Missouri Fishing License: Do you need one?

If you’re planning to go fishing in the beautiful lakes, rivers and streams of Missouri, one of the first things you need to know is whether you need a fishing license. The short answer is: in most cases, yes.

The state of Missouri requires anyone between the ages of 16 and 64, whether a resident or non-resident, to have a valid fishing permit before casting a line. This requirement helps to protect the state’s aquatic resources and ensures that everyone has an equal chance of catching fish.

Types of Missouri Fishing Licenses

Missouri offers several types of fishing permits depending on your residency status, age, and how long you plan to fish:

  • Daily Fishing Permit: Allows residents and non-residents to fish for one day. Cost is $8 for both residents and non-residents.
  • Annual Fishing Permit: Allows fishing from March 1 to the last day of February the following year.
    • Resident: $13
    • Non-resident: $51
  • Trout Permit: Required in addition to the fishing permit to possess trout, except in trout parks where a daily trout tag is needed.
    • Age 16 and older: $10
    • Age 15 and younger: $5

Tip: You can easily purchase your Missouri fishing license online from the Missouri Department of Conservation website, by phone, or from permit vendors across the state.

Exemptions to the Fishing License Requirement

There are a few exceptions to the fishing license requirement in Missouri. You do not need a permit if you are:

  • A Missouri resident age 65 or older
  • A Missouri resident or non-resident age 15 or younger
  • A Missouri resident with a visual or physical impairment, with a certified statement from a physician
  • Fishing on land you own or land owned by your immediate family

Note: Even if you qualify for an exemption, you may still need to purchase a trout permit or daily trout tag to fish for or possess trout.

Fishing Regulations in Missouri

In addition to having the proper permits, it’s important to follow Missouri’s fishing regulations to help maintain healthy fish populations. Some key rules to keep in mind:

  • Daily Limits: Be aware of the daily limits for the type of fish you’re catching. The limits can vary by species, season, and location.
  • Fishing Methods: Only use permitted methods for the species you’re fishing. These can include pole and line, trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, and jug line.
  • Game Fish: Game fish not hooked in the mouth or jaw must be returned to the water unharmed immediately, except for legally caught paddlefish.

For a complete guide to Missouri’s fishing seasons and limits, check the Missouri Department of Conservation’s summary of fishing regulations.

Why Fishing Licenses Matter

Purchasing a fishing license isn’t just a legal requirement – it’s also an investment in Missouri’s aquatic resources. The revenue from permit sales helps to fund crucial conservation efforts, including:

  • Operating fish hatcheries that raise and stock over 7 million fish annually
  • Maintaining and improving public fishing access and facilities
  • Conducting research on fish populations and habitats
  • Providing educational programs to help more people discover the joys of fishing

So when you buy your Missouri fishing license, you’re not only getting permission to enjoy some of the best fishing in the country – you’re also helping to ensure that these opportunities will be available for generations to come.

Ready to fish in Missouri? Buy your fishing permit online from the Missouri Department of Conservation and start planning your angling adventure today!

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