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Do Women Over 65 Need a Fishing License in Missouri? [2024 Update]

As an avid angler in the beautiful state of Missouri, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest fishing regulations, especially when it comes to licensing requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the specific rules for women over 65 and explore the various types of fishing licenses available. We’ll also cover how to obtain your license and highlight some important dates to keep in mind for the 2024 fishing season.

Missouri Fishing License Requirements

Who Needs a Fishing License in Missouri?

In general, anyone aged 16 or older who wants to fish in Missouri’s waters must carry a valid fishing license. However, there are a few notable exceptions, which we’ll cover in the next section.

Fishing License Exemptions in Missouri

Age Exemptions

Here’s great news for senior anglers: If you’re a Missouri resident aged 65 or older, you don’t need a fishing license to cast your line in the state’s waters! This exemption applies whether you’re fishing in rivers, streams, lakes, or reservoirs. So, if you’re a 65-year-old woman looking to enjoy some quality time on the water, you can do so without worrying about purchasing a license.

It’s important to note that while you may not need a fishing license, you must still abide by all other fishing regulations, such as daily limits, size restrictions, and seasons. Be sure to review the 2024 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations before heading out on your fishing adventure.

Resident Landowner Exemptions

If you own land in Missouri and have a pond or lake on your property, you can fish there without a license, along with your immediate family members and guests. This exemption applies only to the private waters on your property and does not extend to public fishing areas.

Disability Exemptions

Anglers with certain disabilities may be exempt from needing a fishing license. If you’re a Missouri resident with a visual, physical, or mental impairment that substantially limits your ability to fish, you might qualify for an exemption. To apply for a disability exemption, you’ll need to submit a Physician’s Statement for Disabled Fishing form, completed by your doctor, to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Military Exemptions

Missouri offers special privileges for active-duty military members and veterans. If you’re a Missouri resident currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, you can fish without a license while on leave in the state. To qualify, you must carry your leave papers and a valid military ID card.

Certain disabled veterans may also qualify for license exemptions. If you’re a Missouri resident who is 60% or more disabled as a result of military service, you can fish without a license. You’ll need to carry your Veteran’s Administration disability letter and a valid photo ID.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Missouri

If you don’t fall under one of the exemption categories, you’ll need to purchase a fishing license. Missouri offers several options to suit your needs:

Daily Fishing Permit

If you’re just visiting Missouri for a short fishing trip, a daily permit might be your best bet. These permits are valid for a single day and allow you to fish in all public waters in the state. In 2024, a daily fishing permit costs $8 for residents and $14 for non-residents.

Annual Fishing Permit

For those who plan on fishing more frequently throughout the year, an annual permit is a smart choice. These permits are valid from the date of purchase through the last day of February of the following year. In 2024, an annual fishing permit costs $14 for residents and $52 for non-residents.

Lifetime Fishing Permit

If you’re a dedicated angler who wants to enjoy Missouri’s fishing opportunities for years to come, consider investing in a lifetime permit. Here’s a breakdown of the fees based on your age:

Lifetime Fishing Permit Fees by Age

Age Fee
15 and younger $275
16-29 $400
30-39 $350
40-59 $300
60-64 $35
65 and older Free

As you can see, if you’re a Missouri resident aged 65 or older, you can obtain a lifetime fishing permit at no cost! This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy your golden years on the water without ever having to worry about purchasing another fishing license.

How to Get a Missouri Fishing License

Obtaining your fishing license is a breeze, with several convenient options available:

Buying a License Online

The easiest way to get your Missouri fishing license is to purchase it online through the Missouri Department of Conservation website. You can print out your permit immediately or save a digital copy on your smartphone. Be sure to have a valid credit card and your personal information, including your Social Security number, ready when purchasing online.

Buying a License by Phone

If you prefer to purchase your license over the phone, call the Missouri Department of Conservation at 573-751-4115. Have your credit card and personal information ready, and a friendly representative will guide you through the process.

Buying a License in Person

If you’d rather purchase your fishing license in person, stop by one of the many authorized license vendors across the state, such as:

  • Sporting goods stores
  • Bait and tackle shops
  • Convenience stores
  • Walmart and other large retailers

You can also visit any Missouri Department of Conservation office to purchase your license in person. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID and cash or a check for payment.

Finding an Authorized License Vendor

To find an authorized license vendor near you, use the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online locator tool. Simply enter your zip code or city, and the tool will display a list of nearby vendors, along with their addresses and phone numbers.

Free Fishing Days in Missouri

If you’re looking to introduce someone new to the joys of fishing or simply want to enjoy a weekend on the water without purchasing a license, mark your calendars for Missouri’s Free Fishing Days! On June 8-9, 2024, anyone can fish in Missouri’s waters without a permit, regardless of age or residency.

During Free Fishing Days, all other fishing regulations, such as daily limits and size restrictions, still apply. This is a great opportunity to get out and explore some of Missouri’s beautiful fishing spots, like:

  • Lake of the Ozarks: Known for its excellent bass fishing, this massive reservoir spans over 54,000 acres and offers countless coves and inlets to explore.
  • Table Rock Lake: Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, this clear, deep lake is a premier destination for anglers seeking bass, crappie, and catfish.
  • Truman Lake: This 55,600-acre reservoir boasts over 950 miles of shoreline and is a popular spot for crappie, white bass, and hybrid striped bass fishing.

Remember, even if you’re fishing during Free Fishing Days, you’ll still need to obtain any necessary trout permits or tags if you plan on fishing in designated trout areas.


As you can see, Missouri offers a variety of fishing license options and exemptions to accommodate anglers of all ages and experience levels. For women over 65, the great news is that you can fish without a license, thanks to the state’s age exemption. However, it’s still essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations, size and catch limits, and any special permits that may be required for certain activities, such as trout fishing or night fishing.

By staying informed and following the rules, you can help preserve Missouri’s incredible fishing resources for generations to come. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newcomer to the sport, Missouri’s waters offer endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable memories.

So grab your rod, reel in some fun, and enjoy all that Missouri’s fishing scene has to offer!

For the most up-to-date information on Missouri’s fishing regulations, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website or pick up a copy of the 2024 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations at any permit vendor location.


  1. Missouri Department of Conservation – Fishing Permits
  2. Lake of the Ozarks – Fishing
  3. Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce – Fishing
  4. Truman Lake Fishing

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