Fishing in Kentucky is a cherished activity, offering anglers the chance to catch a variety of fish species in the state’s picturesque lakes, rivers, and streams. Obtaining a fishing license is essential for legal fishing and contributes to the conservation of Kentucky’s aquatic resources. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the costs, types, and purchasing methods for fishing licenses in Kentucky for the year 2024.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Kentucky

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Fishing License: $23.00
  • Joint/Spouse Annual Fishing License: $42.00
  • 1-Day Fishing License: $7.00
  • 3-Year Fishing License: $55.00 (available online only)
  • Senior/Disabled Sportsman’s License: $12.00 (includes combination hunting/fishing license, deer permits, turkey permits, and more)

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Fishing License: $55.00
  • 1-Day Fishing License: $15.00
  • 7-Day Fishing License: $35.00
  • 15-Day Fishing License: $50.00

Special Licenses

  • Youth Fishing License: Available for residents and non-residents under the age of 16. Children under 12 are exempt from needing a license.
  • Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License: $180.00 (available to residents aged 65 and older, includes hunting and fishing licenses plus permits for trout, deer, turkey, and more)

Cost of Fishing Licenses in Kentucky for 2024

The cost of fishing licenses in Kentucky varies based on residency status and the type of license. Here is a detailed breakdown:

License TypeResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Annual Fishing License$23.00$55.00
Joint/Spouse Annual Fishing License$42.00Not available
1-Day Fishing License$7.00$15.00
7-Day Fishing LicenseNot available$35.00
15-Day Fishing LicenseNot available$50.00
3-Year Fishing License$55.00Not available
Senior/Disabled Sportsman’s License$12.00Not available
Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License$180.00Not available

How to Purchase a Fishing License in Kentucky

Online Purchase

Fishing licenses can be purchased online through the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ secure License Sales portal. This method is convenient and allows you to print your license immediately.

In-Person Purchase

Licenses are available at over 900 locations across Kentucky, including county clerk offices, outdoor sporting goods stores, and bait shops. This option is great for those who prefer to buy their license in person and get local fishing tips.

Purchase by Phone

You can also purchase a fishing license by calling 1-877-KYTAG01 (1-877-598-2401). A small convenience fee applies, and you will receive an authorization number to use as your license until the physical copy arrives.

Fishing Regulations and Requirements

Age Requirements

  • Anglers aged 16 and above must possess a valid Kentucky fishing license.
  • Children under 16 can fish without a license.

Fishing Methods and Restrictions

Kentucky allows various fishing methods, including rod and reel, pole and line, trotline, jugline, limbline, and bowfishing (for rough fish only). However, some methods are prohibited, such as snagging, grabbing, snaring, gigging (except for approved rough fish), and using explosives or chemicals.

Catch Limits and Size Restrictions

To maintain healthy fish populations, Kentucky enforces catch limits and size restrictions for various species. For example:

  • Black Bass: 6 daily limit, 12-inch minimum size
  • Crappie: 20 daily limit, 9-inch minimum size
  • Catfish: No limit, no size restriction
  • Trout: 8 daily limit, no minimum size
  • Muskellunge: 1 daily limit, 36-inch minimum size

Benefits of Purchasing a Fishing License

Purchasing a fishing license in Kentucky supports numerous conservation efforts, including:

  • Fish Stocking Programs: Ensuring lakes and rivers are populated with healthy fish.
  • Habitat Restoration: Protecting and restoring aquatic habitats.
  • Fishing Access Improvements: Enhancing public access to fishing spots.
  • Aquatic Education and Outreach: Educating the public about fishing and conservation.
  • Fisheries Research and Management: Conducting research to manage fish populations effectively.


Obtaining a fishing license in Kentucky is essential for legal fishing and contributes to the conservation of the state’s aquatic resources. With various types of licenses available for residents and non-residents, purchasing a license is straightforward and supports vital conservation efforts. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a year-long fishing adventure, make sure to get your fishing license and enjoy the rich fishing opportunities Kentucky has to offer.

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