First Time Fishing
Louisiana is known around the world as a premier sportfishing destination. The Office of Fisheries uses scientific management methods to protect and enhance the populations and habitat of aquatic species
Get a Fishing License
Recreational fishing licenses are required to fish in Louisiana with a few exceptions. All Louisiana fishing licenses are available for purchase on June 1 and expire on June 30 the following year.
To purchase a license online click HERE.
E-Licenses purchased online can be either be printed on your home printer or saved to your smartphone for immediate use!
If you would like a license printed ondurable, waterproof paper, you can still visit a local license vendor or call 1-888-765-2602.Who Needs a License?
Who Needs a License?
Fishing licenses are required for resident and non-resident anglers 16 years of age and older. However, Louisiana residents who have lived in Louisiana for one year prior to fishing and were born before June 1, 1940 are exempt from both basic and saltwater fishing licenses. License fees vary and are generally more expensive for non-residents.
Different Types of Licenses
Basic and saltwater licence
Louisiana has many areas where fresh and saltwater species can be caught side by side. Accordingly, state law has designated a “saltwater line” across south Louisiana and anglers fishing south of that line for saltwater species are required to possess a saltwater angler’s license in addition to the basic Louisiana fishing license. Instead of trying to determine exactly where the saltwater line is, the best practice is to purchase the additional saltwater license if fishing anywhere in south Louisiana and plan to catch any saltwater species.
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain this free permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin.
Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip DO NOT need a permit. Anglers wishing to obtain or renew a permit must register at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Additional details are also available on that website. While the Louisiana ROLP is required for each individual angler onboard, a federal Highly Migratory Species (HMS) vessel permit is required if fishing for any federally regulated highly migratory species: Atlantic tunas (bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack and albacore) and sharks, swordfish, white and blue marlin, sailfish and spearfish. This is a fee-based permit, anglers can apply and pay for the permit online at www.nmfspermits.com or by calling 888-872-8862. There are also some mandatory reporting requirements.
Military fishing licence
Active-duty members of the US Armed Forces or National Guard can purchase annual fishing licenses at the same fee paid by Louisiana residents. This also applies to the spouse and/or dependents of the active-duty military member. A Louisiana resident who is a member of the Louisiana National Guard or is a member of any reserve component of the US Armed Forces may purchase a combination hunting and fishing license for $50.00.
Louisiana/Texas reciprocal agreement
Due to the waters in western Louisiana that form a mutual border with Texas, a reciprocal agreement with Texas allows anglers fishing these specific waters to use the resident license from their home state. The boundary waters include: Caddo Lake, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sabine River, Sabine Lake and Sabine Pass.
Certain disabled Louisiana residents may obtain recreational licenses free of charge or at a reduced rate. For more information on this program, contact (225) 765-2887.
Louisiana residents may purchase lifetime fishing licenses that include both the basic and saltwater licenses. The cost of a lifetime license varies according to age at the time of purchase. The license is valid for life and remains valid even if the purchaser becomes a resident of another state. Lifetime hunting privileges may also be added for an additional fee. Lifetime licenses are only available to residents, and applications are only accepted through the Baton Rouge office. For more information on lifetime licenses, contact (225) 765-2887.
In addition to a valid basic fishing license, certain recreational activities require gear licenses. A gear license must be purchased for the use of crab traps, trawls, slat traps, oyster tongs, crawfish traps, pipes/cans/drums/buckets and wire and hoop nets.
Purchasing a License
Licenses can be purchased via telephone*, online* or at many local retailers. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or E-check. For online and telephone purchases, an authorization number for immediate use will be provided. Online: www.la.wildlifelicense.com Telephone: 1-888-765-2602 *A small handling fee is assessed.