If you’ve been dreaming of fishing in the Ozarks but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Getting your Arkansas fishing license is a really important first step if you want to start fishing in the southern state.
Here’s everything you need to know about not only obtaining your license but also which one is right for you, because there are a lot of options.
Whether you are a full-time Arkansas resident or just visiting for a few days, you can enjoy Arkansas’s many fisheries while also helping to conserve them for years to come by purchasing a fishing license.
Table of Contents
Who Needs a Fishing License in Arkansas
|Fishing License Requirements||Public Water||Private Property||“Put and Take” Pay Lakes|
|Residents and non-residents 16+ Years old||Not required||Not required|
Anyone over the age of 16 needs a valid Arkansas fishing license to take both frogs and fish. Unless you are in a “put-and-take lake”.
If you would like to fish for trout, you will need a separate permit.
Who is Considered a Resident in Arkansas
A resident is any person who physically inhabits a bona fide residence within Arkansas for at least 60 days and declares themselves a full-time resident of Arkansas.
Living outside of Arkansas but owning real estate in the state does not make you eligible for a resident fishing or hunting license.
Those who are active duty military stationed in Arkansas are eligible for resident hunting and fishing privileges for either an annual or day trip fishing or hunting license.
Those who were residents of Arkansas at the time of entering service will also qualify for resident license privileges.
“Put and Take” Pay Lakes
Arkansas has “put and take” pay lakes that do not require a fishing license to fish on.
These are fisheries, ponds, lakes, or unenclosed waters that are sustained by the introduction of aquatic animals primarily for recreational activities like fishing rather than for the conservation or improvement of the natural population.
What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Arkansas?
|Arkansas Fishing License Age||Residents||Non-Residents|
All residents aged 16 and older are required to have a valid Arkansas game and fish license.
All non-residents aged 16 and older are required to have a valid Arkansas game and fish license if they plan on hunting or fishing while in the state.
How to Buy an Arkansas Fishing License
Most fishing licenses can be purchased online from the AGFC website.
If you’d prefer not to purchase your fishing license online, you can also visit a state fishing license agent.
These agents are authorized by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and are usually located at tackle shops or outdoor sporting goods stores.
Some of the special licenses can only be applied for and purchased at an AGFC headquarters. Those licenses include:
- Resident 3-Year Disability License (RDF)
- Commercial Fisherman’s Permit and Sport-fishing License (CFS)
- Resident 3-Year Disability Combination License (RDC)
- Mobility-Impaired Access Permit
You can also purchase licenses and permits over the phone by calling 1-800-364-4263 during regular business hours.
All fees associated with your purchase must be paid in full over the phone before your request is processed.
How Much is a Fishing License in Arkansas?
Maybe an image of a few people fishing
There are multiple different kinds of fishing licenses that someone can get from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, with prices ranging from free to $1,000.
|AGFC Fishing License and Permit Title||License Privilege Description||Price|
|Combination Sportsman’s License||The Combination Sportsman’s License grants the holder the privileges of both the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting license) and the Resident Fisheries Conservation License.|
Expires annually on June 30th.
|Resident Fisheries Conservation License (FSH)||The annual fishing license for residents. |
This license also allows residents to fish with sport fishing tackle.
Expires annually on June 30th.
|Resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License (RT3)||This license will allow residents to fish across the state for three consecutive days.||$6.50|
|Resident Trout Permit (TPR)||This permit is required for resident anglers who wish to take trout from certain waters in Arkansas.||$10.00|
|Non-resident Trout Permit (TPN)||This permit is required for non-resident anglers who wish to take trout from certain waters in Arkansas.||$20.00|
|Alligator Gar Fishing Permit (AGP)||A valid Alligator Gar Fishing Permit (AGP) is required in order to fish for alligator gar.|
Expires annually on December 31st.
An Alligator Gar Trophy Tag (AGT) must also be purchased if intending to harvest an alligator gar measuring over 36 inches.
