North Dakota Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
North Dakota\’s many lakes, rivers, streams, dams, and ponds are home to fish families of pike, perch, sunfish, catfish, perch, trout, sturgeon, and paddle fish. Kidder County\’s Alkaline Lake is teeming with pikeperch. The Baukol Noonan Dam has many trout and largemouth bass. However, before you can fish legally in North Dakota, you must have a fishing license.
Getting a fishing license is easy through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website. You can also get a license over the phone 24/7. Once you have paid the required fees, you can print out your license immediately. There are different types of fishing permits depending on whether you are an ND resident or not. There are exceptions when obtaining fishing licenses.
Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations in North Dakota
Fishing laws and regulations are drawn up and consistently implemented to improve, protect and maintain the fish population. These regulations state the fishing times, size restrictions, daily baggage restrictions, and even the types of fishing tackle that are allowed. Rules and regulations can be changed depending on the current conditions and needs of a particular waterway or species, so it is best to be educated about them.
The protection and maintenance of the waterways and fish stocks in ND is the primary goal of the Ministry of Fisheries and is seen as the responsibility of everyone and not just the anglers. The responsibility of keeping the waterways clear of the population is everyone\’s concern, while anglers are more likely to be expected to abide by the rules of fishing. Correct catching and releasing of fish will ensure their survival when they are released back into the water. The use of appropriate tools is necessary to minimize trauma to the fish.
North Dakota Fishing Licenses
Get your valid North Dakota fishing license and enjoy a family fishing trip to locations like Heart Butte State Game Management Area and Elgin Reservoir to catch black bass or crappie. These licenses are required by both residents and non-residents, except for those who have special fishing privileges. When licensed, you have access to North Dakota\’s beautiful waterfront and all associated fishing opportunities.
Unsure how to get a North Dakota fishing license? You don\’t need to worry, we have compiled a quick and easy guide to help you understand everything you need to know before you go fishing in North Dakota state waters.
Here is a recap of any questions you might have about North Dakota state fishing license requirements:
Who Needs a Fishing License in North Dakota?
In general, a fishing license is required by all anglers without exception who wish to fish or take fish in any freshwater or saltwater area in North Dakota. Specifically, you must have an ND State Fishing License if you are a resident or non-resident of 16 years of age or older. However, exceptions are granted for some individuals who meet certain criteria. You do NOT need to obtain a North Dakota fishing license if you are one of the following:
- Residents under 16 years of age
- Non-residents under the age of 16, provided they are accompanied by someone with a valid fishing license
- North Dakota residents on leave from active service in the U.S. military
- Local residents who fish during the planned free fishing days (except when fishing for paddle fish)
Who is a North Dakota Resident?
An individual who has actually lived or legally resided in North Dakota for the past six months may qualify for a permit provided that they do not continue to be resident in another state. However, the persons listed below are exempt from the obligation to reside and can obtain a residence permit. The exemption from residence is granted for:
- An individual who has lived in or wishes to become a resident of North Dakota for at least a year
- Military personnel in the state on duty or on vacation
- North Dakota residents in the armed forces stationed outside the state
- Full-time non-resident students from state or tribal colleges living in North Dakota attending a North Dakota college under the jurisdiction of the Board of Higher Education, a private institution, or a tribal college
What Are The Requirements To Get A Fishing License In North Dakota?
Both residents and non-residents must obtain a fishing, hunting, and furry animal permit prior to obtaining a fishing license in the state of Dakota. The certificate can only be obtained once a year by an angler and costs $ 1.00 (residents) and $ 2.00 (non-residents).
Where are the North Dakota Fishing Licenses sold?
There are three convenient ways to obtain a North Dakota fishing license. You can choose one of the following options, whichever is more convenient for you:
On-line. Dakota state has one Online license portal this is also available from the state\’s official website. There you can easily purchase your license.
By phone. If you are uncomfortable shopping for fishing licenses online, you can order your fishing license by calling the North Dakota Game and Fish Department on their helpline number 24 hours a day, seven days a week 1-800-406-6409. Please note that there is a service charge of $ 4 for any transaction under $ 70 and a service charge of $ 10 for any transaction of $ 70 and above.
In the NDGFD office. You can also purchase a fishing license in person at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095.
What different licenses are sold in the state of North Dakota?
