Louisiana is best known for great inshore (think redfish!) and offshore saltwater fishing.
But don’t discount the freshwater fishing on offer including great fishing for catfish, bass, panfish, and more.
It is vital to have the right fishing license to enjoy fishing in the Pelican State the right way.
In this article, we explain what kind of Louisiana fishing license you need, where to buy fishing licenses in Louisiana, how much they cost, and what discounts and exemptions are available.
Who Needs a Fishing License in Louisiana?
If you’re age 18 or older, you must have a Basic Fishing License to fish recreationally in Louisiana waters. This license includes all legal means/gear for catching freshwater species.
Here is the license fees page: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/recreational-fishing-licenses-and-permits
How Much Is a Louisiana Fishing License?
For Louisiana, residents an annual basic freshwater fishing license costs $17. An annual Louisiana saltwater fishing license for residents costs $15.
For non-residents, an annual basic freshwater fishing license costs $68. An annual nonresident Louisiana saltwater fishing license costs $60.
There are various other licenses with different pricing, all of which we have summarized in the tables below.
Who Is Exempt From Needing a Fishing License in Louisiana?
Certain groups are exempt from needing a fishing license in Louisiana. This includes:
- A resident or nonresident under age 18 (i.e. age 17 and under)
- A resident born before June 1, 1940, who has lived in Louisiana for 6 months.
If you meet one of the above criteria, you must still have proof of age in your possession whenever fishing.
Louisiana Fishing License Age
Children in Louisiana can fish without needing to buy a fishing license up to the age of 18, where they have to be licensed. This is generous compared to other states where children are required to have a license from as young as 12 years of age.
Fishing License Types in Louisiana
In Louisiana, there are several types of fishing licenses available for Louisiana residents and non-residents. These are:
- Basic Fishing License
- Saltwater Fishing License
- Wild Louisiana Stamp
- Charter Passenger License
- Non-Resident Fishing License, and
- Special Fishing Licenses
All licenses are valid for one year from the day of purchase.
Resident Fishing Licenses
To obtain licenses at resident rates, proof of residency is required. Valid forms of I.D. include (*NOTE: valid ID must be held for 6 months before buying a license):
- Louisiana driver’s license
- Louisiana ID card (issued by the Department of Public Safety)
|License Type (annual unless stated)||Cost|
|Basic Fishing (includes all legal recreational freshwater gear)||$17|
|Saltwater (Basic Fishing License required; includes all legal recreational saltwater gear)||$15|
|Hook and Line (cane pole)||$5|
|Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise||$100|
|Charter Passenger Saltwater Fishing Licenses (3-day)||$20|
|Charter Passenger Freshwater (3-day)||$10|
Non-Resident Fishing Licenses
Non-residents, including out-of-state visitors and foreign individuals, can purchase a non-resident fishing license to fish in Louisiana’s waters. The fees for non-resident licenses are typically higher than those for residents.
|License Type (annual unless stated)||Cost|
|Basic Fishing (includes all legal recreational freshwater gear)||$68|
|Saltwater License (Basic Fishing License required; includes all legal recreational saltwater gear)||$60|
|Hook and Line (cane pole)||—|
|Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise||$400|
|Charter Passenger Saltwater License (3-day)||$20|
|Charter Passenger Freshwater (3-day)||$10|
Who Can Purchase Discounted Louisiana Fishing Licenses?
Louisiana offers discounted fishing licenses to certain groups, including seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and students. Eligibility criteria and required documentation may vary, so it is advisable to consult the LDWF website or contact their office for specific details.
- Fishing License Costs in All States
- Exemptions and Discounts for Fishing Licenses for Seniors
- Exemptions and Discounts for Fishing Licenses for veterans
- Exemptions and Discounts for Fishing Licenses for people with a disability
Special Fishing Licenses in Louisiana
Louisiana offers various special fishing licenses, including Lifetime, Disability, Military, and Student.
