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Louisiana

Fishing

License Information

Lifetime Licenses

Lifetime fishing licenses include both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Lifetime licenses are available from Baton Rouge office only. Allow three weeks processing time. Applicants are required to have lived in Louisiana for the immediate 6 months prior to making application to qualify for resident rates. Mandatory documents required for applicants over the age of 18 are a valid LA driver’s license issued a minimum of 6 months and one of the following:

  1. Louisiana voter’s registration card
  2. Louisiana vehicle registration or
  3. Two previous year’s state tax filing, stamped by Department of Revenue and Taxation.

(Applications available at www.wlf.la.gov/licenses or by calling 225-765-2887)

Mandatory paperwork for applicants under the age of 18 is the following:

  • Original or certified copy of the birth certificate
  • Copy of both parents’ driver’s licenses

Recreational fishing and hunting licenses may be purchased online at la-web.s3licensing.com. The license can be printed using your home printer for immediate use or saved to a mobile friendly device. Methods of payment are Visa, MasterCard, Discover. A convenience fee is assessed. Customers wanting a license on durable, waterproof paper can still visit any license vendors.

Recreational Licenses

Who Needs a License

Anglers 16 years of age or older who take or possess fish in Louisiana waters must possess a fishing license.

Who Does Not Need a License

  • Children under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license (15 and under).
  • Residents born before June 1, 1940 who have lived in Louisiana for six months prior to fishing are exempt from basic and saltwater licenses but MUST have appropriate gear licenses when using trawls, crab traps, slat traps, oyster tongs, crawfish traps, wire nets, hoop nets or any other legal fishing gear.

Fishing In Saltwater

Title 56, Section 302.1.C.(1) requires that all recreational anglers fishing south of the “saltwater line” (see General Information) for saltwater species have in their possession a Louisiana saltwater angler’s license IN ADDITION TO a basic Louisiana fishing license EXCEPT those persons otherwise exempted. All regulations apply regardless of where the fish is taken.

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

Recreational anglers who are 16 years of age or older and charter captains are required to obtain this permit (free of charge) to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, hinds, snappers, dolphinfish, wahoo and cobia. Anglers wishing to obtain or renew a permit must register or login at rolp.wlf.la.gov. More details on this program are also available on this site. The requirement for anglers on a for-hire trip to have the permit has been removed; instead, it is required that the charter captain have a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit in his/her possession.

Activities that Require a License

A valid Basic Fishing License is required to possess fish in Louisiana waters OR to use the following gears in pursuit of fish:

  • Bow and arrow
  • A barbed or barbless spear
  • Frog gig/catcher
  • Scuba gear
  • Hook and Line
  • Cast net with a radius not to exceed 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Crabbing on a state refuge or wildlife management area (WMA)
  • Crab Traps*
  • Trawl*
  • Oyster tongs (must have a tonging permit to fish oysters by hand)

    *Gear licenses for crab traps, trawls and/or oyster tongs can be purchased with the requirement of basic fishing license. If a person wishes to utilize these gear types in the defined saltwater area, one must also possess a saltwater license.

About The License

  • Recreational licenses are valid from the date of purchase, are available for purchase each June 1, and expire June 30 of the following year.
  • To obtain licenses at resident rates, proof of residency is required. Valid forms of I.D. include (*NOTE: valid ID must be held for 6 months before buying license):
  • Louisiana driver’s license
  • Louisiana ID card (issued by the Department of Public Safety)
  • Recreational Licenses that are purchased at la-web.s3licensing.com via mobile device (smart phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) will not receive a license in the mail. You will receive an email with the attached license that can be saved and/or printed.
  • Effective Aug. 1, 2019, a Louisiana Resident who was honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States or a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, for the purposes of purchasing a fishing/hunting license will be considered a bona fide resident of Louisiana once he/she possess a Louisiana driver’s license, or, if not licensed to drive, is in possession of a special identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections under the provisions of R.S. 40:1321

Military Recreational Licenses

  • Active-duty members of the United States armed forces, including National Guard, are eligible to purchase annual licenses for the same fee that Louisiana residents pay for annual licenses.
  • An active-duty military member’s spouse and/or any dependents may also obtain a fishing license at the Louisiana resident rate.
  • In order to obtain Louisiana resident rate licenses the active-duty member of the military, spouse or dependents must present a valid active duty military ID card at the time of the license purchase.
  • A Louisiana resident who is a member of the Louisiana National Guard or any reserve component of the United States armed forces may purchase a combination license to hunt and fish for $50. Information and applications are available at www.wlf.la.gov/licenses or by calling 225-765-2887.
  • A Louisiana resident or native born Retired member of the United States armed forces, including Louisiana National Guard, is eligible to purchase a combination license to hunt and fish for $5. (Application for this license can be mailed to the Baton Rouge office or presented to the Baton Rouge office in person).
  • A Louisiana resident who is a surviving spouse of a member of the United States armed forces, including Louisiana National Guard, who was killed in action while in a combat zone, is eligible to purchase a recreational fishing license for $2.50. (Application for this license can be mailed to the Baton Rouge office or presented to the Baton Rouge office in person).

Texas/Louisiana Reciprocal

  • Louisiana and Texas residents who hold resident licenses from their resident state or who are exempted from holding resident licenses in their state may fish the border waters between Texas and Louisiana without additional licenses. Boundary waters include:
  • Caddo Lake
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir
  • Sabine River
  • Sabine Lake
  • Sabine Pass
  • Louisiana residents who are 65 years old or older may fish in Texas public waters (both freshwater and saltwater) as long as they possess valid Louisiana resident licenses and comply with Texas law.
  • Louisiana residents born before June 1, 1940 are not required to have a license to fish border waters, only.
  • Louisiana residents who are 17 to 64 years of age must purchase Texas non-resident fishing license(s) when fishing in Texas, except when fishing in border waters.
  • Texas residents who are 65 years old or older may fish in Louisiana public waters (both freshwater and saltwater) as long as they possess valid Texas resident license(s) and comply with Louisiana law.
  • Texas residents born before Sept. 1, 1930 must possess Texas resident fishing license(s) when fishing in Louisiana, except in the border waters.

Disability Licenses

  • Resident veterans who have a permanent service-connected disability classification of 50 percent or more, and residents who are blind, paraplegic or multiple amputee can be issued recreational basic and saltwater fishing license(s) for free.
  • Residents who are totally and permanently disabled and receiving federal social security disability benefits or disability retirement income from a retirement system whose members are exempt from social security pursuant to the Railroad Retirement Insurance Act or employees of the state or a political subdivision of the state that has not voluntarily agreed to participate in federal social security may qualify for reduced rate basic and saltwater fishing licenses. (This exemption does not apply to Supplemental Security Income benefits).
  • Residents required to use one or more artificial limbs or permanent braces for mobility or a single amputee can be issued recreational basic and saltwater fishing licenses for free.
  • As defined in R.S. 47:463.4(E), Mobility impaired persons that are bona fide residents of Louisiana, in possession of valid identification, and over 60 years of age may use one legal slat trap and/or one hoop net not greater than 18 feet by 8 feet, where those gear are legal, without a license, only for the purpose of catching catfish and only for home consumption.
  • Applications for these licenses can be mailed to the Baton Rouge office or presented to the Baton Rouge office in person.
  • Application forms for the Resident Disabled Sportsman License or Resident Disabled with Social Security Benefit License are available at www.wlf.la.gov/licenses. For more information contact Sports License at 225-765-2887