Missouri Fishing License Validity | Comprehensive Guide | Fishing in Missouri

2024 Missouri Fishing License: Validity, Fees & How to Get It

If you’re planning to cast a line in the beautiful waters of Missouri in 2024, it’s essential to understand the state’s fishing license requirements. Whether you’re a resident or visitor, a valid fishing license is necessary to legally fish in Missouri’s lakes, rivers, and streams. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the 2024 Missouri fishing license, including its validity, fees, and how to obtain one.

Understanding Missouri Fishing License Requirements

Before diving into the specifics of the 2024 Missouri fishing license, let’s clarify who needs a license and who might be exempt.

Who Needs a Missouri Fishing License?

In general, anyone 16 years of age or older must have a valid Missouri fishing license to fish in the state’s waters. This applies to both residents and non-residents.

Exemptions to the Missouri Fishing License Requirement

There are a few exceptions to the fishing license requirement in Missouri. The following individuals may fish without a license:

  • Missouri residents and all members of their immediate households when fishing on land they own
  • Missouri residents who own land that completely encloses a body of water, and any member of their immediate household, when fishing in those waters
  • Missouri residents 65 years of age or older
  • Any person (resident or non-resident) 15 years of age or younger
  • Missouri residents with visual or physical disabilities (with a certified statement of eligibility)

It’s important to note that even if you qualify for an exemption, you may still need to purchase a daily trout fishing tag or trout permit when fishing in certain areas.

Types of Missouri Fishing Licenses

Missouri offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to the needs of different anglers. Here are the main options:

Daily Fishing Permit

The Daily Fishing Permit is perfect for short-term fishing trips or for those who only fish occasionally. This permit is valid for a single day and allows you to fish for all species except trout. In 2024, the cost for a Daily Fishing Permit is $8 for both residents and non-residents.

Annual Fishing Permit

If you plan on fishing more frequently throughout the year, the Annual Fishing Permit is a great choice. This permit is valid from the date of purchase through the last day of February of the following year. In 2024, the Annual Fishing Permit costs $13 for residents and $51 for non-residents.

Lifetime Fishing Permit (Residents Only)

Missouri residents have the option to purchase a Lifetime Fishing Permit, which provides fishing privileges for the holder’s entire life. The cost of this permit varies based on the age of the purchaser:

  • Youth (0-15): $295
  • Age 16-29: $430
  • Age 30-39: $376
  • Age 40-59: $322
  • Age 60-64: $38

Missouri residents 65 and older are exempt from needing a fishing permit but can purchase a Lifetime Fishing Permit as a lifetime trout permit.

Trout Permits

If you plan on fishing for trout, you’ll need to purchase a trout permit in addition to your fishing license. The trout permit is required to possess trout, except in trout parks where you must purchase a daily trout fishing tag. In 2024, the trout permit costs $10 for adults (16 and older) and $5 for youth (15 and under).

How to Get a Missouri Fishing License

Now that you know the types of licenses available, let’s explore how to obtain your 2024 Missouri fishing license.


The easiest and most convenient way to get your Missouri fishing license is through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online permit system. Simply visit their website, create an account, and follow the steps to purchase your desired permit. You can print your permit immediately or save it to your mobile device.

By Phone

You can also purchase your fishing license by calling the Missouri Department of Conservation at 1-800-392-4115. Have your credit card ready, and a customer service representative will assist you with your purchase.

In Person

If you prefer to buy your license in person, you can visit any Missouri Department of Conservation office or one of the many permit vendors across the state, such as sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, or outdoor equipment retailers.

Fishing Regulations in Missouri

In addition to obtaining a valid fishing license, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Missouri’s fishing regulations. These rules are in place to ensure the sustainability of fish populations and to provide equal opportunities for all anglers.

Daily and Possession Limits

Missouri sets daily and possession limits for various fish species to prevent overfishing. For example, the daily limit for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass) is six fish, with a possession limit of 12. Be sure to check the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website or consult their printed fishing regulations for the most up-to-date limits on specific species.

Seasons and Methods

Some fish species may have specific seasons or methods of capture. For instance, the season for paddlefish snagging runs from March 15 through April 30, with specific regulations on the methods and equipment allowed. Always review the current fishing regulations before planning your fishing trip.

Catch and Release Best Practices

If you plan on practicing catch and release, it’s essential to handle fish properly to maximize their chances of survival. Use barbless hooks, wet your hands before handling the fish, and avoid touching their gills or eyes. If possible, keep the fish in the water while removing the hook, and gently release them head-first into the water.


Obtaining a valid 2024 Missouri fishing license is not only a legal requirement but also a way to support the conservation and management of the state’s aquatic resources. By understanding the different types of licenses available, how to purchase them, and the fishing regulations in place, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience in Missouri’s beautiful waters.

Remember, fishing is not just about the catch but also about the experience of connecting with nature and enjoying the great outdoors. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, make sure to get your 2024 Missouri fishing license, follow the regulations, and have a fantastic time fishing in the Show-Me State!

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