Do Kids Need Fishing License in Louisiana? Find Out Now

Kids Fishing Licenses in Louisiana: What You Need to Know in 2024

The short answer is – it depends on the child’s age. According to the latest regulations from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF):

  • Children under 16 years old do not need a fishing license to fish in Louisiana’s public waters, including freshwater and saltwater areas.
  • Youth aged 17 are required to have a Youth Hunting/Fishing License to fish or possess fish. This $5 annual license allows 17-year-olds to obtain deer and turkey tags for hunting as well.
  • Children under 18 holding a Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License are exempt from the Youth Hunting/Fishing License requirement.

So in summary, kids 15 and under can fish for free, while 17-year-olds need the inexpensive Youth license. This aligns with LDWF’s goal of promoting affordable outdoor recreation for families.

Other Louisiana Fishing License Details for 2024

Resident Fishing Licenses :

  • Basic Fishing (freshwater): $17
  • Saltwater Fishing: $15 (Basic Fishing license also required)
  • Hook and Line (cane pole): $5
  • Senior Hunting/Fishing (65+): $5

Non-Resident Licenses :

  • Annual Basic Fishing: $68
  • Saltwater Fishing: $30 (Basic license required)
  • 5-day Basic Fishing: $30
  • 5-Day Saltwater Fishing: $30 (Basic license required)

A few other notable updates for 2024 :

  • Licenses are valid for 365 days from purchase date, not July 1 – June 30
  • Basic Freshwater and Saltwater licenses cover most legal fishing gear
  • Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Access Permit required for anyone over 17 ($20 annual / $5 daily)
  • WMA Camping Permit required for overnight stays ($7 per night for up to 5 adults)

Why Get a Kid’s Fishing License?

While not legally required for most kids, getting a Youth Hunting/Fishing license provides some key benefits:

  1. Supports Conservation: License fees fund LDWF’s conservation efforts to manage fish populations and habitats. This ensures future generations can enjoy Louisiana’s natural resources.
  2. Deer and Turkey Hunting: The $5 youth license is required for kids 17 and under to obtain tags for deer and turkey hunting seasons.
  3. WMA Access: Allows kids to access Wildlife Management Areas without an adult having to purchase the WMA permit.
  4. Teaches Responsibility: Getting a license helps kids understand the importance of following regulations from a young age.

How to Buy a Louisiana Youth Fishing License

Youth Hunting/Fishing licenses can be purchased:

  • Online at LDWF’s website (
  • By phone at 1-888-765-2602
  • In person at LDWF regional offices
  • From retailers like sporting goods stores and Walmart

When buying online or by phone, you’ll get an authorization number to use immediately, with the physical license mailed later.

Tips for a Fun, Safe Fishing Trip with Kids

To ensure an enjoyable family fishing experience, keep these tips in mind:

  • Check regulations on limits, seasons, and gear requirements for the waters you’ll be fishing
  • Get a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit if fishing for tunas, billfish, or certain other saltwater species
  • Use age-appropriate gear sized for kids to prevent injuries
  • Pack sunscreen, snacks, water, and any needed medications
  • Supervise kids closely around water and when using hooks/sharp objects
  • Consider taking an LDWF Aquatic Education course to learn fishing basics

By understanding the license requirements and planning ahead, you can create great memories on the water with your kids!

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