Kentucky Fishing

Discover Kentucky’s 2023 Fishing License Prices Now!

In 2023, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has set forth a detailed structure for fishing license and permit fees, ensuring that both resident and non-resident anglers have a clear understanding of the costs involved in enjoying the rich fishing experiences Kentucky has to offer. Below, we delve deep into the various licenses available, their costs, and what each license entails, providing a comprehensive guide for every fishing enthusiast.

Kentucky Fishing Licenses: Your Comprehensive Guide

In the picturesque state of Kentucky, fishing is more than just a recreational activity; it is a tradition passed down through generations, a family bonding experience, and a sport that brings enthusiasts closer to nature. Whether you are a resident or a nonresident, understanding the Kentucky fishing license fees and regulations is essential before you head out to the rich fishing grounds that the state offers. Here, we delve deep into everything you need to know about securing a fishing license in Kentucky, including the costs involved and the different types of licenses available.

Getting Your Kentucky Fishing License

Who Needs a Kentucky Fishing License?

In Kentucky, all individuals aged 16 and above are required to carry a valid fishing license to fish in the state’s waters. The definition of a resident, for this purpose, is someone who has legally resided in Kentucky for at least 30 days before applying for a license. Full-time students and military personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky are also considered residents. Non-residents, including property owners who haven’t lived in the state for the required period, must obtain a non-resident license.

How to Purchase Your License

You can purchase your Kentucky fishing license in person at over 900 locations statewide, including outdoor sporting goods stores and tackle shops. Alternatively, licenses are available online through the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Online License Sales site, or by phone at 877-598-2401. Online and phone purchases provide you with an authorization number, which you must carry along with a photo ID while fishing.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Kentucky

Kentucky offers a variety of licenses catering to different needs and preferences. Here are the details of the available licenses and their costs:

License/Permit Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Annual Fishing $23.00 $55.00
1-Day Fishing $7.00 $15.00
3-Year Fishing (Online Only) $55.00 Not Available
Nonresident 7-Day Fishing Not Available $35.00
Trout Permit $10.00 $10.00

For a detailed exploration of other combination licenses and special permits, including those for hunting and fishing, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website.

Kentucky Fishing Regulations

To ensure sustainable fishing practices, Kentucky has implemented specific fishing laws and regulations, including daily fishing limits based on species and size. For instance, the daily limit for black bass (including largemouth and smallmouth bass) is six, with a minimum size limit of 12 inches. It is recommended to check the “Special Regulations” section on the official website for detailed information on size and creel limits for different water bodies.

Before you go fishing in the vibrant waters of Kentucky, home to a rich variety of fish species, ensure to carry the proper license and permit. This not only adheres to the laws and regulations but also contributes to the conservation efforts ensuring the sustenance of the rich fishing heritage for future generations. Remember, a responsible angler is not just a follower of the law but a guardian of nature’s bounty. So, gear up, get your license, and head to some of the best fishing spots in Kentucky for an unforgettable angling experience.

Note: Always stay updated with the latest information from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources to enjoy a hassle-free fishing experience.

Kentucky Fishing
Kentucky Fishing

For any further queries or detailed information, feel free to visit the official website or contact the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources.

Remember to always adhere to the Kentucky fishing laws and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience.

Combination Licenses and Special Sportsman’s Licenses in Kentucky

In Kentucky, a variety of combination licenses and special sportsman’s licenses are available to cater to different groups of people, including youth, seniors, and disabled individuals. These licenses are designed to offer a comprehensive package that includes various permits for hunting and fishing activities. Let’s delve into the details of these licenses to help you choose the one that suits your needs.

Annual Combination Hunting/Fishing License

Resident: $42.00

This license is available exclusively to Kentucky residents, allowing them to enjoy both hunting and fishing activities throughout the state. It encompasses the privileges of hunting and fishing licenses but does not include any additional permits. It is essential to note that this license is valid from March 1 (or the date of purchase thereafter) through February 28 of the following year. Before heading out, ensure to learn about Kentucky fishing and hunting regulations to abide by the laws and have a safe experience.

Sportsman’s License

Resident: $95.00

The Sportsman’s License is a comprehensive package that includes a combination of hunting and fishing licenses, a resident deer permit, spring and fall turkey permits, a Kentucky migratory bird/waterfowl permit, and a trout permit. This license offers a great value for avid outdoorsmen looking to engage in a variety of activities throughout the year. It is a one-stop solution for your hunting and fishing needs, offering a convenient option to get a fishing license along with other necessary permits.

Senior Sportsman’s License

Resident (65 years and above): $12.00 – $180.00 (Lifetime option available)

This special license is available for residents who are 65 years of age or older. It includes the same permits as the Resident Sportsman’s License, allowing seniors to enjoy a range of hunting and fishing activities. The lifetime option offers a cost-effective solution for seniors, providing them with the convenience of a one-time payment for lifelong access to hunting and fishing opportunities in Kentucky.

Disabled Sportsman’s License

Resident: $12.00

Designed to cater to disabled individuals, this license includes the same licenses and permits as the Resident Sportsman’s License. It requires disability authorization for purchase, ensuring that disabled individuals can enjoy hunting and fishing activities with the necessary permits at a reduced cost.

