2024-25 Fishing License Regulations and Updates

Validity and Duration

For the 2024-25 season, all fishing licenses are active from March 1, 2024, through February 28, 2025. This timeframe provides comprehensive coverage for the fishing year, aligning with seasonal cycles to facilitate planning for anglers.

Licensing for Couples

A notable update for couple's licenses mandates that both partners must have a complete customer record on file to purchase a combination license. This requirement ensures accurate verification of residency and eligibility. Minnesota residents missing this documentation are advised to visit a license agent or contact the license center directly for assistance.

Youth Fishing

The policy for young anglers remains generous: resident youths under the age of 16 are not required to obtain a fishing license. This initiative encourages early participation in fishing activities by removing barriers for younger enthusiasts.

License Fees and Agent Fee

A minimal $1 agent fee is applied to each license or stamp transaction, including those for complimentary licenses. This fee compensates the agents for their services in facilitating the license process.

Online Purchases and Duplicates

Anglers can conveniently purchase their licenses online through the official Minnesota DNR website. In case of lost or damaged licenses, duplicates are available for a nominal fee of $2.50 from any Electronic License System (ELS) agent.

Shelter Licenses

Licenses for fish houses, dark houses, or shelters now extend from March 1 through April 30 of the following year, with an option for a 3-year licensing period. This extension provides anglers with more flexibility in using their shelters during the early spring months.

Changes in Licensee Status

If a licensee undergoes changes in age, residency, or student qualification status during the license period, their fishing license remains valid until its expiration. This continuity ensures that anglers can enjoy uninterrupted fishing despite personal status changes.

Super Sports License Components

The Super Sports license, offering comprehensive access, includes contributions to various conservation and management efforts, such as wolf management, emergency feeding, wild cervidae health, and specific deer and bear management accounts. These contributions highlight the commitment of the fishing community to supporting wildlife conservation and management projects.

License Identification Codes

The updated guide introduces a simplified process for identifying licenses with a 3-digit code system, streamlining the purchase and verification process for anglers and officials alike.

Resident Fishing Licenses and Fees for 2024-25

Individual and Combination Licenses

  • 24-Hour Angling (Code 110): $12.00 for a full day of fishing, offering flexibility for short-term anglers.
  • 72-Hour Angling (Code 140): $14.00, ideal for weekend fishing trips without committing to a longer license.
  • Annual Individual Angling (Code 111): $25.00, the standard choice for regular fishermen.
  • 3-Year Individual Angling (Code 141): $71.00, a cost-effective option for dedicated anglers planning for multiple seasons.
  • Combination Angling for Married Couples (Code 112): $40.00, allowing both spouses to enjoy fishing under one license.
  • Conservation Individual (Code 105): $17.00 and Conservation Combo (Code 106): $27.00, for those focusing on conservation efforts while fishing.

Special Licenses and Permits

  • Military Angling: Free, recognizing the service of military personnel with complimentary fishing privileges.
  • Disability Permits for Angling/Spearing: No charge for permanent or special annual permits, ensuring accessibility for all anglers.
  • Youth Angling (Ages 16 to 17, Code 138): $5.00, making it affordable for young anglers to start fishing.
  • Netting White Tulibee Herring (Code 115): $10.00, catering to specific fishing practices.
  • Spearing from Dark House (Code 113): $6.00, for a unique winter fishing experience.

Dark House and Shelter Licenses

  • Dark House Rental (Code 120): $30.00 and 3-Year Rental (Code 132): $87.00, for those needing temporary structures.
  • Dark House Shelter (Code 119): $15.00 and 3-Year (Code 131): $42.00, providing options for both short-term and long-term shelter use.

Sports and Super Sports Licenses

  • Sports Individual (Code 216): $41.00 and Combination (Code 217): $57.00, for broader hunting and fishing activities.
  • Super Sports Individual (Code 142): $100.00 and Combination (Code 143): $126.00, the ultimate package for the avid outdoors person, covering a wide range of fishing and hunting opportunities.

