 2004-05 season are also available, including Annual Public Hunting Permits and entries in Big Time Texas Hunt drawings. The Big Time Texas Hunts program offers the opportunity to win one or more guided hunts with food and lodging provided. Proceeds are dedicated to providing more public hunting opportunities and funding wildlife conservation and/or research programs in Texas. Entries in the Big Time Texas Hunt drawings are $10 each. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase, and entries may be purchased as gifts for others. Purchasers must be 17 years old or older. The entry deadline on all categories is midnight Nov. 6. Entries may be purchased year-round, but entries received after the deadline will be entered in the drawing for the following year. The $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit allows hunters access to 1.2 million acres of public hunting lands, including land leased exclusively for hunting dove, pheasant, waterfowl and other small game. Youth younger than age 17 may hunt on public hunting lands without the permit if they have the $6 Special Resident Hunting license and are hunting with a permitted adult. A Public Hunting Lands map booklet and supplement of dove lease maps will be mailed within a week of purchase of the permit at retail outlets; however, the map booklet and supplement can be obtained immediately by purchasing the permit at a TPWD law enforcement office. TPWD magazine subscriptions will continue to be available through the license system. Cost of subscriptions are $19.95 for one year and $32.95 for two years.