Louisiana Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Louisiana is considered to be one of the best fishing grounds in the country. Some may even say the world. The state, with its thousands of acres of waterways, offers freshwater and saltwater fishing. There are bayous, lakes, rivers, estuaries, reservoirs for freshwater fishing. The long stretch of coast along the Gulf of Mexico is ideal for saltwater fishing.
A Louisiana license is required before fishing the first largemouth bass or bluegill in Bayou Segnett or Red River. Buying it online or by calling the Department of Wildlife is quick and easy. An authorization number is then assigned after purchase. Louisiana has an age fishing license and slot and pocket limit regulations.
There are state-enacted fishing regulations and laws to protect and maintain its waterways and fish stocks. There are specific fishing regulations for zones and designated waterways that can change based on the current status and assessment of fish stocks.
Louisiana Fishing Licenses
Preserving and conserving Louisiana’s fish populations is a priority. Fishing off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is best for catching groupers and snappers, but one must learn the correct technique of catching and releasing these deep-sea fish to avoid harming them. Be aware that deep sea fish can suffer from decompression when brought to the surface. Also, the use of a descender or ventin increases the survival rates of deep sea fish and their survival rates after release.
Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities, especially for Americans. And as an angler, there’s no denying that Louisiana is one of the most unique places to have the best time of your life in the water. Before fishing for largemouth bass on the Red River in Shreveport or catching spotted sea trout in Bayou Segnette State Park, however, you must obtain a fishing license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations in Louisiana
The license you purchase gives you access to the beautiful and lively fishing spots across Louisiana, depending on the type and validity. Certain privileges may exempt some from purchasing a license, but to be sure whether you are a resident or a tourist, it is always a good idea to get one before rowing your boat to the river.
How do you get a fishing license in Louisiana, you may be wondering? Well, in this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about fishing licenses and regulations so you can start catching the trophy-sized rainbow trout of your dreams!
Who Must Have a Louisiana Fishing License?
In general, all anglers 16 and over must obtain a certified fishing license to fish in Louisiana waters. Both resident and non-resident anglers must have a basic fishing license to use or own fish caught for recreational use in Louisiana waters:
- bow and arrow
- A barbed or barbless spear
- Frog gig / catcher
- Diving equipment
- Hook and line (trotting line)
- Throw a net with a radius of no more than 8 feet, 6 inches
- Rod and reel
When fishing in Louisiana, it is important to note that state laws have established a “line of salt water” through southern Louisiana. This line was drawn to separate freshwater and saltwater areas in the state. If you fish north of the “salt water line”, you need a basic fishing license. If you fish for salt water species south of the “salt water line”, you must have a salt water license in addition to your basic fishing license. As a rule of thumb, if you are anywhere in In Southern Louisiana and planning to catch saltwater species, you must obtain an additional saltwater license to ensure that you are fishing legally in an area.
It’s also worth noting that senior, military, student, and disabled-person licenses are available on special terms.
Who Is Exempt from Obtaining a Louisiana Fishing License?
The state of Louisiana has also considered several factors in requiring a fishing license from those who wish to fish in its waters. Therefore, several exemptions have been imposed. Here are the criteria the state follows in order to or not exempt someone from licensing requirements:
- Residents and non-residents under 16 years of age (i.e. under 15 years of age)
- Residents born prior to June 1, 1940 who have lived in Louisiana for six months.
An important reminder for those eligible for exemption based on their age is to always bring proof of age (such as photo ID or an SSN) when fishing. In addition, residents born before June 1, 1940 must have appropriate fishing gear licenses when using legal fishing gear.
How do I buy a Louisiana fishing license?
There are several ways to get a Louisiana fishing license. One of the easiest ways to buy a license is to use the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries license sales portal and pay online. All you have to do is go to this website and purchase a license on-line. Online payment options include Visa, MasterCard, and Discover; and these purchases include a small processing fee of $ 2.00.In order to use the licenses purchased from the online portal, you will receive an authorization number and a PDF file of your license, which you can print out or save on any device that you take with you when fishing.
Another way to buy a fishing license in the state of Louisiana is to buy it in person at any LDWF office (Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe, and Opelousas) and local retailers. It’s also important to note that annual sport fishing licenses are sold on June 1st each year and remain valid through June 30th of each year.
