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Home > Resources & Publications > Newsletters & Magazines > Fact Sheets > Recreational License Requirements

Resources & Publications: Fact Sheets

by Jerald Horst
(Revised July 2005)

With only a few exceptions, all fishing activities in Louisiana require some sort of license. All recreational licenses, including gear licenses, expire June 30 each year. Fishermen must possess a valid original license and produce it at the request of an enforcement officer. No licenses are transferable, except for recreational gear licenses, which may be transferred to and used by anyone possessing a valid basic fishing license. Resident license requirements are as follows.

Basic Fishing License This $9.50 license allows the use of a rod and reel, bow and arrow, barbless spear (for some species), frog gig or grab, scuba gear, handline, trotlines, cast net (8 1/2-ft. radius and smaller), dip net, minnow trap, and bait seine in legally defined freshwater areas. In the legally defined saltwater areas of the state, the basic fishing license may be used to fish for and keep freshwater fish, but not saltwater species. Non-resident fees are $1 for a 1-day license, $15 for a 4-day license, and $60 for a season license.

Saltwater Angler's License This $5.50 license must be purchased to fish for and keep saltwater species of fish. This license also allows the use of cast nets of 8 1/2-ft. radius or smaller in saltwater areas. It must be purchased in addition to the basic fishing license. Non-resident fees are $15 for a 1-day license, $45 for a 4-day license and $50 for a season license.

Hook and Line License This license, also known as the cane pole license, costs $2.50. It may be purchased instead of a basic fishing license by fishermen who use only a pole without a reel and without artificial bait. It is not available for nonresidents.

Senior License Residents who reached age 60 on or after June 1, 2000 are required to purchase this $5.00 license which covers both fishing and hunting, including hunting on wildlife management areas (WMA). People who turned 60 before June 1, 2000, need no license to recreationally fish or hunt, but must possess proof of age and identity.

Louisiana Sportsmen's Paradise License This $100 license for Louisiana residents covers all recreational privileges, including gear licenses except 16-25 foot trawls) and WMA hunting.

Lifetime Licenses These are permanent licenses valid for the life of the holder and apply to saltwater as well as freshwater fishing. Lifetime licenses do not cover recreational gear license requirements. Senior lifetime licenses for people who reached 60 on or after June 1, 200 cost $50. Other lifetime licenses cost from $200 to $500 depending on the applicant's age and whether hunting is included in the license.

Active Military Hunting/Fishing License Louisiana residents on active military duty, including National Guardsmen on active duty, can purchase this $5 license. This license substitutes for the basic and saltwater fishing licenses, basic hunting, big game, bow, muzzleloader and waterfowl licenses, turkey hunting stamps and WMA hunting permits. Non-resident fees are $9.50 for basic fishing and $5.50 for saltwater fishing.

Louisiana Disabled Fishing and Saltwater Angler's Licenses Residents who are totally and permanently disabled and receiving disability retirement benefits may purchase these licenses for $2.50 each in lieu of the Basic Fishing and Saltwater Angler's licenses.

Charter passenger License Residents and non-residents who fish on a boat with a licensed saltwater charter guide may purchase this license for $5, which is valid for 3 consecutive days.

Non-Resident Charter Skiff License Non-residents fishing under the direction of a charter operation in a licensed charter skiff in saltwater areas of the state may purchase this 3-day license at a cost of $30.00. It is valid for three consecutive days.

Possession of a basic fishing license is required of anyone 16 years old or older to purchase a gear license. Anyone younger than 16 is not required to purchase or possess a gear license. No recreational gear licenses exist for wing nets, skimmers, oyster dredges, saltwater strike nets, or freshwater gill nets, trammel nets, and seines. Commercial fishing licenses are required to fish these gear types and other commercial gars not specifically licensed with recreational gear licenses. Hoop nets and wire nets (similar to hoop nets but stretched over a wire frame) may be recreationally licensed for the area north of Interstate Hwy. 12 from Ragley to the Texas state line. A single hoop net may also be used without a license by mobility-impaired residents over the age of 60 who possess valid identification.

Recreational Gear Licenses

Gear Type
Crab Traps (limit 10)
$ 10.00
$ 40.00
Crab Traps on Trot Lines (per trap up to 10)
$ 1.00
$ 4.00
Hoop Nets (limit 3nets)
$ 20.00
$ 80.00
Wire Nets (limit 5 nets)
$ 20.00
$ 80.00
Slat Traps (limit 5 traps)
$ 20.00
$ 80.00
Trawls (up to 16 feet)
$ 25.00
Trawls (16-25 feet)
$ 80.00
Oyster tongs (per tong)
$ 5.00
$ 20.00
Crawfish Traps (limit 25 traps)
$ 15.00
$ 60.00
Pipes/drums (limit 5 pipes/drums)
$ 10.00
$ 40.00
Buckets/cans (limit 5 cans/baskets)
$ 10.00
$ 40.00

Certain restrictions on the use of these gears also exist. In addition, wildlife management areas and refuges may have special rules. Freshwater game fish incidentally captured in recreationally licensed gear must be released. Even game fish taken by legal means such as hook and line are illegal to possess when running these types of gear. Recreational size and creel limits on fish legal for capture must be obeyed.

No license is required for the use of recreational crab drop nets or baited lines without hooks, and no license is required for the use of recreational crawfish nets. Oyster tonging is only allowed on personal leases, other leases with written permission of the leaseholder, or in specific areas open to the public.

Daily catch limits are provided for most species. Many also have size limits. When and where recreational gear may be used is also regulated. Information on limits and gear can be found on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov or in their annual Recreational Fishing Regulations booklet.

Download: rec_license.pdf (349KB)

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