Texas Crappie Fishing Limits
Every state has there own laws and regulations when it comes to crappie fishing. We are going to go over the State of Texas crappie fishing limits in this article. The information here has been confirm by Texas Parks And Wildlife Department.
Texas Crappie Fishing Size Limits
The minimum size for catch and keep crappie is 10″. If you catch a crappie less than 10″ in length, then it MUST be released back into the fishing waters. The crappies should be measured as soon as they are taken out of the water. If the crappie is less than 10″, it MUST be release shortly after. The fish can not be transfer into another body of water.
Of course the game warden should offer a slight time delay. A great example of a short time delay would be to take a picture. If a child catches a crappie less than 10″ for their first fish, it should be ok to take a picture with the fish and child for memories. The fish should be released directly afterwards back into the fishing waters.
A crappie measuring less than 10″ should NEVER leave the banks of any Texas lake for any reason.
This rule is direct and there is little room for debate on this.
If a Texas Game Warden found undersized crappie being kept by a fisherman, a ticket for each fish can be given.
For example: If a Texas Game Warden asked to see your basket, and there were 3 crappies less than 10″ in the basket. The game warden can issue 3 separate tickets for possessing crappie less than 10″.
Texas Crappie Fishing Bag Limits
The Texas crappie bag limit is 25 crappies. This is where the debate could arrive.
Many fisherman will go by the actual hours of a day. For example: You can legally catch 25 crappie measuring at least 10″ between the hours of 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM.
I did call our local Texas State Park to clarify this bag limit rule. According to Purtis Creek Texas State Park, this information is INCORRECT.
The Purtis Creek employee has stated the Texas bag laws as: A single angler has a state limit of 25 crappie measuring no less than 10″ in length. If an angler catches the 25 crappie limit, the angler MUST leave the fishing waters to store or eat the crappie. Then the angler would need to wait a full 24 hour period before fishing for more crappie.
The example that was used was 10PM. If a fisherman fishes the limit at 10pm, then the fisherman would need to leave the waters. Then wait until 10PM the following day before returning for more.
So What Should You Do?
Technically a day limit should count only for that day. That is 12AM – 11:59PM. This is NOT how the rules work for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department or the game warden.
The limits are counted by “your fishing day”. This means per fishing trip. If you are on a fishing trip starting at 10PM and it runs until 2AM, your crappie limit is 25 crappie. Legally you MAY NOT possess more than 25 crappie at any given time. This is a per person rule.
Texas Game Warden Rules
I think its always best to try to stay within the bounds of bag limits. If you are approached by a game warden, you will be safe if you possess no more than 25 crappie at least 10″.
If you have more than 25 crappies, then the game warden will give you a ticket. This rule is also in play per fisherman. If you have 2 fisherman, then you can have up to 50 crappie in possession.
The game warden will usually ask questions. If the story does not add up or breaches the limit, then tickets will be given.
A good example of this would be: A husband and wife are fishing. The wife reaches the 25 crappie limit, but the husband catches 20 crappie. Then the couple leave the lake in separate cars, but keep the fish in 1 vehicle. If the game warden did an inspection one would have possession of 45 crappies. To verify the story given to the game warden, you could show pictures of the couple fishing. Both individuals can also provide written signed statements to verify.
The game warden really relies on common sense to look for people that purposely break Texas crappie bag limits.
You can always have a basket per fisherman ready for fishing trips. By keeping the fish separated, its easier to determine the amount of crappie caught by each person.
Exceptions For Minors And Disabled
I did ask around about the limits and how the effect children under 18 and the disabled. Since minors are not required to have a fishing licence, I thought the rules may be different.
- Children are required to abide by Texas crappie limits. Of course some children may not understand how the rules apply. If a child is caught abusing the crappie limits, tickets may be issued. Depending on the game wardens findings of course. Children are often excused depending on the situation. The parents of the children are generally held liable for their child’s actions.
- Disabled and mentally impaired fisherman are also required to follow Texas crappie limits. If a disabled or impaired person were ticketed, a court could release the fines or jail time. A game warden is usually a great first line to make judgement calls. I think the biggest deciding factor is ” the fisherman’s intentions”
More Important Texas Crappie Limit Information
Fisherman need to also be aware of how else the crappie limit laws may be broken. The law says that a single person can possess a maximum of 25 crappie. This law also extends into your home freezer. If there are 4 people living in a home, then that home should never have more than 100 crappies in the freezer.
A lot of people think that the 25 crappie limit is only for a daily catch limit. This information is incorrect. If a game warden counts your catch as 25, then you have 10 more in any place that is searched – You could be issued a ticket for each of the 10 extra fish.
The crappie limit laws are broken if any person possesses more than 25 crappie at any given time. This rules of possession includes all private property also. Places like RV, campsite coolers, vehicles, and residences are also included.