Fishing in Missouri made easy with our license guide

Missouri offers abundant freshwater fishing opportunities across the state. With over a million acres of surface water, Missouri has more fishable acres than any of its neighboring states. From small ponds to large reservoirs, rivers, and streams, Missouri has a variety of habitats and over 200 different fish species. This fishing paradise makes Missouri a popular destination for resident and non-resident anglers alike.

To legally fish the waters of Missouri, proper permits and licenses are required for most people. This guide will provide everything you need to know to easily obtain the correct Missouri fishing permits and licenses for your next fishing adventure.

Who Needs a Missouri Fishing Permit?

In Missouri, all resident anglers ages 16 through 64 and non-resident anglers age 16 and over are required to have a fishing permit, unless exempt. Some exemptions to the fishing permit requirement include:

  • Missouri residents under 16 years old
  • Missouri resident landowners fishing on land they own
  • Missouri residents over age 65
  • Missouri residents with qualifying disabilities

So if you meet one of those exemption criteria, you can fish permit-free but must carry documentation of your exemption status.

In addition to the general fishing permit, a trout permit is needed to fish for trout in Missouri. Daily tags may also be required when fishing certain trout parks. Make sure you have the correct permits before fishing different species!

Missouri Resident Fishing Permits

As a Missouri resident, you have the choice of an annual or daily fishing permit:

  • Annual Permit: $12 per year, allows fishing statewide for all species except trout
  • Daily Permit: $8 per day, allows fishing statewide for all species except trout

On top of your fishing permit, you’ll need:

  • Trout Permit: $10 annually to fish for trout
  • Daily Trout Tags: $5 per day required for certain trout parks

With a resident permit, limits, seasons and methods vary by species and location. Always check regulations before fishing.

Non-Resident Missouri Fishing Permits

If you’re visiting from out of state, non-resident fishing permit options are:

  • Annual Permit: $49 per year, allows fishing statewide for all species except trout
  • Daily Permit: $8 per day, allows fishing statewide for all species except trout

In addition to the non-resident fishing permit, you’ll also need:

  • Trout Permit: $10 annually to fish for trout
  • Daily Trout Tags: $5 per day required for certain trout parks

Some reciprocal agreements along border waters may allow you to fish with just an out-of-state license. But in most cases, non-residents need a permit.

Where To Buy Permits

Missouri offers fishing permits through several convenient outlets:

  • Online – purchase fishing permits 24/7 through the MDC website
  • In-Person – visit local bait shops, sporting good stores, etc
  • Phone – call 1-800-392-4115 to order permits
  • MO Fishing App – download to store digital permits on your phone

Certain permit types have restrictions on purchasing methods. For example, lifetime permits are only available to eligible residents through the mail. Check purchase locations for each permit type.

Missouri Lifetime Fishing Permits

Missouri offers resident anglers the option of a Lifetime Fishing Permit or Lifetime Trout Permit:

  • Lifetime Fishing Permit
    • Ages 0-15: $291
    • Ages 16-29: $431
    • Ages 30-39: $377
    • Ages 40-59: $323
    • Ages 60-64: $38
  • Lifetime Trout Permit
    • Ages 0-15: $74
    • Ages 16-29: $108
    • Ages 30-39: $94
    • Ages 40-59: $81
    • Ages 60-64: $10

Lifetime permits must be purchased directly through the MDC by mail. They provide fishing privileges for life to Missouri residents.

Key Things to Remember

  • Have permits before fishing! Get inspected permits in advance.
  • Carry permits on you while fishing as proof of purchase.
  • Know the special permits, limits and regulations for species you are fishing.
  • Double check permit requirements if reciprocal fishing along border waters.
  • Purchase permits through the method allowed for that permit type.
  • Consider lifetime permits for long term fishing privileges.

Equipped with the proper Missouri fishing permits and knowledge of regulations, you’ll be set to successfully and legally fish the outstanding fisheries of Missouri. For more info, visit the MDC website or call 1-800-392-4115.

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