Recreational Licenses in Louisiana

About The License

  • Some licenses are valid for one year from the day of purchase.

  • To obtain licenses at resident rates, proof of residency is required, and valid ID must be held for 6 months before buying a license. Valid forms of I.D. include:

    • Louisiana driver’s license
    • Louisiana ID card (issued by the Department of Public Safety)
  • Recreational Licenses that are purchased online via mobile devices will not receive a physical license in the mail. Instead, an email with the license attached can be saved and printed.

  • Effective Aug. 1, 2019, a Louisiana Resident who was honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States or a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, for the purposes of purchasing a fishing/hunting license will be considered a bona fide resident of Louisiana once he/she possesses a Louisiana driver’s license or a special identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

Who Needs a License

  • Anglers 18 years of age or older who take or possess fish in Louisiana waters must possess a fishing license.

Who Does Not Need a License

  • Children under the age of 18 do not need a fishing license (17 and under).

Fishing In Saltwater

  • Title 56 requires that all recreational anglers fishing south of the “saltwater line” for saltwater species have in their possession a Louisiana saltwater angler’s license IN ADDITION TO a basic Louisiana fishing license EXCEPT those persons otherwise exempted. All regulations apply regardless of where the fish are taken.

  • NOTE: Persons fishing and/or possessing saltwater fish in these areas are required to have a saltwater fishing license in addition to the basic fishing license. Persons fishing for and/or possessing freshwater fish in saltwater areas are not required to hold a saltwater license.


  • Recreational anglers who are 18 years of age or older and charter captains are required to obtain this permit (free of charge) to possess certain fish species. Anglers can register or login here for more details.

Activities that Require a License

  • A valid Recreational Fishing License is required to possess fish in Louisiana waters OR to use specific gears in pursuit of fish, including but not limited to:
    • Bow and arrow
    • Barbed or barbless spear
    • Frog gig/catcher
    • Scuba gear
    • Hook and Line
    • Cast net with a radius not to exceed 8 feet, 6 inches
    • Crabbing
    • Crab Traps (A Basic Fishing License includes crab traps, trawls, and/or oyster tongs. If using these gear types in the defined saltwater area, one must also possess a Saltwater License.)
    • Trawl
    • Oyster tongs (must have a tonging permit to fish oysters by hand)
    • Crawfish Traps (limit of 35)
    • And more...

Military Recreational Licenses

  • Active-duty members of the United States armed forces, including National Guard, are eligible to purchase annual licenses for the same fee that Louisiana residents pay for annual licenses.
  • An active-duty military member’s spouse and/or any dependents may obtain any recreational license at the Louisiana resident rate.
  • In order to obtain Louisiana resident rate licenses, the active-duty member of the military, spouse, or dependents must present a valid active duty military ID card at the time of the license purchase.
  • A Louisiana resident or native-born retired member of the United States armed forces, including Louisiana National Guard, is eligible to purchase a combination license to hunt and fish for $20.
  • A Louisiana resident who is a surviving spouse of a member of the United States armed forces, including Louisiana National Guard, who was killed in action while in a combat zone, is eligible to purchase a recreational fishing license for $4.

Texas/Louisiana Reciprocal

  • Louisiana and Texas residents who hold resident licenses from their resident state or who are exempted from holding resident licenses in their state may fish the border waters between Texas and Louisiana without additional licenses.

Disability Licenses

  • Various disability licenses are available, including free licenses for veterans with permanent service-connected disabilities and reduced-rate licenses for residents with disabilities.

For more information and application forms, visit or contact Sports License at 225-765-2887.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.