Shad Rule Changes Take Effect in Texas

Texas Parks and WildlifeAustin Texas | Texas Parks and Wildlife Department | April 30, 2017

New rules that govern the possession and sale of gizzard and threadfin shad collected from public fresh waters go into effect April 13.

The changes passed earlier this year by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will require persons who use containers exceeding 82 quarts in volume when collecting shad to obtain a $60 Permit to Possess or Sell Nongame Fish Taken from Public Fresh Waters. Persons collecting shad for use as bait or stock in private lakes would need a permit if their container volume exceeds 82 quarts. A permit will continue to be required if the shad collected are sold or exchanged for anything of value regardless of the container size used.

No permit is required if the shad are used only as bait on the lake where they are collected, or if a licensed fishing guide possesses and furnishes the shad as bait to customers as part of the guide’s services.

According to TPWD Inland Fisheries Director of Information and Regulations Ken Kurzawski, this change allows the department to better monitor shad harvesting to ensure their sustainability in Texas fisheries and addresses concerns about the spread of invasive species.

“Transfer of zebra mussels is our primary concern,” Kurzawski said. “Before this change, no permit was required if the shad were not sold, so there was less opportunity to inform those users of the risks of the zebra mussel transfer…so these regulations give us an avenue to do that.”

Information on obtaining a nongame fish permit can be found at or by calling 512-389-4742.