As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of fishing licenses that you can buy in the state of North Dakota. The cost of each license varies depending on the license type, age and residence status. Here is a summary of the different fishing licenses you can choose from:
Resident fishing licenses
|Fishing license – Not required under 16 except for paddle fish tags, which are required for all paddle fish snaggers||$ 16|
|Married couple fishing license||$ 22|
|Fishing license for seniors (65 or older)||$ 5|
|Fishing license with total or permanent disability (Proof of disability required)||$ 5|
|Veteran with a 50 percent incapacity||$ 5|
|Paddle fish||$ 10|
A North Dakota resident over the age of 16 can purchase an annual fishing license for as little as $ 16.00. If you are also planning a trip with your spouse, you will need a special license called the Married Couple Fishing License, which costs only $ 22.00. In addition, seniors (65 or older), fully or permanently disabled residents, and veterans with a 50 percent disability can purchase a permit for just $ 5.00. All residents can also purchase a paddle fish license to catch paddle fish (restrictions and other regulations apply). In addition, combination licenses are also available for residents, which include fishing, game and habitat, small game and fur bearer licenses. The prices can be found in the following matrix:
|Combination license (16 years and older) – includes fishing, general game and habitat, small game and fur animal licenses.||$ 50|
|Combined veteran hunt (requires 100% service disability) includes general game and habitat, small game and fur bearer licenses||$ 3|
|Individual fishing season – Non-residents under the age of 16 do not require a fishing license when accompanied by a licensed adult, except paddle fish tags are required for all paddle fish snaggers.||$ 45|
|Fishing season for couples||$ 60|
|3 days of fishing||$ 25|
|10 days fishing||$ 35|
|Paddle Fish Day||$ 25.50|
Non-residents have different license options that differ in terms of duration. If you are a non-resident, you can purchase an annual fishing license for $ 45.00 or a couple fishing license for $ 60.00. If you feel that purchasing an annual license for your planned trip is impractical, you can also purchase a short-term license. They are available in 3-day ($ 25.00) and 10-day ($ 35.00). A paddle fish tag can also be purchased for just $ 25.50.
Fishing seasons and daily limits
When fishing in North Dakota, please note the following fishing times and restrictions to comply with state regulations:
|OWLS Pond, State Fair Pond||Closed for fishing at night (sunset to sunrise).|
|Lightning Lake, McDowell Dam, State Fair Pond||Closed to all ice fishing. Open to all open water fishing.|
|Part or all of the following water bird roosts: North Golden Lake, Sheyenne Lake||Closed to all types of fishing from September 20th to November 30th or when conditions permit ice fishing, whichever comes first. Open to all fishing at all other times.|
|All National Wildlife Refuges and Conservation National Wildlife Refuges are closed to fishing except for the following (contact refuge headquarters for designated open areas and special restrictions):|
|Arrowwood, J. Clark Salyer, Lake Darling (and all waters within the Upper Souris Refuge boundary), Lake Ilo, Long Lake, and Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuges||Open for bank and / or ice fishing from April 1st to March 31st in designated areas. Open from May 1st to September 30th for boat fishing in designated areas. Closed for all boat trips from October 1st to April 30th.|
|Lake Alice and Lake Audubon (southern half of the lake) national nature reserves||Open only for ice fishing. Closed for all other fishing and boat trips.|
|Dakota Lake, Hobart Lake, and Sibley Lake (Griggs County) are national nature reserves||Open to all fishing enthusiasts from April 1st to September 30th and from December 1st to March 31st. Closed to all anglers and boaters from October 1st to November 30th.|
|Lake Ardoch, Rose Lake, and Silver Lake (Benson Counties) are designated nature reserves||Open for bank and / or ice fishing from April 1st to March 31st. Consult shelters for specific areas and times that are open for boat fishing.|
National day and possession restrictions
|species||Daily limit||Ownership limit|
|Walleye, Sucker, Saugeye, or a combination||5||10|
|Channel catfish||East of the ND Highway. 1||5||5|
|West of the ND Highway. 1||no limit||no limit|
|Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, or a combination||3||6th|
|Muscle lungs (pure or hybrid)||1||1|
|Paddle fish||See Government regulation website|
|Non-wild fish (excluding legal live bait fish)||no limit||no limit|
|Legal live bait fish||150||150|
|Stint||5 gallons||5 gallons|
|Snapping turtle||once a year|
Frequently asked Questions
Q: When is the scheduled North Dakota Free Fishing Day?
As of this writing, the state of North Dakota has not yet announced the schedule for its annual Free Fishing Day.
Q: Do I need to bring a copy of my license to go fishing?
The fishing license (in paper form or in electronic form) must be in the possession of the licensee at all times when fishing and must be available for inspection.
Q: Where can I download the Residence Permit Application Form?
Residence permits and a revocation form are available from the state\’s website – call 701-328-6300 for more information.