Stamps and Tags

  • Trout Stamp (Validation & Pictorial, Code 129): $10.75 and Validation Only (Code 128): $10.00, essential for trout fishing enthusiasts.
  • Walleye Stamps, Voluntary (Pictorial Code 135 and Validation Code 134): $5.75 and $5.00, supporting walleye management projects.
  • Sturgeon Tag (Code 130): $5.00, required for those targeting this majestic species.

Collectable and Tournament Licenses

  • Collectable Stamps: Prices vary, offering a unique opportunity for anglers and collectors alike.
  • Fishing Tournament License: Fee varies based on the event, catering to competitive fishing enthusiasts.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses and Fees for 2024-25

Flexible Duration Licenses

  • 24-Hour Angling (Code 139): $14.00, perfect for visitors planning a short fishing trip.
  • 72-Hour Angling (Code 127): $36.00, ideal for those looking to extend their fishing experience over a few days.
  • 7-Day Angling (Code 126): $43.00, a great option for a week-long vacation.
  • 14-Day Couple's Angling (Code 125): $54.00, allowing couples visiting the state to enjoy fishing together at a reasonable rate.

Family and Individual Options

  • Family Angling (Code 124): $68.00, catering to non-resident families seeking to fish in Minnesota's waters.
  • Individual Angling (Code 121): $51.00, for solo anglers visiting from out of state.

Youth and Special Licenses

  • Youth Angling (Ages 16 to 17 or Youth own limit, Code 205): $5.00, encouraging young non-residents to partake in angling activities.
  • Spearing from Dark House (Code 118): $17.00, offering a unique fishing method for non-residents.

Shelter Licenses

  • Angling Shelter (Code 116): $37.00 for those in need of a shelter license.
  • 7-Day Shelter (Code 117): $21.00, providing a short-term shelter option for visiting anglers.

Stamps and Tags

  • Trout Stamp (Validation & Pictorial, Code 129): $10.75 and Validation Only (Code 128): $10.00, essential for trout enthusiasts.
  • Walleye Stamps (Pictorial Code 135 and Validation Code 134): $5.75 and $5.00 respectively, for those looking to support walleye conservation efforts.
  • Sturgeon Tag (Code 130): $5.00, required for anglers aiming to catch sturgeon.

Collectibles and Lifetime Licenses

  • Collectable Stamps: Prices vary for those interested in collectible stamps.
  • Lifetime Angling Renewal: No charge for renewal, ensuring long-term engagement with Minnesota's fishing opportunities. The cost for initial lifetime non-resident angling and small game licenses varies, offering a permanent solution for frequent visitors.

Free Fishing Weekends in Minnesota

Take a Mom Fishing Weekend

  • Date: May 13-14, 2023
  • Who Benefits: Minnesota resident moms have the unique opportunity to fish without a license during this special weekend. It's a perfect time to encourage family fishing outings and to celebrate motherhood outdoors.

Take a Kid Fishing Weekend

  • Date: June 9-11, 2023
  • Eligibility: Minnesota residents aged 16 and older can fish without a license as long as they are accompanied by children younger than 16. This initiative aims to foster a love for fishing among the younger generation, providing an excellent way for families to connect with nature and each other.

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend

  • Date: January 13-15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Similar to the summer event, during this weekend, Minnesota residents aged 16 and older are encouraged to introduce ice fishing to children under 16 without the need for a license. This winter event promotes outdoor activity even in colder months, offering a unique experience for kids to learn about ice fishing safely and enjoyably.

Electronic Licensing and Special Licenses in Minnesota

Electronic Licensing System (ELS)

The ELS streamlines the process of acquiring fishing licenses and stamp validations across Minnesota, offering access through over 1,400 statewide agent locations. Each transaction at these locations incurs a nominal issuing fee.

Instant Licenses

For immediate licensing needs, customers can conveniently purchase licenses and stamps either online or by calling 888-665-4236. Transactions made through these platforms are subject to an additional convenience fee. Once purchased, the license can be printed at home or stored electronically, serving as official proof of licensing. However, lake sturgeon harvest tags are not available for online purchase.

