Fishing in Missouri: Do You Need a License at Any Age?

As an expert angler or fishing license professional, you may wonder whether a fishing license is required in Missouri regardless of age. The answer is that, in most cases, you do need to purchase a license. However, there are some exceptions, so let’s explore the details.

Missouri Fishing License Requirements

In Missouri, anyone aged 16 and above is required to have a fishing license to fish in public waters. Licenses are available for residents and non-residents and can be purchased online or in person. Different types of licenses are available, including annual, daily, and lifetime licenses.

Age-Related Exceptions

If you are under the age of 16, you do not need a fishing license to fish in Missouri. Additionally, Missouri residents aged 65 and above are eligible for a reduced-cost fishing license. Military veterans with a 60% or greater service-related disability may also be eligible for free licenses.

Special Events and Exemptions

There are certain situations in Missouri where a fishing license may not be required. For example:

  • During Missouri’s annual Free Fishing Days, which typically occur in early June, residents and non-residents can fish in public waters without having to purchase a license.
  • Fishing in private ponds or lakes that are not connected to public waters does not require a fishing license.

It’s also worth noting that some fishing events, such as community fishing days, may offer exemptions or reduced-cost licenses for participants.


In summary, most people who want to fish in Missouri will need to purchase a fishing license, with the exception of those under the age of 16 and certain military veterans. However, there are some exemptions and special events to keep in mind. So be sure to check the Missouri Department of Conservation website or speak to a fishing license professional to ensure you’re complying with the state’s regulations. Happy fishing!


Sure, here are three popular FAQs with answers for “Fishing in Missouri: Do You Need a License at Any Age?”:

Do I need a fishing license in Missouri if I’m under 16 years old?
No, if you are under 16 years old, you do not need a fishing license in Missouri. However, there are some regulations you need to follow, such as size and possession limits, and you must be accompanied by a licensed adult if fishing on private property.

Can I fish without a license in Missouri if I’m just fishing for fun and not keeping any fish?
No, you must have a valid fishing license in Missouri to fish, even if you are not keeping any fish. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as during Free Fishing Days or if you are fishing on your own land.

How much does a fishing license cost in Missouri?
The cost of a Missouri fishing license varies depending on the type of license and the duration of the license. For example, a resident annual fishing license costs $12, while a non-resident annual fishing license costs $42. There are also discounted licenses available for seniors, disabled persons, and military personnel.

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