Minnesota Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations


Minnesota Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations

Minnesota has its share of lakes that are richly populated by various species of fish. Jessie Lake is teeming with pikeperch, crappie, jumbo perch, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. Cass Lake is famous for its musk. Cutfoot Sioux Lake is the most popular fishing spot in the area as it is the spawning area for large pikeperch. Fishing is a fun outdoor sport, but before planning a fishing trip, it is best to obtain a Minnesota fishing license first and read up on current fishing laws.

Buying a Minnesota fishing license is easy and convenient through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website or by phone. For those who want it in person, there are legitimate fishing license agents in the form of sport shops and fishing shops all over Minnesota.

It is strongly recommended that a responsible angler read the latest fishing rules and regulations before embarking on a short or long fishing trip. These laws and rules are strictly followed to protect the interests of the fish population. Fishing rules and regulations may be updated from time to time based on the latest assessment of general fish populations.

The Minnesota waterways are richly populated with fish through the efforts of state biologists and Department of Fisheries scientists. You plan and execute the conservation and conservation of the many species of fish in the lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in Minnesota. As a concerned citizen, everyone must do their part to conserve natural resources.

Minnesota Fishing Licenses

Minnesota is blessed with numerous lakes, and that\’s why it\’s one of the most popular ice fishing destinations. Known as the \»Land of 10,000 Lakes,\» Minnesota won\’t run out of fishing spots for those who want the fun and excitement of trout and salmon fishing. Located on Lake Superior on its northeastern border, it\’s really no surprise that at least one in four residents of the state holds a Minnesota license.

However, fishing can only be fun forever if we fish responsibly. Therefore, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has developed rules and regulations to ensure anglers do not exploit its water resources. The first and one of the most important of these regulations requires anglers to obtain a fishing license before they can legally fish in rich waters across the state.

Learn about the different types of Minnesota licenses, how to buy them, and other state fishing regulations, and you can catch your dream in the land of 10,000 lakes!

Who Must Get a Minnesota Fishing License?

As noted, most anglers, except for a few, are required to have a Minnesota fishing license before they can fish in its waters. Specifically, a Minnesota resident between the ages of 16 and 90 must obtain a fishing license. Children under 16 years of age and seniors over 90 years of age are excluded. It is important to understand that a “resident” is defined as someone who has been officially in the state of Minnesota for the past 16 days or more. Proof of residence may be required when purchasing a license, as with any government-issued identity card, including a driver\’s license. A person under the age of 21 is considered a Minnesota resident only if they are the child of a Minnesota resident.

In the meantime, all non-resident anglers 16 and over must obtain a non-resident Minnesota fishing license before they can go into the waters and catch fish.

Who Is Exempt from Buying a Minnesota Fishing License?

The state of Minnesota makes several exceptions to the implementation of its licensing requirements. If you qualify in any of these cases, you are allowed to fish legally in state waters without a license:

  • A Minnesota resident on vacation with the U.S. Forces. You must always carry your vacation papers with you when fishing.
  • A Minnesota resident who has served in the U.S. Forces for the past 24 months and his discharge papers.
  • Inpatients at US Veterans Administrative Hospitals.
  • Living in a nursing home or nursing home in Minnesota.

If you meet any of these qualifications, you must acquire a FREE license before you can fish in the Minnesota Lakes.

Where to Buy a Minnesota Fishing License

There are several ways to get a fishing license in Minnesota. You can try any of these methods, whichever is more convenient for you:

  • On-line: Get your license from the comfort of your home with just a few clicks of the finger. Simply register with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website buy a fishing license online.
  • By phone: You can also call the MN DNR on the toll-free number 1-888-MN-LICEN (665-4236). Trained operators can help you around the clock and process your fishing license orders over the phone.
  • Personally: You can also visit any DNR office or licensed retailer such as Walmart, a hardware store, or a waterfront bait and tackle shop and get your license locally.