Lifetime Licenses

Lifetime licenses, offering long-term access to Minnesota's fishing resources, must be initially purchased in person at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Applicants can find forms online or via the DNR Information Center. Holders of these licenses must annually validate their participation through a no-fee license renewal to remain compliant with state laws.

Conservation Licenses

Exclusive to Minnesota residents, Conservation Licenses impose daily and possession limits at half the standard rates for angling licenses, with limits rounded down to the nearest whole number. These restrictions also apply to alternative fishing methods like bowfishing and spearing. Notably, sturgeon harvest tags are incompatible with Conservation Licenses.

Trout/Salmon Stamp

Minnesota Fishing License Information

The 2023 Trout Stamp, featuring artwork by Bradley Hadrava, is a requisite for fishing in designated trout areas or possessing trout/salmon on non-designated waters. The stamp validation is printed directly on the ELS license, sufficing as proof of purchase. While optional, anglers can obtain the physical stamp for an extra 75 cents. Exemptions apply to various demographic groups and those with temporary licenses.

Walleye Stamp

Minnesota Fishing License Information

The 2023 Walleye Stamp, designed by Melissa Mickelson, supports walleye stocking efforts through voluntary purchases. Similar to the trout/salmon stamp, the validation is printed on the ELS license, with an option to acquire a pictorial stamp. Funds raised from these stamps directly contribute to walleye conservation and stocking initiatives.

Minnesota Fishing License Guide

License Requirements

  • Who Needs a License? All Minnesota residents aged 16 to 89 must have a current fishing license to legally fish unless they qualify for an exemption. Nonresidents need a license except those under 16 fishing with a licensed parent or guardian.

License Renewal

  • 2020 3-Year License Holders: If you purchased a three-year angling license in 2020, it's time for renewal.

Residency Definition

  • Resident Criteria: Residents are those who have lived in Minnesota for at least 60 consecutive days before buying a license. Proof such as a Minnesota driver’s license or public safety ID card is required for residents 21 and older. Nonresident minors with a Minnesota resident parent are considered residents.

Exemptions from Licensing

  • Exemptions Include: Residents under 16 or 90 and over, Minnesota residents on military leave, and residents recently discharged from overseas duty. Certain individuals qualify for a free license, including foreign exchange students, residents with developmental disabilities, veterans with a 100% service-connected disability, legally blind individuals, and those receiving specific disability benefits.

Fishing in State Parks

  • State Park Fishing: Residents may fish without a license in state parks under certain conditions, such as shore fishing or fishing on water bodies fully enclosed by a state park, except for trout fishing which requires a license and trout/salmon stamp.

Assisting Others

  • Fishing Assistance: Adults assisting children under 16 or individuals with developmental disabilities do not need a license provided the person being assisted has a valid license or is exempt. The adult can help with tasks like baiting, casting, and fish removal.

Electronic Licenses

  • Digital Licenses: Licenses purchased electronically through mobile devices are valid. The confirmation email or text message serves as proof of purchase and must be carried while fishing.

Refunds and Duplicates

  • Refunds: Possible in specific cases such as licensee death before the season starts, active military duty, or double purchase by mistake. Duplicates: If a license is lost, a duplicate can be obtained for $2.50 at any license agent.

Nonresident Youth

  • Nonresident Youth Licensing: Those under 16 can fish under a parent or guardian’s license or purchase a nonresident youth license. They can possess their own limit if they have their own license or are included in a family license.

Students and Military Personnel

  • Special Rates: Full-time students at Minnesota institutions and U.S. Armed Forces personnel stationed in Minnesota (or their spouses) can buy licenses at resident rates.

License Revocation

  • Revocation Policies: Fishing privileges may be revoked for multiple violations within three years, including violations in other states. Gross over-limit penalties can lead to longer revocation periods. Failure to pay fines or appear in court for violations can result in revocation of all game and fish licenses until resolved.

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