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Montana Fishing License Cost: Your Complete Guide

Are you planning a fishing trip to Montana’s pristine rivers, lakes, and streams? Before you cast your line, it’s essential to understand Montana’s fishing license requirements and costs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about obtaining a Montana fishing license, including types, fees, exceptions, and where to purchase one.

Who Needs a Montana Fishing License?

In Montana, a valid fishing license is required for anyone 12 years or older to fish in state waters. This includes both residents and non-residents. A fishing license allows you to fish for and possess any fish or aquatic invertebrate authorized by Montana’s fishing regulations.

Types of Montana Fishing Licenses and Fees

Montana offers several types of fishing licenses, depending on your residency status and the duration of your fishing trip. Here’s a breakdown of the most common licenses and their costs for the 2024 season:

Resident Fishing Licenses

  • Season Fishing License (March 1 – Feb 28): $21
  • Youth (12-17) Season Fishing License: $10.50
  • Senior (62+) Season Fishing License: $10.50
  • Disabled Season Fishing License: $10.50
  • 2-Day Fishing License: $5

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

  • Season Fishing License: $100
  • Youth (12-15) Season Fishing License: $110
  • 1-Day Fishing License: $31.50
  • 5-Day Fishing License: $73.50

In addition to the fishing license, anglers must also purchase a Conservation License and an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass (AISPP):

  • Conservation License (Resident): $8
  • Conservation License (Non-Resident): $10
  • AISPP (Resident): $2
  • AISPP (Non-Resident): $7.50

When purchasing a fishing license online or from a license provider, these additional licenses and passes will be included in the total cost.

Exceptions to Montana Fishing License Requirements

There are a few exceptions to Montana’s fishing license requirements:

  1. Children under 12 years old can fish without a license but must adhere to all fishing regulations and limits.
  2. Free fishing license exemptions are available for qualified educational events and fishing clinics under the guidance of a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks employee or certified fishing instructor.
  3. Residents of state institutions (except the state penitentiary) and VA hospital patients can obtain free fishing permits.

Where to Purchase a Montana Fishing License

You can easily purchase a Montana fishing license online through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website or at various license providers throughout the state:

When purchasing a license, you’ll need to provide a valid photo ID and proof of residency (for resident licenses).

Can I fish in Montana without a license?

No, a valid fishing license is required for anyone 12 years or older to fish in Montana’s waters, with few exceptions.

How long is a Montana fishing license valid?

A season fishing license is valid from March 1 through February 28 of the following year. Short-term licenses (1-day, 2-day, or 5-day) are valid for the specified number of consecutive days from the date of purchase.

Do I need additional permits to fish in Montana?

In addition to a fishing license, anglers must purchase a Conservation License and an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass (AISPP).

Can I purchase a Montana fishing license online?

Yes, you can easily purchase and print your Montana fishing license online through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Online Licensing System.

What if I lose my Montana fishing license?

If you lose your fishing license, you can purchase a duplicate license for a small fee through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website or at a license provider.


Obtaining a Montana fishing license is a simple and essential step in planning your fishing adventure in the Treasure State. By understanding the types of licenses, costs, and requirements, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience while supporting conservation efforts. Remember to always carry your license with you and adhere to Montana’s fishing regulations to preserve the state’s incredible fisheries for generations to come.

So, grab your gear, purchase your license, and get ready to explore Montana’s world-class fishing opportunities!

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