Is a Fishing License Required in Kansas? Find Out Now!

Is a Fishing License Required in Kansas? Your Complete 2024 Guide

Fishing is a beloved pastime in Kansas, with its abundance of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs teeming with prized catches like largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. However, before you cast your line, it’s crucial to understand the state’s fishing license requirements. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining a Kansas fishing license in 2024.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Kansas?

In Kansas, a valid fishing license is mandatory for most anglers aged 16 through 74. The requirements vary based on your residency status and age:


  • Individuals aged 16 to 74 must possess a valid resident fishing license while fishing in Kansas waters, unless exempt by law.
  • Residents aged 65 to 74 are eligible for discounted licenses, including a senior lifetime pass or half-price annual licenses.


  • All non-residents aged 16 and older must have a valid non-resident fishing license to fish in Kansas.


Certain groups are exempt from the fishing license requirement in Kansas:

  • Children under 16 years of age
  • Residents aged 75 and older
  • Landowners and their immediate family fishing on their own land (with some exceptions)
  • Tenants renting land for agricultural purposes and their immediate family
  • Residents of adult care homes licensed by the state
  • Active members of the Kansas National Guard (eligible for free licenses)
  • Disabled veterans with a service-connected disability of 30% or more (eligible for free licenses)
  • Residents who are at least one-sixteenth American Indian by blood (eligible for free licenses)

It’s important to note that even if you are exempt from the license requirement, you must still follow all other fishing regulations and laws in Kansas.

Types of Kansas Fishing Licenses

Kansas offers various fishing license options to cater to different needs:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual License: Valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
  • Lifetime License: A one-time purchase valid for the lifetime of the holder.
  • 24-Hour License: Valid for 24 hours from the time of purchase.
  • 5-Day License: Valid for five consecutive days.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual License: Valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
  • 5-Day License: Valid for five consecutive days.

Additional Permits

Kansas also offers additional permits for specific fishing activities, such as:

  • Trout Permit
  • Paddlefish Permit
  • Hand Fishing Permit

These permits may be required in addition to your regular fishing license, depending on the type of fishing you plan to do.

How to Purchase a Kansas Fishing License

You can purchase a Kansas fishing license through various channels:

  1. Online: Visit the official Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website ( or the dedicated licensing site ( to purchase your license online.
  2. Licensed Agents: Many retail stores, such as Walmart, and other businesses across the state are authorized to sell fishing licenses. There are over 600 licensed agents statewide.
  3. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Offices: You can visit any Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks office to purchase your license in person.
  4. Telephone: Call the toll-free number 1-800-918-2877 to purchase your license over the phone.

When purchasing your license, be prepared to provide information such as your residency status, age, and the type of license you require. Payment can typically be made using a credit or debit card, or in some cases, cash.

License Fees and Validity

The cost of a Kansas fishing license varies depending on factors such as residency status, age, and the type of license or permit you require. Here are some examples of license fees for 2024:

  • Resident Annual Fishing License: $27.50
  • Non-Resident Annual Fishing License: $57.50
  • Resident Senior (65-74) Annual Fishing License: $15.00
  • Resident Lifetime Fishing License: $542.50 (valid for life)
  • Non-Resident 5-Day Fishing License: $27.50

Most Kansas fishing licenses, including annual licenses, are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase or the expiration date of your current license. However, some licenses, such as one-day, five-day, multi-year youth, and lifetime licenses, have different validity periods.

It’s important to note that license fees are subject to change, so it’s always best to check the current rates before making your purchase.

License Requirements on Private Land

While landowners and their immediate family are generally exempt from the fishing license requirement on their own land, there are some exceptions to be aware of:

  • If the private impoundment (pond or lake) has a stream or river flowing into or out of it, a license is required, even if the stream is intermittent.
  • If the private impoundment is owned or operated by more than one person or group, a license is required unless you are the sole owner or operator fishing on your portion of the impoundment.
  • If the private impoundment has been stocked by the state within the last 10 years, a license is required.
  • Guests of landowners or operators fishing on streams and rivers on the landowner’s property must have a valid fishing license.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these exceptions to ensure you comply with the regulations when fishing on private land in Kansas.

Free Fishing Days

To promote and encourage fishing in the state, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks designates two days each calendar year as “Free Fishing Days.” On these designated days, anyone can fish by legal means without a valid fishing license.

These free fishing days are an excellent opportunity for newcomers to try out the sport or for experienced anglers to introduce friends and family to the joys of fishing without the need for a license.

Penalties for Fishing Without a License

Fishing without a valid license in Kansas can result in fines and penalties. The exact fines may vary depending on the specific violation, but they can be substantial, especially when combined with court costs.

It’s crucial to obtain the appropriate fishing license before engaging in any fishing activities in Kansas to avoid these penalties and ensure you are complying with state regulations.


Fishing in Kansas is a beloved tradition, but it’s essential to understand and follow the state’s licensing requirements. By obtaining the appropriate fishing license, you not only comply with the law but also contribute to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Kansas’s fishing resources for current and future generations.

Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a visiting angler, this comprehensive guide has provided you with all the information you need to ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing experience in the beautiful waters of Kansas. So, grab your rod, purchase your license, and get ready to reel in some unforgettable catches!

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