Arkansas Fishing Licenses (2024): Cost, Types  & How To Buy

Enjoy Arkansas’ excellent trout, bass and panfish fishing the right way with this guide to fishing licenses in Arkansas: types, where to buy and costs.

Arkansas offers some great fishing from the trout in the Ozarks to the great largemouth bass fishing in the Arkansas River Valley.

There’s also great crappie in the bayous of the delta and some decent catfish to be caught.

Before your next Arkansas fishing trip, make sure you know what license to get, where to buy it and how much it will cost by reading this article.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Arkansas?

All residents age 16 or older, must carry a valid Arkansas fishing license to take or attempt to take fish and frogs in Arkansas, unless they are fishing in a licensed “put-and-take” pay lake.   Anglers 16 and older also must have a valid trout permit to keep trout or fish in certain waters. If you aspire to guide, aid or assist someone else in fishing for hire, you must also have a valid Arkansas fishing guide license.

See also: What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in All 50 States

How Much is an Arkansas Fishing License? Costs Explained

Residents can get an annual fishing license from $10.50 while non-residents have to pay $50 minimum. There are a range of different prices for the different Arkansas fishing licenses, which are explained in the tables below.

Who is Exempt from Needing a Fishing License in Arkansas

  • Mobility-impaired residents. Mobility impaired classification: cannot walk without the permanent use of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or walker; permanently restricted by lung disease

Fishing License Types in Arkansas

Arkansas Bass Fishing
Arkansas has some great bass fishing to offer anglers

Fishing licenses in Arkansas – types and costs – depend on various factors such as your residency status, age, duration, and so on. Here is the summary of all the available licenses that you can purchase in the State of Arkansas: 

Resident Fishing Licenses

These licenses are available to an individual who physically inhabits a bona fide residence within Arkansas for at least 60 days and declares themselves a full-time resident of Arkansas.

Also, the following students (who must carry proof of full-time enrollment in schools, colleges, or universities while hunting or fishing in Arkansas) are eligible to purchase annual resident licenses: resident foreign exchange students attending school outside of Arkansas; nonresident foreign exchange students attending school in Arkansas; residents of Arkansas enrolled as full-time students in colleges and universities outside of Arkansas; and nonresidents enrolled as full-time students in colleges and universities in Arkansas.

Ownership of Arkansas real estate by a person living outside the state does not qualify the owner as a resident.

Fishing License TypePrice
Resident Fisheries Conservation License (FSH)
Entitles a resident to fish the waters of the state with a sport fishing tackle. A Resident Trout Permit also must be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters.
$10.50
Resident Sportsman’s License (RS)
Entitles the holder to hunt all game species during open seasons and to take a total bag limit of deer. Also allows the holder to hunt furbearers. A Resident Trapper’s Permit is required to trap furbearers. Valid through June 30. Six deer tags and two turkey tags are included with this license.
$25
Combination Sportsman’s License (CS)
Entitles holder to the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (RS) and the Resident Fisheries Conservation License (FSH). Valid through June 30.
$35.50
Resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License (RT3)
Entitles a resident to fish the waters of the state with sport fishing tackle for the three-day period specified. A Resident Trout Permit also must be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters.
$6.50
Resident Fishing Guide License (GLF)
Required of a resident who guides, aids, or assists another person for pay or other consideration in the taking of fish. This license does not include fishing privileges.
$25.00
White River Border Lakes License (WRL)
Entitles Arkansas resident fishing license holders to fish in the Missouri waters of Bull Shoals, Norfork, and Table Rock lakes without a nonresident fishing license from Missouri.
$10.00
Resident Trout Permit (TPR)
Required to retain trout or to fish in certain waters. Not required for holders of the nonexpiring $1,000 Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit or for holders of the 65 Plus Lifetime License and Trout Permit.
$10.00

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

These licenses are applicable to all visitors to Arkansas who want to fish from other states or countries. Non-resident licenses are typically more expensive than resident licenses and some of the discounts and exemptions that apply to veterans, the disabled and seniors don’t usually apply to non-resident license holders.

