Do Missouri Kids Need a Fishing License? Find Out Now!

If you’re planning to take your little ones on a fishing adventure in the Show-Me State, you might be scratching your head, wondering, “Do my kids need a fishing license in Missouri?” Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think—it depends on their age and certain circumstances. Let’s dive into the details.

Age Restrictions

In Missouri, the magic number is 16. If your kiddo is under 16 years of age, they can cast their line in Missouri waters without a fishing license, as long as they’re under the watchful eye of a licensed adult. So, if your child is 15 or younger, they’re good to go!

However, once they blow out the candles on their 16th birthday cake, they’ll need to have a valid Missouri fishing license to continue their angling adventures in state waters.

Salute to Service: Military Veterans

If you’ve served in the military and call Missouri home, you can enjoy fishing in Missouri’s state waters without spending a dime on a license. The only catch is that you must have a valid Missouri driver’s license or state-issued identification card with a veteran designation.

This license-free fishing privilege also extends to active-duty military personnel who are stationed in Missouri. It’s our way of saying thank you for your service!

Special Events

Every now and then, Missouri hosts special fishing events that offer a free pass from fishing license requirements. These events are typically aimed at children, providing a fantastic opportunity to introduce your little ones to the thrill of the catch.

These events are usually sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and take place at various locations throughout the state. Some of these events may require registration or pre-registration, so be sure to check with the MDC for more information.

Wrapping Up

So, to sum it up, if your child is under 16 years of age or if you’re a military veteran or active-duty military personnel, you can fish in Missouri without a license. However, if your child is 16 years of age or older, they’ll need to have a valid Missouri fishing license. And don’t forget about those special events that offer exemptions—always keep an eye on the MDC for more information. Now, go out there and enjoy some quality fishing time!


Q1. At what age do Missouri kids need a fishing license?

In Missouri, children under the age of 16 can fish in public or private waters without a fishing license. However, children 15 years old and younger must still comply with all fishing regulations and limits.

Q2. What types of fish require a fishing license for Missouri kids?

All fish species, including game fish and non-game fish, require a fishing license for anyone over the age of 16. However, children under the age of 16 can fish without a license.

Q3. Do Missouri kids need a permit to fish in state parks?

Yes, regardless of their age, all anglers must have a fishing permit to fish in Missouri state parks. However, children under 16 can obtain a free daily trout tag. They may also purchase a trout permit if they wish to take fish home.

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