If you’re looking to get into fishing in the Show Me State, it’s a good idea to learn how and where to go to get your Missouri fishing license.
Much like other outdoor activities, there are rules and regulations to be followed when it comes to protecting its natural resources.
We’ve put together this guide so that you can quickly and easily obtain your own valid Missouri fishing license, allowing you to take advantage of all the recreational opportunities available, whether it’s trout fishing at Montauk State Park or bass fishing on Bull Shoals Lake.
Read on for helpful information about finding the right license for you.
Going fishing in Missouri? Then give a read to our Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Missouri review.
Table of Contents
Who Needs a Fishing License in Missouri
|MO Fishing License|
|Resident Requirement||Age 16-64|
|Non-resident Requirement||Age 16+|
Missouri residents aged 16 to 64, and non-residents aged 16 and older, must purchase the applicable Resident or Non-Resident Fishing Permit in order to legally fish in the state.
Keep in mind that annual fishing license permits expire on the last day of February each year. The Permit Auto-Renewal Service is the best option to avoid getting a new permit each time.
What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Missouri?
Anyone under the age of 16 can fish without a license in Missouri. However, residents have a few exemptions they may qualify for that are not available to non-residents of the state.
Generally speaking, residents of Missouri need a fishing license if they are between the ages of 16 and 64.
A few licenses are also exclusively available to residents, like the lifetime license or the combination fishing and hunting license option.
Fishing license exemptions for residents:
• Missouri residents aged 65 and under, as well as anyone 15 or younger, are exempt from the fishing license requirement.
• Landowners (with five acres or more) and their immediate households are also exempt when fishing on their own land.
• Honorably discharged veterans or active personnel with service-related disabilities (60% and above), POWs, and members of Warrior Transition Brigades/Units/Medicinal Centers are also exempt from the fishing license requirement.
• People with documented serious medical conditions (vision of 20/200 or less, permanent inability to move without a wheelchair, cerebral palsy, mental disability that affects ability to fish alone) may be accompanied by an adult angler who holds a valid license in order to be exempt from the fishing license requirement.
Non-residents who are over the age of 16 will need a Missouri out-of-state fishing license if they want to fish in the state.
In Missouri, a Trout Permit is required to possess trout, except in trout parks, where you must purchase a daily trout fishing tag.
For winter fishing in trout parks and for all fishing year-round in Lake Taneycomo upstream from the U.S. Highway 65 bridge, a Trout Permit is also necessary.
• Trout areas are valid for Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023
• Trout parks are valid for Mar. 1, 2023, to Oct. 31, 2023
• Catch-and-Release Trout permitted from Nov. 11, 2022, to Feb. 13, 2023, and Nov. 10, 2023, to Feb 12, 2024
|Missouri Trout Permit|
|Resident & Non-resident||$10.00|
Some species can only be fished during certain times of the year. Those species and seasons are:
• Paddlefish fishing season in Missouri runs from March 15, 2023, to April 30, 2023.
• Black Bass in Ozark Streams has two seasons: May 28, 2022, to February 28, 2023, and May 27, 2023, to February 29, 2024.
• Bullfrog and Green Frog Fishing occur from June 30, 2023, to October 31, 2023.
• Gig/Atlatl in streams and impounded waters has two seasons: September 15, 2022 – February 15, 2023, and September 15, 2023 – February 15, 2024.
• Catch-and-Release Trout Fishing is November 11, 2022 – February 13, 2023, and November 10, 2023 – February 12, 2024.
Reciprocal Fishing License Agreements
Missouri has reciprocal fishing agreements with Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Iowa.
Anglers in these states can purchase a reciprocal license to fish in Missouri. The rules for reciprocal fishing licenses vary depending on the state and type of license purchased.
How to Buy a Missouri Fishing License
You can buy a Missouri fishing permit in several ways, including online through the Department of Conservation website, over the phone, at any Department office, or from more than a thousand vendors around the state, such as stores that sell hunting and fishing equipment.
However, certain types of permits may not be available through all these methods.
