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Arkansas Fishing Licenses
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In order to fish legally in the state, anglers must buy an Arkansas fishing license from the AR Game and Fish Commission (GFC). The GFC is responsible for issuing the wide range of fishing permits offered within the state, including recreational fishing licenses, commercial fishing licenses and other miscellaneous fishing permits. The standard Arkansas fishing permit is the recreational fishing license, which allows anglers to take fish from the state’s waters for sport. Recreational fishing licenses are available to both residents and non residents for varying fees and validity periods. AR commercial fishing permits are available to residents of Arkansas only and required for anglers who would like to make fishing a career by selling fish or guiding their fellow fishermen on state waters. Regardless of their final choice, anglers should know that improper licensure during a fishing trip is considered poaching and will result in disciplinary action through the GFC. Therefore, it is crucial that you know what Arkansas permit to fish is right for you and apply prior to embarking on your next fishing trip. Once you buy a fishing license, make sure to keep the credential on you in a safe and easily accessible area at all times while out on state waters. To learn more about Arkansas fishing permits – including how to get fishing licenses, the general price range for each license and how long fishing permits last before expiring – read through the information outlined in the sections below:

  • Standard Arkansas fishing licenses
  • Commercial Arkansas fishing licenses

Arkansas New Fishing Licenses

Arkansas recreational fishing licenses are issued by the GFC and required of all anglers planning to fish for sport in state waters. To buy AR fishing licenses, visit the GFC website and complete a fishing license application. However, before you enter your information and press the “buy now” button, familiarize yourself with your fishing license options.

As an applicant for a recreational fishing license in Arkansas, you must first inform the GFC whether you are a resident or non resident of the state. Residential fishing licenses are issued at a discounted price compared to non residents. Once you have established residency, determine how long you would like your resident or non resident fishing permit to last, as there are both short-term and long-term options available to fishing permit applicants. Non residents can choose between visitor fishing licenses that are valid for three days, seven days or a year depending on how long they plan to fish in Arkansas. Residents can choose between annual fishing licenses, three-year fishing licenses or lifetime fishing licenses.

Note: The price of the license you choose varies widely based on the length of its validity period. For example, fees for lifetime fishing licenses are significantly more than fees for one-day or seven-day passes.

In Arkansas, lifetime fishing licenses are restricted to disabled military veterans, military retirees or seniors who are at least 65 years of age. Fishing licenses can be purchased online on the GFC website or in person through local license dealers. Anglers can also buy fishing licenses through the AGFC’s toll-free license hotline at 1-800-364-4263. 

Arkansas Commercial Fishing Licenses

Getting an Arkansas fishing license is required to fish commercially in the state. To get a commercial fishing license, complete the appropriate commercial fishing license application. The Arkansas GFC has numerous rules and regulations in place for commercial fishing licenses and practice. Rules are put in place to protect the overall populations of fish in the state and allow local wildlife to continue to flourish. Commercial fishing rules are often dependent on each angler’s specific license. The Arkansas GFC offers three options for commercial fishing licenses:

  • The resident fishing guide license
  • The nonresident fishing guide license
  • The commercial fishing permit and sport fishing license

Commercial anglers can buy commercial fishing license credentials to work as a fishing guide in one of three different ways: in person to a local license dealer, online through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website or over the phone by calling the AGFC at its toll-free number: 1-800-364-4263. For online and phone purchases, make sure to have an active, valid credit card number on hand in order to pay your fishing license fees.

Regardless of which commercial fishing license you choose to purchase, you must present proof of residency before you can get a commercial fishing license in Arkansas.

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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