Different types of fishing licenses in Louisiana
Different fishing licenses and permits are required in the state of Louisiana, and the prices for each permit differ depending on whether you are a resident or a non-resident. Here is a summary of all the available licenses you can purchase in the state of Louisiana:
|License / permit type||Residents||Not resident|
|Hook and Line||$ 2.50||Not available|
|Basic fishing||$ 9.50||$ 60|
|Salt water (simple fishing license required)||$ 13||$ 30|
|Basic trip for non-residents (1 day)||Not available||$ 5|
|Saltwater excursion for non-residents (1 day)||Not available||$ 17.50|
|Saltwater non-resident season
(Simple fishing license required)
|Not available||$ 30|
|Hunting / fishing for seniors||$ 5||Not available|
|Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise||$ 100||Not available|
|Charter passenger (3 days)||$ 10||$ 10|
|Charter Skiff (3 days)||Not available||$ 30|
|Cans / buckets (limit 5)||$ 10||$ 40|
|Crab traps (maximum 10)||$ 15||$ 60|
|Lobster traps (maximum 35)||$ 15||$ 60|
|Tire networks (limit 5)||$ 20||$ 80|
|Oyster tongs (per tong)||$ 5||$ 20|
|Whistle / drums (limit 5)||$ 10||$ 40|
|Lamella traps (limit 5)||$ 20||$ 80|
|Trawls – less than 16 feet||$ 25||$ 100|
|Trawls – 16 feet to 25 feet||$ 80||$ 320|
|Wire networks (maximum 5)||$ 20||$ 80|
|Offshore landing permit for recreational activities||For free|
Louisiana Laws, and Regulations
As previously mentioned, anglers who wish to fish in Louisiana waters who are 16 years of age or older must purchase a Basic Fishing License, which is $ 9.50 (residents) and $ 60.00 (non-residents). For those who fish in salt water, you should also have a salt water license (in addition to the BFL) for USD 13 (residents) and USD 30.00 (non-residents).
Non-residents also have the option to purchase a one-day fishing license for just $ 5 for a one-way trip and $ 17.50 for saltwater. A senior resident can also purchase a hunting / fishing license for a discounted price of $ 5.
The military, students, and people with disabilities also have different tariffs for fishing licenses and permits. A summary can be found in the table below.
Types of Louisiana Fishing Licenses
|License type||Residents||Not resident|
|Active military bottom fishing||$ 9.50||$ 9.50|
|Active military saltwater fishing||$ 5.50||$ 5.50|
|Active basic military hunting||$ 15||$ 15|
|Active military big game||$ 14||$ 14|
|Active military bow||$ 10.50||$ 10.50|
|Active military primitive firearm||$ 10.50||$ 10.50|
|Active military Louisiana duck||$ 5.50||$ 5.50|
|Active military Wild Turkey||$ 5.50||$ 5.50|
|Resident Louisiana National Guard hunting / fishing||$ 50||Not available|
|Resident / Native Retired Military Hunting / Fishing||$ 5||$ 5|
|Resident surviving spouse was killed while fishing or hunting||$ 2.50||Not available|
|Basic fishing for non-resident students||$ 9.50||Not available|
|Saltwater non-resident student (basic fishing license required)||$ 5.50||Not available|
|Basic hunt for non-resident students||$ 15||Not available|
|Big game for non-resident students||$ 14||Not available|
|Arch for non-resident students||$ 10.50||Not available|
|Primitive firearm for non-resident students||$ 10.50||Not available|
|Non-resident student ducks||$ 5.50||Not available|
|Non-resident student Wild Turkey||$ 5.50||Not available|
|Resident disabled veterans hunting and fishing||For free||Not available|
|Resident of disabled athletes||For free||Not available|
|Local residents with disabilities basic recreational fishing||$ 2.50||Not available|
|Resident disabled saltwater fishing||$ 2.50||Not available|
|Resident Disabled Basic Hunting (except deer and turkey; includes WMA hunting permit)||$ 5||Not available|
|Resident of disabled big game||$ 5||Not available|
|Resident disabled arch||$ 5||Not available|
|Local residents disabled primitive firearm||$ 5||Not available|
|Hunting / fishing with developmental disabilities||For free||Not available|
|Permission for physically disabled hunters||For free||Not available|
frequently asked Questions
Q: What is the daily limit of catches in Louisiana?
The state of Louisiana has different daily catch limits for each species, which depend on the fishing season. For more information, please visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ fisheries regulations resources by following shortcut.
Q: Is there a lifetime fishing license?
Yes. Residents renewing their state driver’s license with the Department of Motor Vehicles have the option to add Lifetime Hunting, Lifetime Fishing, Lifetime Combination, Boater Training, and / or Hunter Training to their license for free. This certification allows you to fish in Louisiana waters without the need to carry the appropriate license or certification card.
Q: What to do if I have lost / damaged my fishing license?
If you’ve lost your license, you can purchase a duplicate for $ 2 per license. If you purchased it online or from a mobile device, it is available to reprint for free. In the case of temporary licenses (e.g. 1-day foreign travel licenses), no duplicates are permitted.