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Missouri Fishing Licenses

Don’t get fined or penalized for fishing without a license. State law requires a permit to fish in all bodies of water. FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application with the department of wildlife. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

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FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

Fishing in Missouri is only permitted for holders of valid MO fishing permits issued by the Department of Conservation. The department offers two general types of licenses to fish: regular fishing permits and commercial fishing permits. The state also presents MO residents with lifetime fishing licenses and reduced rate licenses for active military members. To get a fishing license in Missouri, choose one of several purchasing methods. The state also offers various fishing education classes and workshops to interested anglers. Learn more about the topics of fishing licenses, education and organization:

  • Types of fishing licenses in Missouri
  • Fishing education in Missouri
  • Fishing organizations in Missouri

Types of Missouri Fishing Licenses

Both residents and nonresidents must purchase MO fishing permits from the Department of Conservation to fish in Missouri. A valid fishing license allows interested anglers to fish in a number of state-approved bodies of water, as long as he or she has the proper documentation in hand. The state offers the following types of permits to fish:

  • Regular fishing permits
  • Commercial fishing permits

Regular fishing permits in Missouri

Missouri fishermen and women interested in enjoying the sport are required to obtain a valid state permit to fish before organizing a fishing trip. Applicants can obtain these types of sport fishing licenses:

  • Fishing permit
  • Daily fishing permit
  • Trout permit
  • Daily trout fishing tag
  • Small game hunting and fishing permit
  • White River border lakes permit
  • Military reduced cost permit
  • Lifetime fishing permit (residents only)
  • Lifetime conservation partner permit – hunting and fishing (residents only)

The following individuals are exempt from buying a MO permit to fish:

  • Missouri resident landowners and resident lessees
  • Missouri residents who are 15 years of age or younger and residents 65 years of age or older
  • Veterans or active military members
    • With disability of 60 percent or greater
    • Former prisoners of war
    • Military medical center patients
  • Missouri residents with certain severe medical conditions

Commercial fishing permits in Missouri

Fishing businessmen (both residents and nonresidents), interested in selling their catch, must obtain a Missouri commercial fishing permit by mailing a commercial fishing permit application to the MO DC. The application form requires you to provide your:

  • Personal information
  • Business name
  • Contact information
  • Credit card information
  • Equipment tag type
    • Gill net tag
    • Seine tag
    • Trammel net tag
    • Hook tag
    • Hoop net tag

Missouri anglers can request the appropriate fishing license in the state through various methods, depending on which one is applicable to you. Decide which license to fish permit you would like to obtain and consider one of the steps below to purchase your fishing credential.

Buy a fishing license in Missouri via:

  • Any local DC office or licensed agents in person.
  • The MO DC online purchasing system.
  • The smart phone MO hunting application.
  • Telephone at: 800-392-4115.
  • Mail with a fishing permit application (for commercial fishing licenses)

Missouri Fishing Education

The Department of Conservation offers a myriad of fishing education programs, workshops and educational material and resources to Missouri residents. Any interested angler, from those seeking fishing equipment and training to professionals searching for cooking recipes, can visit the department's website and find the required information. Look at some of these education programs below:

  • The Discover Nature – Fishing program
  • The Kids Fishing Days events
  • Online educational resources

Discover Nature – Fishing

The Discover Nature – Fishing classes are available for free to any interested MO resident. Anglers of any age, seeking to improve their craft, can contact a DC regional office and find out how to register for the program. The following lessons are offered:

  • Fish handling, equipment and casting
  • Tying a knot and baiting a hook
  • Anatomy and habitat of common MO fish
  • Fishing regulations and lure fishing

Kids Fishing Days

The Department of Conservation youth program is designed to educate Missouri kids about nature and the sport of fishing.  Young applicants can apply to participate in several workshops and reap the following benefits:

  • Family-centered educational activities
  • Educational lessons about fish, their habitats and fishing techniques
  • Outdoors practical instruction with fishing equipment provided by the DC

Online Educational Resources

The MO Department of Conservation offers a large quantity of educational material and resources for eager anglers seeking to improve their fishing technique. Through the department, you can learn more about the topics here:

  • Fishing ethics
  • Various fishing techniques
    • Ice fishing
    • Bow fishing
    • Fly fishing
  • Fishing gear, rigging a pole and casting
  • Fish handling
  • Cleaning, prepping and cooking fish

Missouri Fishing Organizations

Missouri novice and expert anglers alike are encouraged to join fishing clubs or organizations to further their fishing education or share goals and experiences with fellow fishermen. Read below about some the organizations available to MO residents:

  • Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association
  • Capital City Fly Fishers
  • Hawg Hawlers Bass Club

Formed several decades ago, the Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association accommodates both amateurs and professionals. The organization is open to anyone interested in fly-fishing and/or Missouri's outdoors. The following are some of the activities organized by the MTFA:

  • Promoting interest in trout fishing
  • Striving to preserve a healthy trout population
  • Educational workshops for youths and adults
    • Fly casting
    • Fly tying
    • Identifying insects

Located in central Missouri, the Capital City Fly Fishers' mission is to cultivate the philosophy, history and ethics of fly-fishing by preserving the state fisheries. Another important goal of the CCFF is to introduce the sport of fly-fishing to the state’s youth to help them in their formative years.

The Hawg Hawlers Bass Club started as an organization for avid anglers seeking fishing companions and who were interested in participating in tournaments as a group. The club's direction, nowadays, incorporates a fishing educational program and an emphasis toward the promotion of bass fishing – especially among Missouri's youth.