Fishing License Requirements in Mississippi

To legally fish in Mississippi waters, residents and non-residents must adhere to specific licensing regulations:

Resident Anglers

  • Age Requirement: Residents aged 16-64 must purchase a fishing license.
  • Freshwater Fishing: A freshwater fishing license is necessary for public waters north of Interstate 10.
  • Saltwater Fishing: A saltwater fishing license is mandatory for public waters south of U.S. Highway 90.
  • Dual Usage: Either a freshwater or saltwater license suffices for public waters south of Interstate 10 and north of U.S. Highway 90.
  • Exemptions: Certain individuals may be exempt from purchasing a license (see "License Exemptions" for details).

Non-Resident Anglers

  • Requirement: All non-resident anglers, excluding minors under 16, must obtain a fishing license to fish in Mississippi's freshwater or marine waters.
  • Louisiana Residents: Louisiana residents must acquire both freshwater and saltwater licenses to fish in Mississippi's marine waters.

Duplicate Hunter/Boater Education Card

If you've misplaced your hunter/boater education card, follow these steps to obtain a duplicate:

  1. Visit the Website: Go to www.mdwfp.com/education-outreach/hunter-education/.

  2. Download Certificate: Download a certificate from the website. This certificate serves as proof of completion.

  3. Purchase Duplicate Card: Alternatively, you can purchase a duplicate card for a fee of $3. Follow the instructions on the website to complete the purchase process.

Residency Requirements

To qualify as a resident for hunting or fishing license purposes in Mississippi, individuals must meet specific domicile criteria:

  1. Definition of Domicile: Domicile refers to a person's principal or primary home or place of abode, where their habitation is fixed, and they have the intention of returning after any absence, regardless of duration.

  2. Proof of Domicile: A current and valid Mississippi driver’s license or Mississippi-issued identification serves as proof of domicile/residency. The burden of proving domicile lies with the individual claiming residency.

  3. Other Means of Proof: The Department may accept other forms of proof for residency. Contact the License Bureau at (601) 432-2055 or visit mdwfp.com for further information.

  4. Minors: In the case of minors, the domicile of the parents is used as evidence of the minor's domicile.

  5. Exceptions: Certain exceptions apply:

    • Residents of other states may qualify for a resident hunting/fishing license if they provide a current identification card from a Mississippi college or university (while enrolled as a student in good standing), or a current military ID card indicating active duty and assignment to a Mississippi military base.
  6. Penalties for Fraudulent Representation: Obtaining a license under false pretenses or making materially false statements is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000), imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

  7. Expiration of Mississippi Driver's License: Ensure that your Mississippi driver’s license used for proof of residency has not expired before purchasing a hunting/fishing license.

License Exemptions

Youth License Exemptions

  • Mississippi Residents under 16: Individuals under 16 years old are exempt from purchasing a hunting or fishing license. They may opt to purchase a voluntary Youth Exempt license by providing their social security number and a copy of their parent/legal guardian’s driver’s license to establish residency.

Disabled License Exemptions

  • Eligibility: Mississippi Residents who are blind, paraplegic, multiple-amputee, adjudged 100% disabled by the Social Security Administration, or 100% service-connected disabled by the Veterans Administration or Railroad Retirement Board are exempt from purchasing a hunting or fishing license.

  • Proof Requirements: Residents exempt based on disability criteria must carry proof of residency, disability status, or other physical impairment while engaged in hunting and fishing activities unless an exempt license is obtained.

  • Disabled Exempt License: An annual Disabled Exempt license is available. Applications can be accessed online at www.mdwfp.com.

Military Exemption

  • Eligibility: Mississippi residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Reserves and National Guard, and on active duty outside the state are exempt from purchasing or carrying a hunting or fishing license while on leave.

  • Proof Requirements: Residents availing of the military exemption must carry an official military leave form during hunting and fishing activities. MDWFP Hunter Education requirements apply to residents meeting the military exemption status.

Senior License Exemption (Resident Only)

  • Eligibility: Mississippi residents aged 65 and older are exempt from purchasing a hunting or freshwater fishing license.

