Get Hooked: Buy Iowa Fishing License in La Crosse, WI

Planning a fishing trip to Iowa this year? Before casting your line, be sure to get a valid Iowa fishing license. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from license requirements to purchasing options. We’ll even highlight the closest vendors to buy your license across the border in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Who Needs an Iowa Fishing License?

In Iowa, all resident and nonresident anglers 16 years and older are required to have a fishing license to fish the state’s public waters.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Iowa residents under 16 can fish without a license. Nonresidents under 16 still need a trout stamp if fishing for trout.
  • Several other groups like disabled veterans, patients at substance abuse facilities, and residents of state institutions can fish without a license under certain conditions.

Check Iowa’s full licensing details to confirm if you qualify for any exceptions.

Iowa Fishing License Options

Iowa offers both annual and short-term licenses valid for a certain number of days. Costs differ for residents and nonresidents.

Some of the most common options include:

  • Annual Resident License: $20
  • Three-Year Resident License: $62
  • Nonresident Annual: $55
  • One-Day Nonresident: $15

View all Iowa fishing license fees.

Those fishing for trout will need to pay an additional $13 trout fee. A $13 inland trout stamp is also required for nonresidents wanting to fish for trout.

Buying Your Iowa Fishing License

You can purchase an Iowa fishing license online through the state’s Go Outdoors Iowa portal. Just have a valid driver’s license or social security number ready.

If you prefer to buy in person, Iowa has over 700 license vendors and bait shops statewide. This makes it easy to grab your license right before hitting the water.

Where to Buy an Iowa Fishing License in La Crosse, WI

If you’re planning an Iowa fishing trip from La Crosse or anywhere in Wisconsin, you have several options to buy your license nearby before crossing the border:

Online Through Go Outdoors Iowa

Purchase your Iowa license online ahead of time through the Go Outdoors Iowa website . Just print out the license at home or save it on your phone.

In Person at Closest Iowa Bait Shops

Multiple bait shops right across the Iowa border offer licenses. Two of the closest options to La Crosse include:

  • Iowa Outdoors in Lansing, IA (20 minutes from La Crosse)
  • Northeast Iowa Angler in New Albin, IA (25 minutes)

Check Iowa’s full license vendor list to find more nearby options.

Wisconsin DNR License Agents

Certain Wisconsin DNR license agents right in La Crosse can sell nonresident Iowa fishing licenses. Call ahead to confirm availability:

  • Mackenzie Environmental Education Center
  • La Crosse County Administrative Center

Check Wisconsin’s license agent list for other locations.

Iowa Fishing Regulations

Before wetting your line, be sure to review Iowa’s fishing regulations for the most up-to-date rules. Regulations help conserve fish species for the future.

Most anglers follow the statewide regulations for seasons, bag limits, and length limits listed in the annual fishing regulations guide.

However, some lakes have additional special regulations like:

  • Increased length limits for certain fish species
  • Catch and release rules
  • Gear restrictions

Search for special regulations by lake name or county using the DNR lake maps.

Tips for a Successful Iowa Fishing Trip

Once you have your license, you’re ready to start planning the details of your Iowa fishing adventure!

Here are some key tips for an enjoyable trip while following all rules:

  • Research top destinations based on the species you want to catch or amenities offered. Iowa’s best crappie lakes differ from its top walleye waters.
  • Pack proper gear and bait allowed in that waterbody. Some areas prohibit live bait or have lure restrictions.
  • Review special regulations for the lake or river before fishing. Carry relevant lake maps and rules as a quick reference.
  • Practice ethical catch and release if not keeping fish by minimizing air exposure and handling time.
  • Properly store and transport fish you plan to eat following consumption advisories.
  • Report violations to help protect Iowa’s waters. Call the TIP hotline at 800-532-2020.

Ready to Catch Your Limit in Iowa

Now you have all the information on getting an Iowa fishing license before reeling in your next trophy catch over the border.

Review the key steps:

  1. Choose the best license option for your needs
  2. Purchase online or find a nearby vendor
  3. Review relevant fishing regulations
  4. Gear up and research top destinations
  5. Follow rules and catch limits
  6. Practice ethical angling and clean up

With your license in hand and regulations down pat, you’re all set for an epic fishing trip in Iowa’s abundant waters. Just don’t forget a valid license before chasing your next monster catfish, feisty bass, or trophy walleye!

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