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Minnesota Fishing Licenses

Minnesota fishing licenses are required of both residents and nonresidents before partaking in the activity in public waters. Prospective anglers of the state are required to obtain the appropriate fishing license which matches their intentions. To apply for a license to fish, you must complete the fishing license application process through the MN Department of Natural Resources. There are, however, some groups that enjoy some special fishing privileges. Military service members who have recently served overseas do not need to obtain a license to take fish. Though, if you are caught fishing without credentials when you do not meet an exemption, or if you are caught fishing with inappropriate credentials, you can incur fines from the state’s DNR. There are two main categories of fishing licenses available for purchase. The general license to fish is one that will appeal to most applicants for an MN fishing license. A commercial license is a more specialized version of a standard fishing license. Anglers who plan to put up their catch for sale or barter must apply for this type of licensure. Within the two categories of fishing licenses, there are also a number of different distinctions. To learn more about the different permits available in Minnesota and the ways that you can obtain them, view the sections featured below. Before delving into the information on the various types of fishing permits in MN, choose the license that is right for you. Depending on whether or not you want to make fishing your professional business, you can either get:

  • A new recreational Minnesota fishing license.
  • A commercial fishing license.


New Minnesota Fishing Licenses

Getting a recreational fishing license is required if you are interested in inland fishing in Minnesota. Before you get a fishing license in MN, there are a few questions that you must answer. First, you must decide what kind of license you are interested in. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers a wide variety of MN fishing permits, including documents for residents, nonresidents, seniors and members of the military. Each credential has a different price. Resident fishing licenses are more affordable than non resident fishing licenses. Senior licenses are less expensive than most other permits. Plus, both resident and nonresident military members have the ability to apply for licensure as a Minnesota resident. Fishing licenses are also divided into varying lengths of validity. Depending on the amount of time you plan to fish in Minnesota, you may want to purchase an annual MN license to fish, a one-day license or even a lifetime permit. In any case, you may apply for your licensure in a few different ways. The fishing license application methods available in Minnesota include:

  • Applying online through the DNR website.
  • Applying by phone.
  • Applying in person (either at a local license agent office or at the main St. Paul office location).

Commercial Minnesota Fishing Licenses

A commercial fishing license in Minnesota is necessary for professional anglers planning to profit from their catch. The MN Department of Natural Resources offers a number of credentials to fishermen who would like to take fish for commercial purposes, including commercial fishing permits that allow you to pack fish, farm game, haul and deal minnows and more. However, before you can begin your commercial venture, you must complete the application process that is necessary for obtaining a commercial fishing license. Distinct from the standard Minnesota fishing license procedure, in order to buy commercial fishing licenses in MN, you can only apply in one way – You need to go in person to the Department of Natural Resources license center at 500 Lafayette Road, St Paul, MN 55155-4040.

Once here, you will be able to apply either as a resident of Minnesota or a nonresident, depending on the amount of time that you have been in the state. And, just as with standard fishing credentials, residents of Minnesota typically receive significant discounts when they are buying a commercial fishing license (though there are certain licenses that are the same price for residents and nonresidents). Then, once it is established whether or not you are a resident, you will be able to choose the permit that you want to apply for and pay the applicable price. Prices for commercial permits vary greatly and can run as low as $5 and as high as $700, depending on the permit.

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.
This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.