Legal information regarding the commercial trade in Texas turtles

In 2007 The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department decided to stop the commercial trade of all turtles in Texas except for Red ear sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and both species of the Softshell turtles (Apalone mutica & spinifera). 

These species are still being harvested from the wild to supply the Asian food trade.  Since 1995 more than 10,000,000 turtles have been taken from Texas waters and sold to Asian food markets reportedly from one animal dealer.

This law also applies to captive bred species of turtles that occur in Texas and is applicable at the species level.  It also makes harvesting turtles from public waters illegal.

General information regarding the legality of commercial trade from Texas Parks and Wildlife click here

For the Texas Administrative Code pertaining to commercial activity of nongame resources click here

For a list of the species prohibited from commercial trade click here

Diamondback Terrapins are a protected species in Texas.  For more information click here.

There are specific laws regarding the use of aquatic traps in Texas.  For more information click here