Arkansas, known as “The Natural State,” offers a wealth of fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. With its numerous lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with diverse fish species, it’s no wonder that fishing is a popular pastime for both residents and visitors alike. However, before casting your line, it’s essential to understand the state’s fishing license requirements and costs, which vary depending on residency status.

Why Fishing Licenses Matter

Fishing licenses are more than just a legal requirement; they play a crucial role in supporting conservation efforts and maintaining the quality of Arkansas’ fisheries. The revenue generated from fishing license sales directly funds the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s (AGFC) various programs, including fish stocking, habitat restoration, access improvements, angler education, and research. By purchasing a fishing license, you contribute to the long-term sustainability of Arkansas’ fishing resources, ensuring enjoyable angling experiences for generations to come.

Resident Fishing License Costs

Arkansas residents aged 16 and older must possess a valid fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters. The AGFC offers several resident license options:

  • Annual Resident Fishing License: $10.50
  • Resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License: $6.50
  • Resident 65 Plus Annual Fishing License: $3.50
  • Resident 65 Plus Lifetime Fishing License: $10.50
  • Resident Disabled Fishing 3-Year License: $10.50
  • Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Fishing License: $1.50

Residents can also opt for combination licenses that include both hunting and fishing privileges:

  • Resident 65 Plus Lifetime Combination License: $35.50
  • Resident Disabled Combination 3-Year License: $35.50
  • Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Combination License: $3.00

Additionally, residents fishing for trout in certain waters or harvesting trout must purchase a separate trout permit:

  • Annual Resident Trout Permit: $5.00

Non-Resident Fishing License Costs

Non-residents aged 16 and older must also obtain a valid fishing license to fish in Arkansas. The AGFC provides several non-resident license options:

  • Annual Non-Resident Fishing License: $50.00
  • Non-Resident 7-Day Trip Fishing License: $25.00
  • Non-Resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License: $16.00

Non-residents fishing for trout or in certain designated trout waters must purchase an additional trout permit:

  • Annual Non-Resident Trout Permit: $12.00

Reciprocal Agreements and Special Permits

Arkansas has reciprocal license agreements with some neighboring states, allowing residents of either state to fish in designated boundary waters with their resident license:

  • White River Border Lakes License ($10.00): Allows Arkansas residents to fish in Missouri waters of Bull Shoals, Norfork, and Table Rock lakes without a non-resident Missouri license.

How to Purchase a Fishing License

Both residents and non-residents can easily obtain their fishing licenses through various methods:

  1. Online: Visit the AGFC online licensing system to purchase your license instantly. You can print a temporary license immediately after the transaction.
  2. Phone: Call the AGFC toll-free number at 1-800-364-GAME (4263) to purchase your license over the phone.
  3. In-Person: Visit authorized license vendors, such as sporting goods stores, bait shops, and some convenience stores throughout Arkansas.

When purchasing your license, be prepared to provide personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, and a valid form of identification.

Fishing Regulations

In addition to obtaining a fishing license, anglers must familiarize themselves with Arkansas’ fishing regulations, which cover aspects like seasons, daily catch limits, size restrictions, gear restrictions, and boating access rules. Always check for updates to state fishing regulations before each trip, as laws can vary depending on the region and body of water.


Whether you’re an Arkansas resident or a visiting angler, understanding the state’s fishing license requirements and costs is essential for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience. By purchasing the appropriate license, you not only ensure compliance with state regulations but also contribute to the conservation and enhancement of Arkansas’ valuable fisheries. So, gear up, get your license, and embark on an unforgettable fishing adventure in “The Natural State.”

Similar Posts