Applications for these permits can be made online only from November 1st, until December 31st.
|Non-resident Annual Fishing License (NRF)||A nonresident fishing license entitles the holder to fish in any waters of the state using sport fishing tackle.This does not include fishing for Trout.||$50.00|
|Non-resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License (NT3)||Entitles the holder to fish in any waters of the state using sport fishing tackle for three consecutive days.|
Does not include fishing trout.
|Non-resident 7-Day Trip Fishing License (NT7)||A Non-resident Fishing License entitles the holder to fish in any waters of the state using sport fishing tackle for seven consecutive days.|
Does not include fishing for trout.
|Resident Fishing Guide License (GLF)||This license is for resident guides, aids, or those assisting others fishing for pay.||$25.00|
|Non-resident Fishing Guide License (GNF)||This license is required for non-residents who will guide, aid, or assist others fishing for pay.||$450.00|
|White River Border Lakes License (WRL)||For Arkansas residents only, this fishing license allows holders to fish in specific Missouri water, including:|
Bull Shoals, Norfork and Table Rock lakes, without needing to get a nonresident fishing license from Missouri.
|Resident 3-Year Disability License (RDF)||Allows the license holder to fish in any waters of the state using sport fishing tackle.|
Holders of this license, along with an assisting, licensed individual, may fish at Family Fishing locations.
Does not include fishing for trout.
|Commercial Fisherman’s Permit and Sport-fishing License (CFS)||An Arkansas Game & fish Commercial Fishing License entitles the holder to fish in any waters of the state using commercial fishing tackle.|
|65-Plus Lifetime Fishing License||A 65-Plus Lifetime Fishing License entitles Arkansas residents aged 65 or older to the privileges of the Resident Fisheries Conservation License.|
Proof of age and one year of Arkansas residency are required in order to purchase this license.
This license does not expire.
|65-Plus Lifetime Trout Permit (PLT)||This permit is required for resident anglers, 65+, who wish to fish for trout.Proof of age and one year of Arkansas residency are required in order to purchase this license.|
This license does not expire.
|Non-expiring Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit||The Non-expiring Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit entitles purchasers of any age to the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the Resident Fisheries Conservation License (fishing).|
Fees for trout permits, leased lands permits, alligator permits, elk permits, state waterfowl stamps, and wildlife management area permit hunts are waived with this license.
However, license holders must apply for WMA hunts, be successfully drawn and return notification of acceptance before being issued a permit.
In addition to HIP registration required to hunt migratory game birds, federal waterfowl stamps are also required to hunt waterfowl.
|Resident 3-Year Disability Combination License (RDC)||Entitles all permanently disabled persons to the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the Resident Fisheries Conservation License (fishing).||$35.50|
|Mobility-Impaired Access Permit||This license is for those who are permanently restricted by lung disease and/or cannot walk without the permanent use of a:|
The information in this chart is provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you fish in Arkansas without a license?
You can fish in Arkansas without a license on private property or in a “put and take” pay lake.
Can you get an Arkansas fishing license online?
You can get an Arkansas fishing license online, but some special licenses are restricted to being purchased in person at an AGFC Office.
The only licenses that cannot be purchased online are:
– Resident 3-Year Disability License (RDF)
– Commercial Fisherman’s Permit and Sport-fishing License (CFS)
– Resident 3-Year Disability Combination License (RDC)
– Mobility-Impaired Access Permit
How much is the fine for not having a fishing license in Arkansas?
The fine for not having a fishing license in Arkansas is between $100 and $1,000, as well as a jail sentence of up to 30 days.
What are the regulations for fishing in Arkansas?
The regulations for fishing in Arkansas can all be found on the state’s game and fish commission website.
The most important regulation to remember before heading out is that you must have a valid Arkansas fishing license if you are over the age of 16, whether you are a resident of the state or not.
Arkansas fishing license costs are some of the most affordable around, as well as having a long list of options for residents and non-residents.
There is really no reason not to get your license, especially knowing that having it means you’re helping preserve Arkansas’ natural resources and waterways, as well as helping fund environmental and educational programs for others.
Whether you fish from the shore, a boat, or even a kayak – you need a fishing license.
So, once your Arkansas fishing license has been purchased, be sure to download our cheatsheet so you’ll know what lure to throw, no matter where you’re throwing it.