Get Your Fishing License in Indiana Today

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Indiana, with abundant lakes, rivers, and streams across the state. Before casting your line, it’s essential to understand Indiana’s fishing license requirements to avoid penalties. This guide will overview who needs a license, how to obtain one, the associated regulations, and more.

When a Fishing License is Required

A fishing license is mandatory for anyone fishing Indiana’s public waters, including lakes, rivers, streams, tributaries, and boundary waters. This applies to both residents and non-residents of legal fishing age.

The only exemptions are for:

  • Children under 18 years old
  • Military members on leave
  • Individuals with a developmental or intellectual disability
  • Residents born before April 1, 1943

These groups may fish without a license under certain restrictions, such as limits on gear. Visit the DNR website for specifics.

Indiana Fishing License Fees

Fishing license fees vary based on residency status and age:


  • Annual License – $23
  • One-day License – $10


  • Annual License – $60
  • One-day License – $15

Again, those with qualifying exemptions fish for free.

What are the Requirements for an Indiana Resident License?

To qualify for Indiana resident license rates, you must have:

  • Lived in Indiana for 60 consecutive days immediately before buying a license
  • Not held a resident license in another state during that 60 day stretch

Students enrolled in an Indiana education institution who meet these criteria also qualify as residents.

How to Get Your Indiana Fishing License

Purchasing an Indiana fishing license is a quick and straightforward process. You have four options:

1. Buy Online

The DNR online license system allows you to purchase a license 24/7. Create an account, select your license type, pay the fee, and print out the license.

2. In-Person Purchase

Visit an approved license vendor such as bait & tackle shops, sporting goods stores, or county clerk offices. Pay in-person and get your license printed immediately.

3. Phone Purchase

Call the DNR Customer Service Center at (317) 232-4200 to buy a license over the phone. It will be mailed to you within 10 days.

4. Mail-In Application

Download a mail-in application or pick one up from a DNR district office. Return the completed form with payment to receive your license by mail.

Indiana Fishing Regulations

When fishing in Indiana, you must follow all fishing seasons, size limits, and other regulations. Key rules include:

  • Carrying your license – Have your license on you at all times when fishing
  • License display – Show your license to conservation officers upon request
  • Species & size restrictions – Abide by regulations on the number, size and type of fish you can catch
  • Gear restrictions – Only use rods, reels, tackle and nets permitted for that species

Fishing Without a License Penalties

Fishing without a license or violating Indiana fishing regulations can lead to:

  • Fines up to $500
  • 60 days imprisonment
  • A misdemeanor conviction
  • Loss of equipment
  • Loss of fish

Fines also apply if you purchase a resident license without meeting residency requirements.

Why Your License Fees Matter

The funds from Indiana fishing license sales support:

  • Fish stocking of over 70 million fish annually
  • Habitat restoration in lakes and streams
  • Fish research to track populations
  • Access improvements to fishing sites
  • Outreach programs to engage next generation anglers

So your license dollars help conserve Indiana fisheries for the future.

Get Started Fishing Indiana Today

With its wealth of scenic lakes, winding rivers, and fertile hatcheries, Indiana offers fantastic fishing. Now that you know the state license requirements inside and out, you can start planning your next angling adventure without worry. Just don’t forget to pack your license!

For additional details on Indiana fishing licenses, exemptions, fees and regulations, visit the DNR website or call 1-317-232-4200.

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