Different types of fishing licenses in Minnesota

As discussed in this article, residents and non-residents must obtain a fishing license before fishing in any of the Minnesota fishing locations. These licenses vary depending on the intended use and their prices are staggered depending on the license period. Here is a summary of the various fishing licenses you can get in the state of Minnesota and how much they cost:

24 hour license$ 12$ 14
72 hour license$ 14$ 32
7 day licenseN / A$ 43
14 day marriage licenseN / A$ 54
Annual license$ 25$ 51
Married annual license$ 40N / A
Annual family licenseN / A$ 68
3 year license$ 71N / A
Annual conservation license$ 17N / A
Conservation license for married persons$ 27N / A
Annual sports license$ 41N / A
Married sports license$ 57N / A
Annual super sports license$ 100N / A
Married super sports license$ 126N / A

Both residents and non-residents can purchase an annual fishing license

Both residents and non-residents can purchase an annual fishing license that allows them to fish in Minnesota waters. The cost of the annual fishing license is $ 25.00 (residents) and $ 51.00 (non-residents). A 72-hour license is also available for $ 14 (residents) and $ 43.00 (non-residents). Additionally, married residents can purchase an annual married couple license for just $ 40.00 to allow both spouses to fish in the waters. Conversely, non-residents can purchase an annual family license that grants both spouses and all their children under the age of 16 the right to fish in the state. This license costs $ 68.00. If you and your family don\’t want to fish all year round in Minnesota, you also have the option to purchase a 14-day marriage license for $ 54.00. Other special licenses include the Annual Conservation License, the Conservation Marriage License, the Sports License, and the Super Sports License.

Lifetime licenses

Minnesota also offers everyone the option to purchase a lifetime license. This license guarantees lifelong fishing from the day you are born, with a sliding price scale again. The good news is that this isn\’t only available to residents, as non-residents can also avail of some of the lifetime licenses offered by the state. Below is a matrix of the different fishing licenses a resident or non-resident can obtain for a lifetime. Please note that a lifetime license is required for each fishing season running from March 1st to March 28th / 29th. Starting February of the following year, it must be renewed.


AgeFishing license+ SpearfishingSports licenseAgeprice
3$ 344$ 432$ 5223$ 821
4-15$ 469$ 579$ 7104-15$ 1046
16-50$ 574$ 678$ 92716-50$ 1191
51+$ 379$ 439$ 60351+$ 794

Daily fishing limits and other major fishing regulations

Like every other state, Minnesota has certain restrictions on fishing and fishing in its waters. These limits are imposed to ensure that the state receives healthy fish stocks. It is important to read and understand the various state restrictions on catch and ownership to avoid violating local laws. Please download the updated Minnesota Fishing Regulation Guidebook to learn more about the various regulations, rules, and laws within the state. Below is a download link:

Minnesota Fishing Regulations Guidebook 2019

frequently asked Questions

Q: What are Conservation Licenses?

Conservation licenses are special types of licenses that are only available to local residents. This license grants the licensee access to fish in Minnesota waters, but the daytime and ownership restrictions are half the size of a standard fishing license.

Fractions are rounded down to the nearest whole number. • Individuals using bowfishing, spears, or other approved fishing methods under a conservation license are limited to half the daily and possession limit for that method.

Q: Do I need a license to fish in Minnesota State Parks?

Minnesota residents may fish for all species except trout without a license if:

  • Shore fishing or wading on state-owned land in a state park.
  • Fishing from a boat or on the ice in bodies of water completely within the confines of a state park.
  • People who keep trout or would like to fish in waters specially managed for trout require a fishing license and confirmation from the trout stamp.

Q: Do I need a license when helping a child / minor fish? How about a disabled person?

If an adult shows how to bait, cast out, and remove fish to a child under 16, no License is required. The child has to hold the rod, put the hook and reel the fish. In the meantime, you also don\’t need a license to help a disabled person who must have a valid license unless an exemption applies. You are only allowed to fish with the number of lines permitted for all licensed or exempt anglers.


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