Frequently asked questions
When do I need to get a freshwater fishing license?
The freshwater fishing license is necessary for any resident or non-resident who plans on fishing in a body of freshwater within the state of Minnesota. Regardless of whether you are attempting to catch a native or nonnative fish, anyone who is above the age of 16 and does not meet one of the exemptions listed by the MN Department of Natural Resources – Division of Fish and Wildlife is required to purchase one of the various freshwater fishing licenses offered by the state. It is up to the individual to decide whether he or she prefers a multiple-day license or a longer credential, such as an annual license.
When do I need to get a commercial fishing license?
If you plan on angling in inland waters, for the purpose of selling certain species of fish, a commercial fishing license in MN is required. These credentials specify what locations an individual is allowed to fish in commercially, and they are valid during the entire open season. Also, it is important to remember that a commercial fishing license for one state only allows fishing license holders to fish on that state’s territorial waters that border the waters of another state.
Even so, there are some fish that you can buy or sell without a commercial license. These include:
- Private aquatic life fish.
- Rough fish (other than ciscoes).
- Smelt (when in Lake Superior or a river/steam that goes into Lake Superior).
- Fish that are taken under operations that are licensed for commercial fishing.
Catching any other fish that is bought or sold in MN requires a commercial license to fish.
How long will my fishing license be valid?
The length of a license’s validity depends on the kind of fishing license you purchase. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ? Division of Fish and Wildlife offers recreational fishing licenses that can last anywhere from one day to three days, and one year to three years. The MN DNR also gives residents and nonresidents the chance to purchase lifetime licenses. To know when your fishing license is set to expire, consider the timeframe of the fishing license you bought. All annual licenses expire February 28.
How can I obtain a fishing license replacement?
There is a variety of ways for individuals to obtain fishing license replacements in Minnesota. First, you can do so in person at a local Department of Natural Resources License Agent office, as long as proof of residency is provided. The second option is to apply online, where you will be asked to give your Public Safety ID or driver’s license number. You can also apply to get a fishing license over the phone at 888-665-4236, where service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And finally, certain licenses can be obtained through the mail, when you send an application to:
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- License Center/Angling License
- 500 Lafayette Rd
- St. Paul, MN 55155-4026.
What documents do I need to present as proof of Minnesota residency?
To establish residency in the state of Minnesota, an individual must have legally lived within the state for at least 60 days prior to filing a fishing license application. Concerning what documentation you must provide in order to show proof of residency in the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ? Division of Fish and Wildlife requires anyone 21 and older to provide an active MN driver’s license or an up-to-date MN Public Safety ID. If one does not show either of these documents when attempting to get a fishing license, he or she will not be given the credential.
Can I obtain an MN fishing license online with a different proof of residency?
No, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources – Division of Fish and Wildlife requires you to present one of the two main proofs of residency in MN if you are above the age of 21: a Minnesota driver’s license or Public Safety ID. The Electronic License System (ELS) will not allow you to buy a fishing license in the state if you are unable to provide a number from one of the mentioned documents. Residents will not be able to apply for a license to fish or hunt from the Department of Natural Resources until one of the main proofs of residency is in possession.
Can a disabled resident apply for a MN fishing license?
Yes, an individual over the age of 16 who can present proof of developmental disability, or a veteran with a completely service-connected disability, will be able to obtain a permanent recreational fishing license in Minnesota without paying any fee. Acceptable proof of disability can be a document from the Social Security Administration, declaring that you receive benefits for your disability. In addition, an individual that does not have a fishing license in Minnesota can legally help a licensed disabled angler to fish, as long as the pair of individuals only use the lawful number of fishing lines allowed in their state of residence.
What are Free Fishing Days?
If you live in the state of Minnesota and have a son or daughter who is interested in obtaining a license to fish, or you are interested yourself, there are certain dates in the year when individuals are allowed to angle without buying a fishing license in MN. These days give prospective fishermen the opportunity to test out the sport without paying the customary state water fishing fees. Typically, Free Fishing Days occur on the National Fishing and Boating Weeks.
Are there any visitors who do not require a MN fishing license?
Yes, one example of visitors who are not required to purchase a license to fish in Minnesota consists of foreign exchange students. As long as these individuals can provide proof of their status as foreign exchange students, they will be able to receive an annual fishing license in the state at no cost. Another example of an interested angler who is not required to buy a fishing license is someone who engages in the sport during one of the designated Free Fishing Days, which typically land on the National Fishing and Boating Weeks.
Do all people on a recreational fishing boat need to have a license?
No, as long as the individual in question does not participate in the fishing activities, he or she does not need to have a fishing license. If anyone does fish on the boat, participating members are then required to have the necessary credentials. In addition, unlicensed individuals should not assist in any aspect of the sport, as an officer has the power to request proof of documentation and can fine any and all parties who are fishing without the proper recreational fishing license. This means that unlicensed passengers should not bait hooks, net fish, employ fishing rods, remove caught fish from hooks or engage in other such fishing-related practices.