If you’re a Louisiana resident, you may purchase a Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License. A Lifetime License is valid for life and remains valid even if you become a resident of another state. Nonresidents may purchase a Nonresident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License.
|Resident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing (any age, except seniors 65 and older)||$500|
|Resident Lifetime Senior Hunting/Fishing (65 and older)||$100|
|Nonresident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing||$4,000|
|Duplicate Lifetime License Card||$7.50|
Non-Resident Native License
Persons born in Louisiana who are not residents may purchase a Non-Resident Native License that is valid for 10 consecutive days.
|NR Native Hook and Line||$5||—|
|NR Native Basic Fishing||$17||$30|
|NR Native Saltwater 10-Day||$15||$30|
|Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise||$100||$120|
Disability Licenses and Permits
Certain disabled Louisiana residents may obtain annual recreational fishing licenses and hunting licenses free of charge or at reduced rates. Applicants must present a copy of their valid Louisiana driver’s license or identification card issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles and appropriate proof of disability along with their license application.
|Disabled Veterans Hunting and Fishing License (permanently disabled w/ disability classification of 50% or more)||Free|
|Resident Disabled/Special Needs License (blind, paraplegic, amputee, required to use one or more artificial limbs or permanent braces for mobility)||$4|
|Developmentally Disabled License (residents who are considered developmentally disabled)||Free|
|Active Military||Hook and Line: $5; Basic Fishing: $17; Saltwater Fishing: $15; Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise: $100|
|Resident/Nonresident Native Retired Military Hunting/Fishing||$20|
|Resident Disabled/Special Needs (includes Surviving Spouse Killed in Action)||$4||—|
|Resident/Nonresident Purple Heart Recipient||Hook and Line: $5; Basic Fishing: $17; Saltwater Fishing: $15; Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise: $100|
If you’re not a Louisiana resident but are a full-time student enrolled in an accredited college or university that has a physical campus in the state of Louisiana, you may purchase a recreational fishing license and hunting license for the cost of resident licenses.
|Nonresident Student Hook and Line||$5|
|Nonresident Student Basic Fishing||$17|
|Nonresident Student Saltwater (Basic Fishing License required)||$15|
|Nonresident Student Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise||$100|
You can find a more detailed list of the fees for standard residents, as well as individuals who meet special requirements, on the LDWF website.
Where Can I Buy a Louisiana Fishing Licence?
There are several convenient options for purchasing a Louisiana fishing license:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Fishing licenses can be obtained in person at LDWF offices throughout the state. These offices can provide assistance and answer any questions related to fishing licenses. To find the nearest Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries office, visit the official LDWF website.
The LDWF offers online license purchasing through its official website. Purchasing a license online provides a convenient and secure way to obtain a fishing license from the comfort of your home. Visit the LDWF website and follow the instructions provided on the “Buy a License” page.
If you purchase your license online (via smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.), you will not receive a license in the mail. You will receive a text with a temporary authorization number an email with the temporary authorization number and a PDF of your licenses, which you can print and/or save to the electronic device you take fishing.
Walmart and other Retail Outlets
Fishing licenses are available at various retail outlets across Louisiana, including Walmart stores, sporting goods stores, and hardware stores. To find a nearby retailer, refer to the LDWF’s list of license sales locations. Note that you can’t purchase a license online from Walmart.
What Happens With Louisiana Fishing License Fees?
The fees collected from fishing licenses in Louisiana are used to support conservation efforts, fisheries management, habitat restoration, and recreational opportunities. These fees play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of Louisiana’s fishery resources.
Does Louisiana Have Reciprocal License Arrangements With Neighboring States?
The waters in western Louisiana form a mutual border with Texas, so Louisiana and Texas have a reciprocal agreement that allows Louisiana and Texas recreational fishermen to fish border waters (except the Gulf of Mexico) under their resident license from their home state. They are not required to purchase a non-resident license.
Does Louisiana Offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?
Yes, Louisiana offers lifetime fishing licenses for both residents and non-residents. These licenses provide the holder with fishing privileges for their lifetime, eliminating the need to purchase an annual license. The fees for lifetime licenses vary based on age and residency status.
|Lifetime Hunt/Fish (0-17 years old)||$500|
|Lifetime Hunt/Fish (18 years and older)||$500|
|Non-Resident Lifetime Hunt/Fish||$4,000|
|Lifetime Resident Senior Hunt/Fish (65 or older)||$100|