Missouri Fishing License and Fishing Permit: All You Need to Know from the Department of Conservation

If you’re planning to go fishing in Missouri, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fishing license and permit requirements established by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, obtaining the necessary permits ensures that you can enjoy the abundant fishing opportunities this beautiful state has to offer while also supporting conservation efforts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Missouri residents require a fishing permit to fish in the state, with certain exemptions.
  • The permit covers fishing for fish, frogs, mussels, clams, turtles, crayfish, and live bait.
  • Additional permits may be needed for specific species like trout or migratory birds.
  • License fees vary depending on residency and permit type.
  • Permits can be purchased online, over the phone, at Department offices, or from authorized vendors.

Missouri Fishing License Requirements

To fish legally in Missouri, residents and non-residents must obtain a fishing permit from the Missouri Department of Conservation. This permit covers fishing for a variety of species, including fish, frogs, mussels, clams, turtles, crayfish, and live bait. However, it’s important to note that additional permits may be required for specific species such as trout or migratory birds.

The fishing permit requirements in Missouri are designed to both protect the state’s fish populations and ensure that anglers have a safe and enjoyable experience. License fees vary depending on residency and the type of permit you need. Missouri residents can expect to pay different fees compared to non-residents, and there are also separate fees for different permit types, such as daily permits or annual permits.

Fishing Permit Types

The Missouri Department of Conservation offers a range of fishing permit types to suit different angler needs. These include daily permits, annual permits, and even lifetime permits for those who plan to fish in Missouri for many years to come. 

Permit Types:

  • Daily Permit
  • Annual Permit
  • Lifetime Permit

It’s important to check the Missouri Department of Conservation website or contact their offices for the most up-to-date information on fishing permit requirements and license fees. This will ensure that you have the correct permit and pay the appropriate fee for your fishing activities in Missouri.

“To fish legally in Missouri, residents and non-residents must obtain a fishing permit from the Missouri Department of Conservation.”

Types of Fishing Permits and License Fees

The Missouri Department of Conservation offers a range of fishing permits and licenses to cater to the diverse needs of anglers, each with its own associated fees. Whether you are a resident or non-resident, there is a permit option available for you to enjoy fishing in Missouri’s abundant waters.

If you are a Missouri resident aged 16 to 64, you will need a fishing permit. For residents aged 65 and above, a lifetime fishing permit is available. Non-residents have the option of purchasing an annual fishing permit or a daily fishing permit, depending on the duration of their stay.

For those looking to catch trout in Missouri’s rivers and streams, a trout permit is required in addition to the fishing permit. This permit allows you to fish in designated trout areas and is available for both residents and non-residents.

Here is a comprehensive table with fees associated with fishing licenses in Missouri:

License TypeResident FeeNonresident Fee
Annual Fishing$20.50$53.25
Annual Fishing (Age 60-64)$12Not available
Daily Fishing$8$8
Trout Permit$10$10
Lifetime Fishing Permit – Youth (0-15)$275Not available
Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 16-29$400Not available
Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 30-39$350Not available
Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 40-59$300Not available
Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 60-64$35Not available


Note: The table includes all types of fishing licenses and permits available in Missouri, including Annual Fishing, Annual Fishing (Age 60-64), Daily Fishing, Trout Permit, Lifetime Fishing Permit – Youth (0-15), Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 16-29, Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 30-39, Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 40-59, and Lifetime Fishing Permit – Age 60-64.

Regular Fishing Licenses in Missouri
Regular Fishing Licenses in Missouri
Lifetime Fishing Licenses in Missouri

Note: Fees are subject to change, so it is always best to check the Missouri Department of Conservation website for the most up-to-date information.

Additional Permit Options

In addition to the fishing permits mentioned above, the Missouri Department of Conservation offers several other permits to enhance your fishing experience. These include the paddlefish permit for those looking to catch this unique species, the urban fishing permit for fishing in designated urban areas, and the commercial fishing permit for those engaged in commercial fishing activities.

It’s important to note that some permits have specific regulations and requirements, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the details before heading out on your fishing adventure.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is dedicated to preserving and protecting the state’s natural resources, including its diverse fish populations. By obtaining the necessary fishing permits and adhering to the regulations, anglers can contribute to the sustainability of Missouri’s fisheries while enjoying the beauty and excitement of fishing in this great state.

