Guide to Texas Kayak Laws

Paddling in Texas can be a lot of fun with great view of scenery and beautiful lakes. However, you need to take care certain laws and regulation related to paddling in Texas as well. You are bound to follow these Texas kayak laws and rules in order to paddle on the water.

There are different laws and regulations for different type of vessels; however, there are some general laws application on kayaks and canoes. In order to cover all these laws, I am writing a guide to Texas kayaking laws with you.

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Laws for Kayaking in Texas or Laws for Boating

So let’s get legal;

Law 1 – Always wear a PFD

This is one of the most common thing that you need to follow. If you are paddling in Texas then everybody on board is supposed to wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) all the time while on water. If your vessel is above 16 feet then you are supposed to carry a throwable flotation device along with the wearable PFDs.

> Our Guide on Life Jackets

Law 2 – Children under 13 Years

All the children that are under 13 years are supposed to wear a PFD all the time while on water. The PFD needs to be approved by US Coast Guards.

Law 3 – Registration Requirement for Motorized Vessel

If you have installed a motor on your kayak or canoe then as per Texas Paddling laws, you are supposed to get your vessel registered. Along with that, you are required to have a safety whistle on board.

Law 4 – A Bright White Light Requirement

If you are paddling in night then you are supposed to carry a bright white light on board. You may mount it on your vessel or carry it otherwise. It is supposed to have a 360 Degree visiblity.

Law 5 – Paddling Intoxicated

You may find it excited to have couple of beers while paddling but it is illegal in Texas to do so. You are not supposed to paddle while intoxicated or handing over your vessel to paddle while being intoxicated.

If you found paddling with alcohol level above 0.08% then you may be fined for an amount up to $2,000 and a jail term for up to 180 days – its only for the first conviction.

Law 6 – Fishing License Requirement

If you are planning to fish on the water of Texas then you are supposed to obtain a fishing license. There different fishing license for freshwater and saltwater. However, you may combine both license with an all-water package.

You Do NOT require a fishing license if you are planning to fish within the boundaries of State park.

Read our Best Fishing Kayak guide here.

Law 7 – Drain, Clean and Dry your Vessel

If you are planning to paddle on Freshwater then you are supposed to make sure that your craft is fully drained prior to transporting which will stop the spread of invasive species, such as zebra mussels.

You are also required to clean and dry your vessel before going paddling.

Summing up

I am sure that now you can legally paddle in Texas and come to know about the Kayaking in Texas laws. You have to respect the laws as they are made to protect you and make your paddling experience safe and fun.

Don’t forget to share this with fellow Texan paddlers as it might be helpful for them. Do let us know your thoughts.

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