How to Get a Fishing License in Nebraska

How to Get a Fishing License in Nebraska

Whether it’s for sport or leisure, if you’re planning on going fishing in Nebraska anytime soon, the first thing you’ll need is a fishing license. If you’re intimidated, don’t worry! Getting a license in Nebraska is very easy; you can purchase it online or in person. The tricky part, however, is knowing which type of license you require before buying it. We’ve written down everything you need to know about getting a fishing license in Nebraska. 

Why Do I Need a Fishing License in Nebraska? 

America didn’t always have license requirements for fishing. There was a time when people could fish freely without worrying about rules or regulations. However, the population increase in the country eventually began to threaten the existence of aquatic life and overfishing became a growing concern. States such as Nebraska were in a lot of trouble because fishing was a common recreational activity there.

State governments eventually introduced fishing licenses. These licenses essentially protect fish and the ecosystems surrounding them so that a state has a sustainable wildlife population. Whoever purchases a permit is made aware of this and the consequences of breaking the state’s fishing regulations.

These fishing licenses can be quite costly, but the money earned through selling permits goes towards the conservation of water bodies in Nebraska. All the fishing facilities you use and the fish you catch is only possible because of the maintenance that the state provides. This maintenance is funded by the sale of fishing licenses and the imposition of fines when fishing rules are broken.  Essentially, your purchase is more of a contribution to Nebraska’s aquatic life than a fee. 

Fishing Laws in Nebraska

Nebraska’s fishing laws are regulated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. They create the fishing laws and regulations that govern recreational Nebraska fish and game activities. If you’re over the age of 16, you’ll need a license to fish. It’s as simple as that. There is also one simple regulation for boating. All motorized watercraft registered outside of Nebraska must display an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) stamp before launching from any Nebraska boat ramp. However, if your boat is registered in Nebraska, an aquatic stamp is included in the purchase of a fish permit. 

For further details, you can go to the Non-Resident Boat AIS Stamp section to purchase a stamp. A detailed document on what kinds of laws regulate the licensing and permits can be found on It is a comprehensive document that details the penalties, fines, and laws that govern the waters of the Nebraska state. 

How to Get a Fishing License in Nebraska

Getting a fishing license in the state of Nebraska is relatively simple. The most convenient way is to purchase it online, but you can also go over to one of their local offices in your town and get a license from there. 

If you decide on buying the license online, all you have to do is make your way over to the Nebraska Game and Parks website and sign up. Here you will find all the resources you need for all kinds of licenses. You simply click the “Shop for Permits” button and select the “Fish and Combo Permits” option. You will see a drop-down menu for the many kinds of licenses and their prices, you click on the one you want and proceed to check out, and now you have a fishing license! 

An Annual Special Fishing Permit is available for physically or developmentally disabled residents of Nebraska who cannot cast or retrieve unassisted. This permit is issued through the Fisheries Division and cannot be purchased online. You will have to call the department for further information. All the local offices’ addresses can be found on their website, in case you want to go over personally. 

Types of Fishing Licenses in Nebraska

There are mainly two different types of fishing licenses in Nebraska: Residential and Non-Residential. For each of these categories you can purchase the following kinds of licenses:

  • Annual Fishing License
  • 1-Day Fishing License
  • 3-Day Fishing License
  • Paddlefish License
  • Annual Deployed Military Personnel License
  • Annual Veteran License
  • Annual Senior Fishing License
  • Annual Special Disabled Fishing License
  • 3-Year Fishing License
  • 5-Year Fishing License
  • Lifetime Fishing License (Ages 0-15)
  • Lifetime Fishing License (Ages 16-45)
  • Lifetime Fishing License (Ages 46+)

There is a separate category of fishing licenses for those people that wish to fish and hunt. These are more expensive.

The senior, special disabled, and military personnel licenses are not available to non-residents of the state. However, all other kinds of licenses can also be purchased by people outside of Nebraska. Do keep in mind though that the prices will differ.

Who’s Exempt From Needing a Fishing License? 

All residents and nonresidents of the state of Nebraska require a fishing permit, as long as they are above the age of 16. Anyone under the age of 16 is not necessary to have a fishing permit upon the condition that they are accompanied by someone who has a Nebraska fishing permit. If any of the license conditions are not met, the person may get a fine or may get evicted from the fishing zone if caught.  

Nebraska Fishing License Cost

There are many different kinds of licenses priced at different levels. The prices range from $5 to $2300 depending on several factors like age, residential status, time of year, and the kind of fishing you want to do (recreational, sport, or catch and release). 

Here are the prices of some of the most commonly bought residential fishing licenses:

  • Annual Fishing License – $38
  • 1-Day Fishing License – $10
  • 3-Day Fishing License – $31
  • Disabled, Deployed Military Personnel Or Veteran License – $5
  • 3-Year Fishing License – $90.5

The prices for non-residential licenses are considerably higher, at nearly double the amount.


You must abide by the Nebraska fishing license laws to avoid getting fined or evicted from a fishing area. You can find all the information you need on the Nebraska Game And Parks Department website. So, before you plan a fishing excursion, make sure you’ve gone through Nebraska’s rules and regulations. It is especially important to stay updated because fishing laws are subject to change at any time in Nebraska. 

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