Special Fishing Permits and Exemptions

Missouri fishing, professional photo
Missouri fishing

In addition to the general fishing permit, some anglers in Missouri may require special permits for specific activities, such as trout fishing or migratory bird hunting. Here is a breakdown of these special permits and exemptions:

1. Trout Permit: Anglers who wish to catch trout in Missouri must obtain a trout permit in addition to their general fishing permit. This permit allows them to fish in designated trout parks, streams, and lakes where trout are stocked. The trout permit fee varies depending on residency status and is valid from March 1st to the end of February the following year.

2. Migratory Bird Hunting: Missouri offers excellent opportunities for migratory bird hunting, including ducks and geese. To hunt these birds, hunters must have the appropriate federal and state permits, including a Migratory Bird Hunting Permit and a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit. These permits allow hunters to pursue waterfowl during the designated hunting seasons. It’s important to note that federal regulations and bag limits apply, so hunters are advised to familiarize themselves with the specific rules before heading out.

3. Exemptions: Certain groups are exempt from the requirement of having a fishing permit in Missouri. These include individuals who are under the age of 16, residents aged 65 and older, and individuals with disabilities who possess a qualifying permit. It’s essential to carry appropriate identification to prove eligibility for an exemption.


Anglers in Missouri should be aware of the special fishing permits and exemptions that may apply to their activities. In addition to the general fishing permit, a trout permit is required for trout fishing, and specific permits are necessary for migratory bird hunting. These permits can be obtained through the Department of Conservation and are subject to different fees and regulations. However, certain groups, such as minors and senior residents, may be exempt from the fishing permit requirement. To learn more about these permits and exemptions, anglers can visit the Department of Conservation website for detailed information.

Permit TypeRequirementsValidity
Trout PermitAdditional permit for trout fishingMarch 1st to end of February the following year
Migratory Bird Hunting PermitsFederal and state permits for waterfowl huntingSeason-specific

Where to Obtain a Fishing License in Missouri

Acquiring a fishing license in Missouri is convenient, with multiple options available for anglers to obtain their permits. Whether you prefer the convenience of online applications, the personal touch of interacting with authorized vendors, or the simplicity of a phone call, you can easily obtain your fishing license to start enjoying the abundant fishing opportunities in the state.

One option is to purchase your fishing license online through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s official website. This allows you to conveniently apply from the comfort of your own home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply visit the website and follow the step-by-step instructions to complete your application. It’s a quick and hassle-free process that will have you on your way to the water in no time.

If you prefer a more personal approach, you can also obtain your fishing license from authorized vendors throughout Missouri. These vendors include bait and tackle shops, sporting goods stores, and even some department stores. Just visit one of these locations, provide the necessary information, and they will issue your fishing license on the spot.

Alternatively, you can also obtain a fishing license by phone. The Missouri Department of Conservation provides a dedicated phone line for anglers to purchase their permits. Simply call the designated number, provide the required information, and your fishing license will be mailed to you.

Authorized VendorsDuring store hours
PhoneMonday to Friday, 8am-5pm (CST)

No matter which method you choose, it’s essential to ensure you have a valid fishing license before casting your line in the waters of Missouri. Familiarize yourself with the various options available and choose the one that suits your needs best. A fishing license not only ensures compliance with state regulations but also supports the conservation efforts of the Missouri Department of Conservation, which works tirelessly to protect and enhance the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

Additional Permits for Commercial Hunting and Fishing

For individuals involved in commercial hunting and fishing in Missouri, additional permits are necessary to comply with regulations. These permits ensure the sustainable management of wildlife resources and protect the natural habitats where hunting and fishing activities take place. Whether you’re a commercial fisherman or a professional hunter, understanding and obtaining the required permits is essential to operate legally and responsibly.

Table: Commercial Hunting and Fishing Permits in Missouri

Permit TypeAssociated Activities
Commercial Fishing PermitFishing for commercial purposes, including selling fish to wholesalers, retailers, or restaurants.
Commercial Hunting PermitHunting commercially for species such as deer, turkey, waterfowl, small game, or other legally designated game animals.
Commercial Turtle PermitHarvesting turtles for commercial trade, including snapping turtles, softshell turtles, and spiny softshell turtles.
Commercial Frog PermitCollecting frogs for commercial purposes, such as selling them as bait or for use in culinary dishes.

The fees for these permits vary depending on the type and duration of the permit, as well as your residency status. It’s important to refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website or contact their offices directly for the most up-to-date information on fees and application procedures.

