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Louisiana Freshwater Fishing

A Louisiana freshwater fishing license is required of both residents and visitors to fish within the borders of the state. The first step in getting fishing licenses in the Pelican State is submitting a fishing license application. But, as Louisiana offers both freshwater and saltwater fishing to its patrons, it is crucial to select the appropriate credential.

Individuals caught with improper licensure or with no license at all can be fined by the state. Anglers who get a license to fish in LA can look forward to the prospect of catching species such as blue catfish, bluegill and longear sunfish. Before buying freshwater fishing licenses, anglers should become familiar with the different licensure options available through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The DWF offers a variety of different credentials, including those for residents, nonresidents, disabled veterans and more. Depending on the length of time that one plans to fish for, he or she may purchase a freshwater fishing license that fits his or her desired length of time. Annual passes, lifetime licenses and one-day passes are all available from the DWF. The purpose of your desired license and its length of validity will determine the price that you have to pay. Once you have decided on a fishing document, you can purchase your desired license in a few different ways. To learn more about all of the different fishing permits in Louisiana, as well as the different application methods and a number of other relevant and important topics, take a look at the popular questions and their detailed answers that are both provided in the sections below.


What is the difference between a resident and a nonresident freshwater fishing permit in Louisiana?

Louisiana residency is a crucial factor in determining the price that you must pay in order to fish within the state. When compared to visitors, residents of Louisiana receive significant discounts on freshwater fishing licenses. However, in order to obtain these discounts, residents are required to have lived in the state for at least six continuous months prior to their application, and they must provide proof of residency. Unlike residents, nonresidents are not required to register to vote in Louisiana, to register their vehicle in the state, to hold an LA driver's license, or to file state income tax.

In addition to non-resident and resident fishing licenses, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has special rates on fishing credentials for native Louisianans. Referred to as an LA Native License, this recreational license allows nonresident natives of the state a discounted rate on hunting as well as combination hunting and fishing licenses. Louisiana native licenses are valid for a length of five consecutive days. To obtain this low-fee license, applicants must present an original or certified birth certificate, along with photo identification.

Do I need to buy a separate saltwater fishing license in Louisiana?

Yes, a separate license to fish in saltwater must be purchased to catch fish in Louisiana's coastal waters. However, it is just as important to note that, in order to obtain a saltwater fishing license, you must buy freshwater fishing license documentation first. In the state of Louisiana, you cannot get a saltwater license without first having obtained a freshwater license. Furthermore, since each of these documents comes at a different price, be sure to take a moment to decide what kind of fishing you would like to do during your LA fishing trip.

How do I replace a lifetime Louisiana freshwater fishing license?

In the event your lifetime fishing credentials have been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, it is your responsibility to apply for an LA fishing license replacement from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The process to do so also applies to applicants who had not originally received their license after they purchased it. To apply for a lifetime freshwater fishing license replacement, fill out the Affidavit for a Duplicate Lifetime License, check off the reason for your request, and submit the form (notarized) with payment to the Baton Rouge DWF office. Once these steps have been completed, you will be issued a copy of your original lifetime license to fish.

How can I fish for free in Louisiana?

There are a few ways in which anglers can fish for free within the state of Louisiana. One way to fish without having to get a fishing license is by angling on an offshore landing. Recreational offshore landing permits, for both residents and nonresidents, are offered by the DWF at no cost. The types of game that fishermen are allowed to catch with this type of permit include tuna, dolphin and swordfish, among others. Each angler onboard a fishing vessel is required to hold a recreational offshore landing permit.

Another way that you can fish for free in the Pelican State is by participating in the state's designated free fishing days. In previous years, these days took place on the first full weekend of June. To find out when the next license-free fish day will take place, contact the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Are there reduced prices for veterans or seniors on freshwater fishing licenses in Louisiana?

Louisiana fishing licenses are available at a lower cost for qualifying individuals. Both seniors and veterans of the armed forces are eligible for some of the best deals in the state. Senior residents of Louisiana � those 60 years of age or older � can purchase an annual senior hunting and freshwater fishing license for a negligible fee. Avid anglers can purchase a senior resident lifetime license for a fraction of the cost of a regularly priced license.

Past and present military service members receive various discounts on licenses to fish in Louisiana. Whether residents or nonresidents, fishing license applicants can get an annual military freshwater fishing permit for a small fee.

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

Oftentimes you can buy a fishing license through your state’s fishing department website. You will most likely need to create an account on the webpage and have a printer nearby to finalize your transaction. Make sure to also have a valid credit card on hand, as no other form of payment is accepted by state departments online. Take note that, as proof of your residency, you may be required to enter your driver’s license number.
In a general sense, a good number of states offer the following types of fishing licenses: a regular fishing license and a commercial fishing license. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to get a saltwater license to fish, if you are by coastal waters. In addition to these permits, you may be required to buy a fishing stamp, depending on the specific type of fish species you intend to catch.
A regular fishing permit is often valid for the period of a full year. However, you may also have the option to obtain a license to fish that is good for 24 hours or 72 hours, for example. In some instances, a weekly fishing license or a lifetime license may also be available. Lifetime licenses to fish are the most suitable option for those anglers who intend to fish for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that if you would like to continue fishing after the expiration date of your current licensure, you will be required to get a new permit to fish.
The fees related to a state fishing license may vary, depending on a few factors. But senior residents and military veterans can usually get a fishing license that is free of charge, as long as they can present official documentation that supports their residency or military service. Resident licenses to fish are often more affordable than nonresident licenses. The most costly licenses are for those who would like to get lifetime credentials.
In the event that you have lost your fishing license or it was stolen, the most common way to obtain a duplicate is through your state’s fishing department. You may be required to make an in-person visit to a nearby office or to contact a licensed agent directly. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to order a fishing permit replacement online. But, to be sure, it is important that you double check with your state department first, as you may also need to bring in certain documentation, such as your driver’s license or ID card.
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