Comprehensive Guide to Fishing Licenses in Montana

Comprehensive Guide to Fishing Licenses in Montana

Fishing in Montana offers a diverse range of opportunities, from fly-fishing in high mountain lakes to trolling in big prairie rivers. However, to enjoy these angling experiences, you need a valid fishing license if you’re 12 years of age or older. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining a fishing license in Montana.

Who needs a Montana fishing license?

Anyone over the age of 11, whether a resident or non-resident, is required to possess a valid Montana fishing license to fish in Montana state waters. In addition to the fishing license, all anglers are required to purchase a conservation license and an angler aquatic invasive species prevention pass.

Comprehensive Guide to Fishing Licenses in Montana

Certain groups, such as Purple Heart recipients, patients of Veteran Administration hospitals, and participants in approved educational events, can obtain free Montana fishing licenses with the proper documentation presented to the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department.

Where to Purchase a Montana Fishing License

You can purchase a Montana fishing license online through the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks website. The online licensing system allows you to purchase and print your license at any time. Alternatively, you can visit one of their offices or a valid licensing agent in person to purchase a fishing license. Licensing agents include most sporting goods stores and some grocery, general, and convenience stores.

Montana Fishing License Costs

The cost of a Montana fishing license varies depending on your residency status and the type of license you wish to purchase. Here are the prices for the 2023 fishing season:

License Type Resident Price Non-Resident Price
Two Day Base Fishing $5 $25
Annual Base Fishing (ages 12 to 17 and 62+) $10.50
Annual Base Fishing (ages 18 to 61) $21 $86
Conservation (ages 12 to 17 and 62+) $4 $10
Conservation (ages 18 to 61) $8 $10
Angler Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass $2 $7.50

To purchase a resident fishing license, you must provide proof of residence, such as a valid MT driver’s license. Individuals are considered residents of the state if they have lived in the state for at least six months, file Montana state income tax, have their vehicles registered to the state of Montana, are registered to vote in Montana, and do not hold another state’s resident fishing license.

Montana residents who are permanently disabled qualify for reduced-rate fishing licenses, provided proper documentation and proof of disability are presented to the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department. Lifetime fishing licenses for blind residents of Montana are also available at a reduced rate of $10.

Age Requirements for a Montana Fishing License

Any angler over the age of eleven who fishes within state waters must possess a valid MT fishing license. Residents of Montana who are younger than eighteen and older than sixty-one years of age qualify for reduced-rate fishing and conservation licenses.


Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding the requirements and procedures for obtaining a Montana fishing license is crucial. This guide provides you with all the necessary information to ensure you’re ready for your next fishing adventure in Montana. Remember, by purchasing a fishing license, you’re not only complying with the law but also contributing to the conservation efforts that keep Montana’s waters teeming with fish. Happy fishing!

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