Youth Sportsman’s License

Resident (Ages 12-15): $30.00

Tailored for young anglers between the ages of 12 and 15, this license includes a youth hunting license, a youth deer permit, and two youth turkey permits. It encourages young individuals to learn about Kentucky fishing and hunting from a young age, fostering a love for outdoor recreational sport fishing and hunting.

Engaging in Recreational Activities Responsibly

It is imperative to carry the proper license and permit to fish or hunt in Kentucky. Before you go fishing or hunting, ensure to purchase your Kentucky fishing license online or in person, adhering to the Kentucky fishing laws and regulations to ensure a safe and legal experience. Remember, the license holder would be required to abide by the specific rules associated with each permit, including bag limits and seasons.

Kentucky offers a range of licenses to suit different needs and preferences. Whether you are a resident fishing enthusiast or a non-resident keen on exploring the rich biodiversity in Kentucky waters, there is a license tailored for you. Ensure to buy a Kentucky fishing license that suits your needs and adheres to the regulations to enjoy a fulfilling and lawful experience.

Note: Always refer to the official Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources for the most up-to-date information.

Remember to always prioritize safety and adhere to all regulations to ensure a fulfilling and lawful experience.

Additional Permits and Fees for Kentucky Outdoor Enthusiasts

In Kentucky, engaging in outdoor recreational activities often requires obtaining specific permits and paying associated fees. These permits ensure the conservation of wildlife habitats and help maintain the natural resources of the state. Below, we detail the various permits and fees that you might need to consider for your next fishing or hunting expedition in Kentucky.

Statewide Deer Permit

Resident: $35.00 Nonresident: $185.00

Whether you are a resident or a nonresident, if you are planning to hunt deer in Kentucky, you will need to secure a statewide deer permit. This permit is essential for both hunting or fishing enthusiasts who wish to engage in deer hunting. It is a legal requirement and ensures that you are abiding by the regulations set by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Remember, having a valid permit signifies responsible hunting, adhering to the conservation principles that help in sustaining the rich biodiversity of the state.

Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit

Resident and Nonresident: $15.00

Bird enthusiasts, this one is for you! The Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit allows holders to hunt a variety of migratory birds and waterfowls in the state. It is a must-have for hunters looking to explore the diverse species in Kentucky. This permit is available for both residents and nonresidents at a nominal fee of $15.00. Ensure to carry this permit along with your hunting or fishing license to comply with the state’s regulations.

Federal Duck Stamp

Available at post offices and online Resident and Nonresident: $25.00

If you are a waterfowl hunter, possessing a Federal Duck Stamp is mandatory. This stamp is not just a permit but also a conservation tool, aiding in the protection and conservation of wetlands. It is available at post offices and online, making it convenient for you to purchase before your hunting expedition. Remember, this stamp is a federal requirement and is in addition to the state’s migratory bird/waterfowl permit.

Peabody WMA User Permit

Resident and Nonresident: $15.00

For those planning to utilize the Peabody Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a user permit is required. This permit is necessary for all individuals, regardless of the activity they intend to undertake, including hunting, fishing, or other recreational activities. It ensures that you can legally enjoy the amenities and natural beauty that the area offers.

Land Between the Lakes (LBL) Hunter User Permit

Resident and Nonresident: $25.00

The Land Between the Lakes offers a rich hunting ground for enthusiasts. To maintain the area and ensure sustainable hunting practices, a user permit is required. This permit is applicable for both residents and nonresidents, allowing them to hunt in the designated areas within the LBL region.

Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area Admission Fees

Daily: $3.00 Annual: $30.00 Children under 12: Free

If you are looking for a family-friendly recreational area, the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area is an excellent choice. With a minimal daily fee, individuals can enjoy a range of activities including fishing and boating. An annual pass is also available for frequent visitors, offering a cost-effective solution for families. Moreover, children under the age of 12 can enter for free, making it a budget-friendly option for families.

Kentucky offers a plethora of outdoor activities for both residents and nonresidents. However, to enjoy these activities lawfully, one must adhere to the permit and fee requirements set by the state. Always ensure to carry the necessary permits and adhere to the regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. Before heading out, check the latest updates on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website to ensure you have all the necessary information for a successful outing. Stay safe and enjoy your adventure in the beautiful outdoors of Kentucky!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a trout permit? Yes, if you plan to catch trout in Kentucky, a trout permit costing $10.00 is necessary. However, license-exempt individuals are not required to have this permit.
  • How many fishing poles am I allowed while fishing? There is no limit on the number of fishing poles and rods you can use while fishing in Kentucky waters.
  • May I clean my fish while on the water? While on the water, anglers should not remove any part of the head or tail of any fish subjected to size or creel limits.


In conclusion, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has structured a comprehensive list of licenses and permits to cater to a wide array of anglers, from the young enthusiast to the senior citizen, and from the resident to the nonresident. It is essential to note that the license year begins on March 1 and continues through the last day of February, with new licenses required annually, except for the 3-year fishing license. By understanding and adhering to the detailed fee structure, you ensure a lawful and enjoyable fishing experience in the vibrant waters of Kentucky.

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