Additionally, commercial hunters and fishermen must adhere to specific regulations regarding bag limits, size restrictions, and reporting requirements. These regulations are in place to ensure the sustainable use of wildlife resources and protect the balance of ecosystems. By obtaining the necessary permits and following the associated regulations, commercial hunters and fishermen contribute to the conservation efforts in Missouri while pursuing their livelihoods.

Lifetime Fishing Permits and Conservation Partner Programs

Anglers who plan on fishing in Missouri for a lifetime can take advantage of lifetime fishing permits and become conservation partners with the state. These lifetime permits offer several benefits, including convenience and cost savings. With a lifetime fishing permit, anglers no longer need to worry about renewing their permit each year, reducing the hassle and paperwork associated with annual permits.

By purchasing a lifetime fishing permit, anglers also support conservation efforts in Missouri. A portion of the permit fees goes towards funding various conservation programs and initiatives, ensuring the preservation of Missouri’s natural resources for future generations.

Benefits of Lifetime Fishing Permits:

  • No need to renew the permit annually
  • Contribute to conservation efforts in Missouri
  • Cost savings compared to purchasing annual permits
  • Opportunity to become a conservation partner

Additionally, anglers who hold a lifetime fishing permit can become conservation partners with the Missouri Department of Conservation. As conservation partners, they receive exclusive updates and information about ongoing projects, events, and initiatives. Partners also have the opportunity to contribute further to conservation efforts through volunteer work and participation in various programs and activities.

Permit TypeResident FeeNon-resident Fee
Lifetime Fishing Permit$400$1,000

To purchase a lifetime fishing permit or to learn more about the conservation partner programs, anglers can visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website. The website provides detailed information on permit requirements, regulations, and the various ways to obtain a fishing permit in Missouri. Whether you’re a resident or non-resident angler, a lifetime fishing permit offers a convenient and long-term solution for enjoying the abundant fishing opportunities in the state.

Rules and Regulations for Fishing in Missouri

To ensure sustainable fishing and protect the state’s aquatic resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation has established rules and regulations that anglers must adhere to. These regulations are in place to maintain healthy fish populations, preserve natural habitats, and promote responsible fishing practices.

When fishing in Missouri, it is important to be aware of size and quantity limits for different species. These limits are put in place to ensure that fish populations can thrive and reproduce. Anglers must also adhere to seasonal restrictions, as certain species may have specific fishing seasons or closed periods to protect their breeding cycles.

In addition, there are specific location restrictions in Missouri to protect sensitive ecosystems and reduce overfishing in certain areas. Some bodies of water may have catch-and-release policies or designated areas where fishing is prohibited. It is crucial for anglers to familiarize themselves with these restrictions and avoid fishing in restricted areas to avoid penalties or fines.

Size and Quantity LimitsRestrictions on the size and amount of fish that can be kept
Fishing SeasonsDesignated periods when certain species can be caught
Location RestrictionsProhibited areas or catch-and-release policies to protect ecosystems

The Missouri Department of Conservation website is a valuable resource for anglers seeking detailed information on fishing regulations. The website provides a comprehensive guide to fishing rules and regulations, including specific regulations for different bodies of water and species. Anglers can also find information on permit requirements, fees, and exemptions, as well as updates on any changes or new regulations that have been implemented.


Fishing in Missouri, with its vast and diverse fishing opportunities, starts with securing a Missouri fishing license from the esteemed Missouri Department of Conservation. Whether a Missouri resident or non-resident, all need to buy a fishing permit to cast a line in Missouri waters, though several exemptions do apply.

From the clear waters of the Mississippi River to the expansive shores of the Missouri River, the state offers types of fishing experiences like no other. There are daily fishing permits for those looking for a quick fishing jaunt, and for those visiting places like trout parks, you might need to purchase a daily trout fishing tag or trout permit. Anglers hoping to enjoy the free fishing days won’t need a license, but it’s paramount to have the right permit for places like Lake Taneycomo and the vicinity of the Highway 65 bridge.

For the dedicated angler, lifetime permits, such as the lifetime fishing permit and the lifetime conservation partner permit, are available. These carry the same privileges as the resident hunting and fishing permit, a testament to the state’s commitment to lifelong hunting and fishing. Small game hunting and fishing are also popular activities, with specific permits available, including the hunting and fishing permit order form. Commercial endeavors, like shovelnose sturgeon fishing, require particular attention to regulations, so always check before setting out.