Fishing License TypePrice
Nonresident Trout Permit (TPN)
Required of a nonresident to retain trout or to fish in certain waters in addition to a Nonresident Annual or Trip Fishing License.
$20.00
Nonresident Annual Fishing License (NRF)
Entitles a nonresident to fish the waters of the state with sport fishing tackle. A Nonresident Trout Permit also must be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters.
$50.00
Nonresident 3-Day Trip Fishing License (NT3)
Entitles a nonresident to fish the waters of the state with sport fishing tackle for the three-day period specified. A Nonresident Trout Permit also must be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters.
$16.00
Nonresident 7-Day Trip Fishing License (NT7)
Entitles a nonresident to fish the waters of the state with sport fishing tackle for the seven-day period specified. A Nonresident Trout Permit also must be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters.
$25.00
Nonresident Fishing Guide License (GNF)
Required of a nonresident who guides, aids or assists another person for pay or other consideration in the taking of fish. This license does not include fishing privileges.
$150.00

Source: https://www.agfc.com/en/resources/licensing/fishinglicenses/

Trout Stamps

A trout permit is required to fish for trout in certain waters (tailwaters below Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Norfork Lake, Greers Ferry Lake, Lake Greeson, or east of Highway 59 on Spavinaw Creek) or to keep trout from any Arkansas waters. 

Who Can Purchase Discounted Arizona Fishing Licenses?

Alaska offers different privileges to its residents with disabilities, seniors, military retirees, and persons with mobility impairment. 

  • 65 or older
  • Residents of Arkansas who are 100% disabled 
  • Mobility-impaired residents
Fishing License TypeCost
65-Plus Lifetime Fishing License$10.50
65 Plus Lifetime Combination License$35.50
65 Plus Lifetime Trout Permit (PLT)$10.00
Resident 3-Year Disability License (RDF)$10.50
Resident 3-Year Disability Combination License (RDC)$35.50
Mobility-Impaired Access PermitFree

See also:

Special Fishing Licenses in Arkansas

Arkansas offers other special licenses that you can purchase. A special permit is available for anglers with disabilities, those who want to fish in special places and rivers, as well as for commercial purposes. Check this link for more information.

Where Can I Buy An Arkansas Fishing License?

Arkansas’s new license system provides four convenient options for purchase:

  1. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Offices

Licenses, permit applications, etc may be purchased at AGFC Regional Office, Nature Center, or the Little Rock Headquarters during regular business hours Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

  1. Online

AGFC Licenses may be purchased online at www.agfc.com. Users must pay with a credit card when purchasing licenses, permit applications, and merchandise online.

  1. Authorized Dealer
    There are many local businesses in Arkansas that are authorized to sell AGFC hunting and fishing licenses. Of course, you can always buy a fishing license in the outdoor section of Walmart stores.
  2. By Phone

Licenses, permit applications, etc may be purchased by calling 1-800-364-4263 during regular business hours Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Don’t forget that regardless of which state you are in you can buy a fishing license at Walmart stores in the outdoor section.

What Happens with Arkansas Fishing License Fees

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission plays an important role in keeping the Natural State. During the last 100 years, the agency has overseen the protection, conservation, and preservation of various species of fish and wildlife in Arkansas through its Arkansas Heritage Commission.

Visit this link to learn more about Arkansas wildlife management programs.

Does Arkansas Have Reciprocal License arrangements with neighboring states?

The State of Arkansas has entered into reciprocal agreements with the States of Mississippi (info on Mississippi fishing licenses), Missouri (see here for info on Missouri fishing licenses), and Tennessee (info on Tennessee fishing licenses) in order to allow qualified anglers the ability to fish from state to state in the least restrictive manner.

Mississippi and Arkansas recognize the resident fishing and commercial fishing licenses of the two states on flowing waters of the Mississippi River and all waters between the main levees of the Mississippi River, excluding the St. Francis, White, and Arkansas rivers and oxbow lakes accessible from the mouths of the St. Francis, White or Arkansas rivers. Licensees must abide by the regulations of the state in which they are fishing. The agreement does not include frog hunting.

Missouri and Arkansas recognize the sport fishing, resident commercial fishing, and commercial mussel-taking licenses of the two states on the flowing waters of the St. Francis River that form a common boundary between the two states.

A sport-fishing licensee or legally exempt resident of either state abides by the regulations of the state issuing the license. The agreement does not apply to tributaries, bayous, and backwaters of the St. Francis River.

A White River Border Lakes License allows Arkansas residents who hold a valid license to fish in the Missouri waters of Bull Shoals, Norfork, and Table Rock lakes without a fishing license from Missouri. The permit is valid for impounded waters (the waters between Beaver Lake Dam and Houseman Access in Arkansas are excluded). Trout may not be taken with this license. 

Tennessee and Arkansas recognize the fishing licenses of both states on the flowing waters of the Mississippi, adjacent sloughs, bayous, old river runs (if accessible by boat from the river proper), and old river chutes that form a common boundary. Not included are wildlife management areas and the Wolfe, Loosahatchie, Hatchie, Forked Deer and Obion rivers. 

Does Arkansas offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?

Yes. Arkansas offers a variety of lifetime licenses such as a 65-Plus Lifetime Fishing License, 65 Plus Lifetime Combination License, 65 Plus Lifetime Trout Permit, and a Nonexpiring Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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