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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I, and/or my family members, have to purchase a fishing license if I’m fishing on my own land?

Resident owners or tenants, their spouses, parents, grandparents, children and their spouses, grandchildren and their spouses who fish on ponds owned or leased by such owner or tenant do not have to have a fishing license.

I lost my fishing license. Do I have to buy another one to fish?

No, you can obtain a replacement license. Visit to download a replacement application, or send us the following: type of license you lost (i.e. annual, lifetime or senior citizen’s), your name, date of birth, address, driver’s license or social security number, location and approximate date of when you purchased your license. Replacement costs are as follows: annual licenses, $1.50; 5-year licenses, $5; lifetime licenses and senior citizen licenses, $10. Mail your replacement application and a money order to: ODWC, License Section, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.

Annual licenses purchased at can be replaced for $4.50 by returning to the license sales page.

Is it legal to take fish from one body of water and stock / release them into another body of water?

It is not legal to take fish from one body of water and release them into public waters. Not only the fish, but the water they are in, can contain aquatic nuisance species such as largemouth bass virus that could contaminate another entire body of water if released. Stocking fish species into public waters is the responsibility of the ODWC, not the public. However, an angler may take legally-caught fish in their possession and release them into private waters. We discourage this practice because of the very real threat of spreading aquatic nuisance species into the receiving waters.

Why is culling not allowed for stripers, hybrids, paddlefish and trout?

These species stress easily and will die after being held in a livewell or on a stringer. Once you keep one of these species you cannot release it.

Where is a good place to go bass fishing?

For ODWC fish population survey information, check out our Web site at and look under “Fishing.”

Since the government helped pay for flood control lakes across the state, doesn’t everyone have a right to fish in them?

Watershed lakes, or flood control ponds, dot the Oklahoma landscape from border to border. Some anglers mistakenly believe that the public is entitled access to these ponds, which can create conflicts between landowners and envious anglers.

Because they are on private land, these flood control ponds are not open to public access. Most watershed reservoirs were, and still are, built with technical assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Primarily constructed to prevent downstream flooding, these mini-reservoirs allow for increased agriculture and other land use opportunities. Fisheries development is not a primary consideration when building or planning a flood control pond and, if there happens to be good fishing in one of these ponds, it is because the landowner has taken efforts to make it happen.

Permission to fish one of these ponds is entirely at the landowner’s discretion. If asked, many may allow responsible anglers to spend a day fishing their pond, but always ask first.

When can I get a senior citizens license?

The senior citizen lifetime license is available to Oklahomans who have been residents for 6 months and will be turning 65 or older during the calendar year. The applications are available from license dealers, game wardens, any Wildlife Department installation and the Internet, but purchased only through the Wildlife Department’s headquarters. If an individual was born before January 1, 1923, they are exempt from this license and only need to carry proof of age and residency, i.e. driver’s license. These individuals receive the same privileges as the senior citizen’s license without having to purchase it.

Who qualifies for a disability license?

The disability license is available to any individual who has been a resident of Oklahoma for six months and is receiving disability benefits through Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement, United States Postal Service, or Multiple Injury Trust Fund. Applications can be downloaded from or requested from the Wildlife Department. Proper verification of receipt of benefits from the appropriate organization must be submitted with a completed application. Questions or need an application? Call (405) 521-3852.

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