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North Dakota fishing licenses are required of those looking to fish in the state’s inland waters. As a landlocked sate, resident and visiting anglers only have access to freshwater types of fishing in North Dakota. The institution responsible for issuing ND fishing licenses is the Game and Fish Department. Recreational fishermen can buy a fishing license online, over the phone or by mail. Commercial fishing applicants, on the other hand, must contact the GFD directly to apply for this specialized type of licensure. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older to get a fishing license in North Dakota. Anglers who do not meet the minimum age requirement are free to fish without the need for licensure. Licenses to fish are valid for a period of one year beginning April 1 and ending on March 31. The GFD issues fishing licenses free of charge to resident military members that are on duty out of state. Similarly, non-resident students at universities or colleges located in the state may qualify for a resident fishing license. In any instance, licensees must have their fishing permits on their person when fishing. Resident fishing permits are available in many forms such as the following: individual licenses, couple licenses (husband and wife), senior citizen licenses, disabled veteran licenses (must have a disability of 50 percent or more), and disabled resident licenses. Visitors can apply for a non resident fishing license for individuals or couples (husband-wife license), or a three-day or ten-day fishing permit. For more information on how to get a fishing license in North Dakota, click this link. See below for additional guidance on the main types of fishing licenses available in North Dakota:
- New fishing licenses
- Commercial fishing licenses
New North Dakota Fishing Licenses
A North Dakota recreational fishing license is the appropriate credential to obtain for those interested in fishing as a pastime. The state offers the following ways to purchase a fishing document: online, by phone and by mail.
Anglers can buy a new license to fish in North Dakota via the ND Game and Fish Online Services. Here, you can buy and print a fishing license in a few simple steps. Before you proceed with the application, make sure to prepare your Visa, Discover or MasterCard credit card to pay the license fees. When you begin the online application, you will be asked to select the license year and type, and your residency status. Once you have completed the application, make sure to print it immediately as this will be your valid fishing permit. With this purchasing method, you will not receive a fishing credential in the mail. If you would rather buy your license over the phone, call: 1-800-406-6409. Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Prepare your credit card in order to pay your license fees and the additional service charge for the transaction. Once complete, you will receive a verification number from the agent, which will serve to verify your licensure until you receive it by mail.
Another option to purchase a new fishing license is to submit a paper application by mail. You can find resident and non-resident applications on the official ND GFD website. Send the completed applications to:
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department
- Licensing Division
- 100 N. Bismarck Expressway
- Bismarck, ND 58501-5095
North Dakota Commercial Fishing Licenses
Commercial fishing permits are required if you have decided to make a profit by selling fish that you catch. You can buy commercial fishing licenses in North Dakota (contract and noncontract) from the Game and Fish Department, by filling out the appropriate applications. The noncontract commercial fishing license is issued on a yearly basis, and fishermen are required to keep it on their person at all times when fishing. The commercial fishing season starts on May 15 and lasts until November 30. In North Dakota, there are certain areas open to noncontract commercial fishing, and you can find information about these locations on the bottom of the application.
Fishermen with this license can use hoop nets and seines in some locations and set lines in other areas. Fish species allowed for commercial fishing are channel catfish and nongame fish species. The seines must be a maximum of 100 feet long at the most. The hoop nets must be a maximum of four feet in diameter, and the set lines must have a maximum of 10 hooks per site line, with only five set lines possessed at a time.
A contract commercial fishing license is a special type of permit for which a contract must be signed with the ND GFD. The contract requires a credit from a legitimate financial institution or a bond from a bonding company. If you would like to get more information on how to get a commercial fishing permit in ND, call the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.