Anglers' Rights

Below is an article from the Jan. 11, 1999, TPWD news packet. This article was released in large part due to a request by Jerry Dean of Honey Hole [Magazine], and work over the past several years by HH, SCOT, and the Texas B.A.S.S. Federation.

If every marina and dock owner sees this release, anglers' problems in fishing around such areas should be reduced. But remember to fish friendly, no matter where you are.
-Alan Allen

 TPW  CLARIFIES  ANGLING   RIGHTS 
NEAR  DOCKS,  MARINAS

AUSTIN-In response to reports of confrontations between anglers and waterfront landowners, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) officials have clarified the public's right to fish from a boat on all public waters, providing no game law regulations are being violated.

According to TPW legal counsel Boyd Kennedy, "Waters that are open to the public for fishing include coastal waters, major lakes and rivers, and many smaller streams and lakes," said Kennedy. "If a lake is public water, then all of the lake is public water, including the water around marinas and boat docks. The right to build or operate a marina, dock, or other structure on or over public water does not carry with it the right to restrict boating or fishing from a boat."

Kennedy went on to note that by law, the basic authority for the enactment of fishing and boating regulations is reserved to the state.

Some local government authorities may impose boating regulations for safety purposes, but TPW statistics show that fishing around marinas and boat docks is not a safety problem. "Harassment of a law-abiding fisherman is a crime punishable by fine and/or imprisonment," he added.

SL 1/11/99