Fishing Licenses in Missouri


A recreational fishing license in Missouri is necessary for all anglers seeking to legally fish within the state. This is so the state can monitor the fishing activities in its waterways and manage the fish population. A freshwater fishing license is the most common type of license issued in Missouri. This type of license is designed for the everyday angler. Commercial fishing permits are geared more toward businesses and anglers who wish to fish or sell their catch for profit.

Understanding the different types of game fishing license options available can help anglers narrow down the search for what they need. Recreational freshwater fishing license options may vary in terms of type, cost and length of time valid. To find out more information regarding recreational freshwater fishing licenses in Missouri, continue reading below.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Missouri?

A sport fishing license in Missouri is mandatory for every angler ages 16 through 64 who are seeking to fish within state lines. There are quite a few exemptions in terms of needing recreational fishing permits, which include:

  • Missouri land owners fishing on their own property.
  • Missouri residents 65 years of age or older.
  • Any angler age 15 or younger.
  • Missouri residents with proven visual impairment.
  • Missouri residents who are severely or permanently disabled.
  • Missouri residents with cerebral palsy or mental retardation.
  • Any resident or non-resident who has been honorably discharged as a veteran of the Armed Forces.

Missouri Fishing License Requirements

Requirements that are enforced for the game and fish fishing license in Missouri include proving residency status in order to receive a resident license, agreeing to observe all the rules established by the Wildlife Code of Missouri, always allowing inspection of the recreational fishing license by an agent of the Conservation department and agreeing to always carry the fishing permit while fishing in the state.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Missouri

Since Missouri is not a coastal state, the option to purchase a saltwater fishing permit is not available or necessary. Therefore, only commercial fishing permits and freshwater fishing licenses are available in the state.Within those licenses, the types available include:

  • Daily fishing permit
  • Resident fishing permit
  • Non-resident fishing permit
  • Lifetime Conservation Fishing Permit (resident only)
  • Lifetime Fishing Permit (resident only)
  • Military Reduced Cost Fishing Permit
  • Small Game Hunting and Fishing Permit
  • Trout Permit

What types of fish can I catch with a fishing license in Missouri?

Purchasing a recreational fishing license in Missouri will allow anglers to catch a wide variety of freshwater fish and water fowl. Some of the most common types of fish that can be caught in Missouri include:


  • Sunfish
  • Paddlefish
  • Northern pike
  • Suckers
  • Trout
  • Pickerel
  • Walleye
  • Gar
  • Crappie
  • Muskellunge
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Bullhead
  • Bowfish

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Missouri?

In Missouri, an angler must purchase the trout freshwater fishing permit in order to legally possess or fish for trout in the state. The trout fishing license will not be necessary in places where an angler can purchase a daily trout fishing tag instead.

How long is a fishing license valid in Missouri?

Depending on the type of recreational fishing license purchased in Missouri, the length of time in which it remains valid for will vary. For instance, small game hunting and fishing permits expire on the last day of February each year. However, the lifetime license will never expire.

How much does a Missouri fishing license cost?

The freshwater fishing license cost will change, depending on the type of license purchased. In addition, the resident freshwater fishing license is significantly less than the non-resident license. The recreational fishing license costs include:

  • Daily fishing permit (resident and non-resident) – $7.00
  • Resident fishing permit (resident) – $12.00
  • Resident fishing permit (non-resident) – $42.00
  • Lifetime Conservation Fishing Permit (resident only) – Varies by age
  • Lifetime Fishing Permit (resident only) – Varies by age
  • Military Reduced Cost Fishing Permit – $5.00
  • Small Game Hunting and Fishing Permit (resident) – $19.00
  • Trout Permit (resident and non-resident) – $7.00

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Are fishing license discounts available in Missouri?

There are discounts when it comes to purchasing freshwater fishing licenses in Missouri. The most common discounts are provided to youth anglers, resident anglers, military members, senior citizens and those who fall into the exemption group within the state.

Where can I get a fishing license in Missouri?

To purchase a recreational fishing license in Missouri, anglers have the option to purchase online, by telephone or in person. Purchasing a sport fishing license online is available through the Missouri Department of Conversation (DC) website. In-person purchases can be made through the Missouri DC offices, or through any local authorized retailers throughout the state.

How can I replace my Missouri fishing license?

Any Missouri freshwater fishing license that has been lost, damaged or destroyed can be replaced in just a few simple steps. For anglers who purchased the recreational fishing permit online, they can simply log back in to search for the permit and reprint it as necessary. Anglers can also visit any of the Missouri DC offices in order to replace the original license. Fees may apply for any replacement or duplicate licenses.


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