For instance, you cannot get a reduced-cost military permit at vendors, by telephone, or through the online system. Lifetime permits also cannot be purchased online or through a vendor.
If you have an account with the Missouri department of conservation website, you may enroll in an auto-renewal service to automatically renew your permit before the start of the next season or permit year.
To buy a Missouri fishing license online, you can use the e-Permits system on the Department of Conservation website.
The e-Permits system allows you to purchase a variety of licenses and permits.
You can also enroll in an auto-renewal service if you have an account with the website, which will automatically renew your permit before the start of the next season or permit year.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers several free apps for Android and iPhone, which allow you to buy permits with a credit card, find hunting and fishing information, locate places to go, and get the Missouri Conservationist magazine.
Each app serves a particular purpose and is designed to provide comprehensive information about Missouri’s natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities.
The apps allow you to access the latest updates on regulations, permit prices, locations, state parks, and other natural areas.
Over the Phone
You can also purchase a Missouri fishing license over the phone by calling 800-392-4115.
The staff at this number will be able to answer all your questions and guide you through the process of buying your license.
You can also buy your Missouri fishing license at any Department office or from a license vendor from around the state, such as stores that sell hunting and fishing equipment.
How Much is a Fishing License in Missouri
There are several types of Missouri Fishing Licenses:
• Daily Fishing Permit: Available to both residents and non-residents.
• Annual Fishing Permit: Available to both residents and non-residents.
• Lifetime Fishing Permit: For Missouri residents only.
• Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit: For Missouri residents only, providing the same privileges as Resident Hunting and Fishing Permit.
• Military Reduced Cost Permit: Missouri residents currently on full-time active military duty are eligible for a reduced cost permit.
• Small Game Hunting & Fishing Permit: For Missouri residents only.
|Missouri Fishing License|
|Daily Fishing Permit||$8|
|Annual Fishing Permit||$12|
|Military Reduced Cost Permit||$5|
|Daily Fishing Permit||$8|
|Annual Fishing Permit $49||$49|
|Lifetime Fishing Permit (Residents Only)|
|Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit (Residents Only)|
- Minnesota Fishing License
- Mississippi Fishing License
- Montana Fishing License
- Nebraska Fishing License
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you fish in Missouri without a license right now?
The only way you can fish in Missouri without a license right now is if you are a resident landowner of more than 5 acres with a body of water on it if you are under 16 years old, or you are a resident of the state of Missouri and 65 or older.
Who is exempt from a Missouri fishing license?
Who is exempt from a Missouri fishing license are the following:
• Missouri residents aged 65 and under, and anyone 15 or younger, are exempt from the fishing license requirement.
• Landowners (with five acres or more) and their immediate households are exempt when fishing on their own land.
• Honorably discharged veterans or active personnel with service-related disabilities (60%+), prisoners of war, and members of Warrior Transition Brigades/Units/Medicinal Centers are exempt.
• People with documented serious medical conditions may be accompanied by an adult angler who holds a valid license to be exempt.
Do non-residents over 65 need a fishing license in Missouri?
Yes, non-residents over 65 need a fishing license in Missouri.
What are the benefits of a fishing license?
The benefits of a fishing license are more than just a way to avoid paying fines.
It also helps fund anglers’ educational programs that focus on sustainable fishing practices, such as providing access points to fishing areas and teaching locals about the importance of conservation and responsible angling practices.
By purchasing a fishing license, you are helping to support these initiatives that are important for preserving and protecting our fisheries for generations to come.
With some of the best fishing spots in the United States, Missouri is a great place to be for any angler.
Easily obtain a fishing license, and you can start bass fishing on Lake of the Ozarks– Bassmaster Magazine’s Top 100 Bass Lakes in the United States which has great year-round fishing action.
Plus, by getting your Missouri fishing license, you’re helping protect this natural resource and preserve the state’s natural beauty.
Don’t forget to download our free cheatsheet on bass fishing lures, so you know what type of lure to throw and when to throw it.