How to Get a Fishing License in Missouri

Before you go fishing in Missouri, you should know that you must carry a fishing permit or a fishing license. Luckily, getting a license in Missouri is relatively easy. For your ease, the state allows you to purchase a fishing license in multiple different ways. You can buy your fishing license via the Department of Conservation’s website or directly from the bait shops and sportswear shops located around fishing spots at lakes and rivers.

There are different types of fishing licenses that you can get. Their cost varies for residents, non-residents, resident disabled, non-resident disabled, youth (aged 15), and resident seniors (aged 70+). Before you go ahead and make a purchase make sure you’re getting the right license. 

Fishing is an interesting sport as well as a leisure activity for people of all ages. Whether you’re a 15-year-old child or a 70-year-old adult, fishing does not bind you with any limitations. Riverbanks and lake walls witness individuals from all age groups who come to catch fish and make memorable memories. Whether you’re there to teach a friend how to fish, or are just relaxing on a day off, every individual enjoys and celebrates a fishing day to the fullest.  

After hours of patiently sitting by the river bank, when you return to your camp with a couple of large grey-scaled largemouth bass over your shoulder or a bucket full of rainbow trout, blue catfish, and common carp, a sense of achievement and pride kicks in. Fishing is all about the thrill you experience when you feel the tug on the line. The moment when the tip of your rod is pulled in the water, adrenaline runs through your body, giving you all the energy to pull the catch out. 

Fishing License in Missouri

In Missouri, the availability of rich marine life gives multiple options to fishing enthusiasts. Some prefer catching trout in the Bennett Spring, Montauk Spring, or Roaring River. In contrast, others prefer crappie and largemouth bass in freshwater. Those with a taste for muskellunge love to adventure at Pomme de Terre State Park.

According to the rules of Missouri state parks, the number of catches per individual is limited. So be careful to not violate the regulations in order to have a delightful fishing experience.  

Why Do I Need A Fishing License? 

When the population of Missouri was limited, the ecosystem was also considered safe. However, as the population density increased, the danger to both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife increased. The locals of Missouri were always fond of fishing and hunting, but the pace at which they had been catching fish was quite alarming. If the same pace had continued today, several fish species would have been listed as endangered or, worse, extinct. 

To keep the water wildlife safe, the State of Missouri formulated some restrictions and limitations. A fishing permit, also called a fishing license, was made essential. These fishing licenses have several instructions, rules, and limitations. In case anyone violates the instructions mentioned on the fishing license, the person will have to suffer legal consequences. One of the most essential rules mentioned in the fishing license is the limited number of catches. 

Moreover, maintenance of the natural habitat and ecosystem of fish is a challenge for wildlife and fishing authorities. It requires a generous amount of funds because all the procedures, from cleaning to carrying out emergency procedures, are expensive. The fee of the fishing license contributes to the maintenance of the aquatic ecosystem.

How to Get a Fishing License in Missouri

The most convenient way of getting your fishing license in Missouri is by applying for it online. You can get all details and information about the fishing license on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website. This site offers a Trout Permit, Daily Fishing Permit, Fishing Permit, Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit, Lifetime Fishing Permit, and many others for residents and non-residents. 

Moreover, you can get your fishing permit from bait and tackle shops or sports shops located near rivers and lakes. 

Fishing License In Missouri Cost

The conservation of water bodies is a critical issue in Missouri. It is not only expensive but also requires a lot of effort and input. The more that people buy fishing permits, the easier it becomes for authorities to look after lakes, rivers, streams, and other water bodies. 

How? The fees paid when purchasing a fishing permit generates funds for water life conservation. This money helps with maintenance. It also helps raise awareness about the safety and protection of water life and the ecosystem.

The cost of a fishing license is as follows.

  • Resident Annual Fishing License – $12.00
  • Resident White River Border Lakes License – $10.00 (Missouri ; Arkansas Residents only)
  • Daily Fishing Resident or Non Resident – $7.00 Per Day
  • Non Resident Annual License – $42.00
  • Trout Stamp – $7.00
  • Trout Stamp (15 years and younger) – $3.50

How Much is a Ticket for Fishing Without a License in Missouri? 

In Missouri, fishing without a license can get a fisherman in serious trouble. Upon violating the rules, fishermen must be ready to face the consequences. The consequences include a hefty fine. Money generated through these fines also goes towards the conservation of the wildlife and Missouri’s ecosystems. The penalty for every illegal or violated act is as follows:    

 Fishing without a permit

  • Missouri resident – $43.50
  • Non-Missouri resident – $76.50

 Fishing over the limit or illegal length of fish

  • First fish – $16.50
  • Every other fish – $10.00 (per fish)

 Over limit or illegal length of trout fish

  • First fish – $41.50
  • Every other fish – $10.00 (per fish)

 Take paddlefish in the restricted area

  • First fish – $81.50
  • Every other fish – $20.00 (per fish)

Snagging in a restricted zone


 Failure to remove or label lines



A fishing trip should be full of energy and enthusiasm. Make sure you get your fishing license before you plan your next trip. If you’re unable to produce a fishing license upon demand, disappointment, and serious consequences can follow. So, purchase your fishing license from the website of the Missouri Department of Conservation. Happy fishing!


The founder of Catch and Fillet, “Chum Charlie”, has been writing articles within the fishing community for over 9 years. He got his nickname due to his preference for chumming while he is fishing. Chumming is a common practice that is used in the ocean to lure various types of fish to the boat. Chum can consist of various fish parts that attract fish due to its overbearing odor.

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