Fishing in Tennessee is a beloved pastime, offering a variety of experiences across its numerous lakes, rivers, and streams. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, obtaining a fishing license is a crucial step before you cast your line. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the costs, types, and purchasing methods for fishing licenses in Tennessee, ensuring you are well-informed and ready for your next fishing adventure.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, anyone aged 13 and older is required to have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters. This requirement applies to both residents and non-residents. However, there are specific exemptions:

  • Residents born before March 1, 1926, are not required to have a fishing license.
  • Residents who are legally blind or developmentally disabled are exempt from the fishing license requirement.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Tennessee

Tennessee offers a variety of fishing licenses tailored to different needs and durations:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Fishing License: $34
  • One-Day Fishing Permit: $6.50
  • Lifetime Licenses: Prices vary based on age, starting from $320 for ages 0-3 to $1,976 for ages 13-50.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Fishing License: $50
  • Three-Day Fishing Permit: $20.50 (or $40.50 with Trout)
  • Ten-Day Fishing Permit: $30.50 (or $61.50 with Trout).

Special Permits

  • Trout Permit: $22 for residents, $50 for non-residents
  • Special Fishing Permits: Required for specific bodies of water like Gatlinburg, Tellico-Citico, Agency Lake, and Bedford Lake.

Cost of Fishing Licenses

The cost of fishing licenses in Tennessee varies based on several factors, including age, residency status, and the duration of the license. Here is a detailed breakdown:

License TypeResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Annual Fishing License$34$50
One-Day Fishing Permit$6.50N/A
Three-Day Fishing PermitN/A$20.50 ($40.50 with Trout)
Ten-Day Fishing PermitN/A$30.50 ($61.50 with Trout)
Trout Permit$22$50
Lifetime License (0-3 years)$320N/A
Lifetime License (13-50 years)$1,976N/A

How to Purchase a Fishing License

Purchasing a fishing license in Tennessee is straightforward and can be done through various methods:



  • TWRA Regional Offices: Licenses are available at regional offices and most bait and tackle shops.
  • Retail Locations: Many hardware stores, Walmarts, and other retail locations across the state sell fishing licenses.

Mobile App

  • Go Outdoors Tennessee App: Available on both Apple and Android devices, this app allows you to purchase and store your fishing licenses digitally.

Validity and Renewal

Fishing licenses in Tennessee are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Special permits and short-term licenses have specific validity periods, such as one-day or three-day durations. Renewal of licenses can be done online, through the mobile app, or at any authorized vendor.

Additional Fishing Regulations

In addition to having a valid fishing license, anglers must adhere to various fishing regulations, including:

  • Catch Limits: Specific limits on the number and size of fish that can be caught.
  • Bait and Tackle Restrictions: Regulations on the types of bait and tackle that can be used.

Conservation Efforts Supported by License Fees

Fishing license fees in Tennessee play a vital role in supporting conservation efforts. These funds are used for:

  • Habitat Restoration: Projects to restore wetlands, streams, and other critical habitats.
  • Wildlife Conservation: Initiatives to protect and preserve fish and wildlife populations.
  • Public Access: Maintenance and improvement of public fishing areas.


Obtaining a fishing license in Tennessee is essential for anyone looking to enjoy the state’s rich fishing opportunities. By understanding the different types of licenses, their costs, and how to purchase them, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience. Moreover, your contribution through license fees supports vital conservation efforts, helping to preserve Tennessee’s natural beauty for future generations. So, get your fishing license today and enjoy the abundant fishing adventures that Tennessee has to offer!

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