  • Proof Requirements: Residents exempt based on age and residency must carry proof of age and Mississippi residency during hunting and freshwater fishing activities unless they opt to purchase a voluntary Resident Senior Exempt license.

  • Resident Senior Exempt License: This license is a lifetime privilege for Mississippi residents aged 65 and older, as long as they remain residents of the state.

Senior Saltwater License (Resident Only)

Effective July 1, 2010, residents 65 and older are required to purchase a saltwater fishing license if fishing South of U.S. Highway 90. The Senior Saltwater License is a valid lifetime privilege as long as you are a Mississippi resident.

Small Game/Fishing License

Any resident purchasing the combination small game hunting/freshwater fishing license for the use of freshwater fishing will not be required to provide a hunter education number. Any resident purchasing the combination small game hunting/freshwater fishing license for the use of hunting small game will be required to provide a hunter education number.

Commercial Fishing/Slat Basket

Persons who possess a valid Freshwater Commercial Fishing License are allowed to fish gill nets, trammel nets, hoop nets, trotlines, slat baskets (with slat basket license), crawfish traps and shrimp traps, and/or sell non-game gross fish, minnows and non-native fish taken from the freshwaters of Mississippi. See the Commercial Fishing brochure for information or go to www.mdwfp.com.

Any person using a slat basket in Mississippi waters must have a valid slat basket license for each slat basket. You cannot purchase a slat-basket license unless you have a Freshwater Commercial Fishing License.

Freshwater Fishing Guide License

A Freshwater Guide License is required for anyone that provides fishing guide services on public waters in Mississippi north of I-10. CPR Training, First-Aid Training from an American Red Cross- or American Heart Association-certified trainer or course, and Boater Education is required to purchase a freshwater Guide License. A U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License may be substituted for CPR, First Aid, and Boater Education. Mississippi Residents are required to have a valid Sportsman License on file and proof of residency/domicile in the state of Mississippi for 12 consecutive months before the issuance of license. Non-Residents are required to have a valid annual Freshwater Fishing license on file.

Freshwater Guide Boat License

An annual boat license must be purchased for any vessel being used for fishing guide services. A valid boat registration, driver’s license, and proof of liability insurance (not less than $100,000) are required to purchase a Freshwater Guide Boat License. Freshwater Guide Boat decal will be included with the Freshwater Guide Boat License, mailed to the address provided at the time of purchase.

Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing License

Non-Residents who are active members of the United States Armed Forces (excluding Reserves and the National Guard) have the opportunity to purchase a special Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing license. Here are the key details:

  • Eligibility: Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are not part of the Reserves or National Guard can avail of this license.

  • License Limit: Each eligible individual can purchase a maximum of two Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing licenses per license year.

  • Proof of Military Status: Proof of active military status is required to obtain this license.

  • Application Process: This license can be processed exclusively at the Jackson Office. Applications are accessible online at www.mdwfp.com.

  • Hunter Education Requirements: All non-residents purchasing the Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing License are subject to MDWFP Hunter Education requirements. These requirements must be fulfilled before engaging in hunting or fishing activities.

Mississippi Lifetime License

Resident Lifetime license applicants must provide proof that they have been domiciled in the state of Mississippi for a minimum of 18 consecutive months before issuance of such license. All resident applicants’ birth through age 12 must include a certified copy of their birth certificate. All non-resident Mississippi native applicants must include an original or notarized copy of the long-form birth certificate showing the applicant was born in Mississippi and their parent’s address was in Mississippi at the time of birth OR for an applicant not born in Mississippi, the parents’ address was in Mississippi at the time of applicants’ birth.

All non-resident Mississippi native MIL applicants must include a certified copy of an original birth certificate of parent showing that parent was born in Mississippi and additional office documents indicating parent was on active military services at the time of the applicant’s birth. Lifetime applications are processed at the Jackson office only. Applications are available at www.mdwfp.com. Any address change by license holders should be reported to the License Department. MDWFP Hunter Education requirements apply to all Lifetime License Applicants.

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Disclaimer:

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.