You can get a Missouri fishing license online, or from permit vendors across the state. The Department of Conservation offices and the free MO fishing app are indispensable resources, providing comprehensive details on everything from fishing etiquette to gear restrictions. With species ranging from trout to turtles, and clams to mussels, anglers must equip themselves with the right fishing gear, such as snares.

Special permits like the trout permit for areas near Table Rock or the conservation order permit for specific activities add to the range of fishing experiences. The state also boasts programs like the warrior transition brigade and warrior transition unit, acknowledging the service of those at military medical centers. For residents, privileges such as the resident fishing or the resident hunting and fishing permit are available, with the latter carrying the same privileges as the resident hunting permit.

Missouri residents who are currently prisoner of war or honorably discharged, and those with evidence of a Missouri I-551 resident alien card, have specific provisions, ensuring everyone can enjoy the state’s fishing offerings. The conservation department emphasizes the importance of fishing skills, proper fishing etiquette, and respecting rules and regulations defined in Missouri revised statutes. This ensures the preservation of Missouri’s rich aquatic life, from the fish in Missouri to the live bait essential for angling.

In wrapping up, Missouri, with its fishing areas and conservation permit card provisions, stands as an angler’s paradise. So, whether you’re gearing up for light goose conservation order activities or just looking to enjoy fishing on the serene waters of Lake Taneycomo, remember to carry your fishing permit order form, and perhaps even a federal duck stamp if you’re birdwatching too. Every angler, from those using simple fishing gear to those with a lifetime hunting and fishing permit, contributes to the state’s rich fishing tapestry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fishing in Missouri

  1. What is a Missouri fishing permit?
    • A Missouri fishing permit is an official document issued by the state that grants permission to individuals to fish within Missouri’s waters.
  2. When must one purchase a fishing permit in Missouri?
    • Anyone planning to fish in Missouri’s public waters must purchase a fishing permit unless they fall under specific exemptions.
  3. Is the Missouri fishing permit available online?
    • Yes, the Missouri fishing permit is available online through the official website of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
  4. What is a lifetime trout permit?
    • A lifetime trout permit is a special permit available for purchase that allows the holder to fish for trout for their entire life without needing to renew the permit annually.
  5. Who qualifies as immediate household members for a fishing permit?
    • Immediate household members typically refer to individuals living at the same residence, such as spouses and dependent children.
  6. Can I fish if I’m accompanied by a licensed angler but don’t have a permit myself?
    • Generally, all anglers need their own permit. Being accompanied by a licensed angler does not exempt you from needing your own fishing permit.
  7. What is visual concentric contraction, and how does it relate to fishing in Missouri?
    • Visual concentric contraction is a specific eye condition. In some states, individuals with certain disabilities, including visual impairments, might be eligible for exemptions or discounts on fishing permits.
  8. Are there days when I can fish without a license in Missouri?
    • Yes, Missouri occasionally has “Free Fishing Days” where anglers can fish without a license. However, other regulations and limits still apply.
  9. How can I use the lifetime hunting and fishing permit?
    • The lifetime hunting and fishing permit allows the holder to hunt and fish in Missouri without needing to purchase annual permits. It’s a one-time purchase that covers both activities for the holder’s lifetime.
  10. Where can I purchase a fishing permit in Missouri?
  • Fishing permits are available online or from permit vendors across the state, including some sporting goods stores and local Department of Conservation offices.
  1. Are there penalties for fishing without a valid permit?
  • Yes, fishing without a valid permit can result in fines and other penalties as it’s a violation of state regulations.
  1. Is there a reduced cost for fishing permits for certain groups?
  • Yes, there are reduced cost permits available for seniors, veterans, and other specific groups. Check with the Department of Conservation for eligibility criteria.
  1. Do I need a trout permit even if I have a general fishing permit?
  • Yes, if you intend to fish for trout in specific waters or during certain seasons, you’ll need a trout permit in addition to your general fishing permit.
  1. What’s the difference between a resident angler and a non-resident angler?
  • A resident angler is someone who resides in Missouri and meets the state’s residency requirements. Non-residents are individuals from outside Missouri. The fees and regulations might differ between the two groups.
  1. Is the date of purchase important for my fishing permit?
  • Yes, the date of purchase indicates the start of the permit’s validity. Most permits are valid for one year from the date of purchase, unless otherwise specified.

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