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Season Dates



Hook and Line



Archery: June 1 - 30; Snagging: Oct. 1 - 31

Underwater Spearfishing

Game Fish: July 1 - Dec. 31 statewide, except Box ButteReservoir and private waters, where the season is June1 - Dec. 31; Non- game Fish: year-round

Surface Spearfishing

Year-round for nongame fish only


July 1- Dec. 31 for game fish; Year-round for nongame fish


Aug. 15 - Oct. 31, east of Hwy. 81; Year-round, west ofHwy. 81

Snapping turtle



Year-round, no harvest in any river or stream

New for 2024

Channel Catfish – Only one fish in the daily bag can be 30 inches or greater in length statewide.

Bluegill – The daily bag limit for bluegill shall include only one fish nine inches or longer at Duck Lake (FWS), Pelican Lake (FWS), Blue Lake (FWS), Island Lake (FWS), Smith Lake (FWS), Frye Lake WMA, and Smith Lake WMA.

Yellow Perch – The daily bag limit for yellow perch shall include only five fish 10 inches or longer, of which only one fish may be 12 inches or longer, at Home Valley Lake, Rat and Beaver WMA, Blue Lake (FWS), Island Lake (FWS), Smith Lake (FWS), Frye Lake WMA, and Smith Lake WMA.

Archery Paddlefish – Additional areas below Gavins Point Dam now will be open to archery fishing during archery paddlefish season; only the north wall of the spillway and the powerhouse discharge canal will be closed. See pages 18 and 20 for specific language and detailed image of the closed area.

Permit Information


A Nebraska permit is required of residents and nonresidents age 16 and over. Nonresidents under age 16 need not have a fishingpermit if they are accompanied by someone who has a Nebraska fishing permit. A fishing permit is required to take or attempt to take fish,bullfrogs, snapping turtles, barred salamanders or mussels by any legal method. An angler must carry the fishing permit while actively fishing.


The requirements to qualify as a Nebraska resident to buy a fishing permit:

  • Reside in Nebraska continuously for at least 30 days before making application for a permit and intend to become aNebraska resident.
  • Residents in school in another state or stationed outside Nebraska as part of a military assignment that have maintained Nebraskaas their state of legal residency.
  • Active-duty military personnel and full-time students stationed or attending school in Nebraska for a period of at least 30days.
  • A new resident should be prepared to provide documentation of residency (driver’s license, voter registration, etc.) to anofficer when in possession of a permit.


A nonresident fishing permit is required of all people who are not Nebraska residents, except those listed above and those under 16years of age who are accompanied by someone with a Nebraska fishing permit.


Nebraska hunt (small game), fish, resident fur harvest permits and associated stamps may be purchased, accessed or displayed ona mobile device. The image of a mobile permit may be displayed and saved on a device such as a phone or tablet. See more


Fee-Exempt Permits – These are available to resident veterans who:

  • are 50% disabled as a result of armed forces service
  • receive a pension from the Veterans Administration as a result of a total and permanent disability not incurred in the line of dutywhile in military service
  • obtained fee-exempt permits before Jan. 1, 2006

Veteran and Senior Permits – An annual fish/hunt permit is available for resident veterans age 64 and older and resident seniorsage 69 and older.

Special Fishing Permit – This annual permit is for physically or developmentally disabled residents who cannot cast or retrieveunassisted.

  • This entitles the disabled person and one person assisting to take, fish, catch, harvest or

possess any aquatic organism in compliance with state regulations.

  • If the person assisting does not have a valid fishing permit, they are restricted to one daily bag limit between the two anglers.
  • Disabled person is a person certified by a physician to have a permanent physical impairment or developmental disability thatresults in the inability to use fishing equipment unassisted.
  • Applications are available from Game and Parks district offices, service centers and the Schramm Education Center.

Educational Fishing Project Permit – This may be obtained by instructors at any university, college or high school from theFisheries Division for his/her students, 16 years of age and older who are participating in an educational fishing project.

Paddlefish Permit – Required, along with a Nebraska fishing permit, for taking paddlefish by snagging or archery duringdesignated seasons.

Salvage Permit – The permit allows for the salvage of fish from selected irrigation canals located in the Platte River, Republican Riverand Loup River drainages. Applications must be submitted to Game and Parks’ North Platte district office or the Kearney service center. Live fish cannot be transported in water from a canal because the potential for moving diseases and aquatic invasive speciesexists. Fish for consumption should be transported on ice.


Under Nebraska law, hunting and fishing privileges may be revoked for some game law and court-determined violations. This couldinclude certain one-time offenses by individuals or repeated violations by habitual offenders. Any person whose privilege to hunt, fishor harvest fur has been suspended or revoked in another jurisdiction within the United States or Canada also shall be prohibited fromobtaining a permit for such activity in Nebraska for the duration of the suspension.


Anglers holding a Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa or Missouri sport fishing license may fish all waters of the Missouri River in thestate they are licensed, and Missouri River waters of the state immediately across the river.

  • Missouri River waters are defined to include all flowing portions and backwaters, sloughs and chutes that draw water from the Missouri River.
  • Oxbows and backwaters separated from the Missouri River by land are included if the state boundary line passes through somepart of such waters.
  • Mouths of tributaries may be fished only in the state that the angler is licensed.
  • Anglers may fish from either bank or boats.
  • Anglers fishing in the state for which they do not hold a fishing permit must abide by the more restrictive of the two state’sregulations.
  • Nonresident South Dakota permits are not valid from Gavins Point Dam to 0.6 miles downstream.
  • Iowa and Missouri resident anglers may fish waters of Hamburg Bend Wildlife Management Area and the Nebraska portion ofthe Missouri River from the chute entrance (adjacent to Iowa) to the chute exit (adjacent to Missouri).


Owners or their guests fishing on a private water body are not required to have a fishing permit if all of the following apply to that water: 1) is located entirely on private land, 2) is entirely privately stocked, 3) does not connect by inflow or outflow with any other water outside such land, and 4) is not operated on a commercial basis for profit. In addition, any licensed commercial put-and-take operation is exemptfrom a fishing permit.