Are you eager to cast a line and reel in a big catch in the beautiful waters of Indiana? Before you head out on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to understand the fishing license requirements and fees, which differ for Indiana residents and non-residents. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details of Indiana fishing license costs, age requirements, exemptions, and how to obtain your license. Get ready to gear up and fish legally in the Hoosier State!

Indiana Fishing License Fees for 2024

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources sets the fishing license fees, which are valid from April 1, 2024, through March 31, 2025. Here’s a breakdown of the current costs:

License TypeResident FeeNon-Resident Fee
Annual Fishing$23$60
One-Day Fishing (includes trout/salmon)$10$15
Seven-Day FishingN/A$35
Senior Annual Fishing (voluntary, born before April 1, 1943)$3N/A
Senior Fish for Life (includes trout/salmon stamp)$23N/A
Trout/Salmon Stamp$11$11

As you can see, non-resident anglers pay significantly more for annual and short-term fishing licenses compared to Indiana residents. This price difference helps support the state’s fish stocking, habitat management, and conservation efforts, which enhance the fishing experience for everyone.

Who Needs an Indiana Fishing License?

In general, anglers aged 18 and older must have a valid Indiana fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters, including lakes, streams, rivers, and boundary waters like the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. This requirement applies to both Indiana residents and non-residents.

However, there are a few exceptions to the fishing license requirement:

  • Indiana residents born before April 1, 1943
  • Residents and non-residents under age 18
  • Indiana residents who are legally blind or have a developmental disability
  • Residents of a state-owned mental rehabilitation facility participating in supervised fishing activities
  • Anglers fishing in a private pond with permission from the property owner
  • Indiana residents who own or lease farmland and their immediate family members fishing on that land

If you don’t fall under one of these exemptions, you must obtain a fishing license before wetting a line in Indiana waters.

Determining Residency Status

To qualify for resident fishing license fees, you must have established a true fixed and permanent home and primary residence in Indiana for 60 consecutive days prior to purchasing a license. All others are considered non-residents for licensing purposes.

Residency can be a bit tricky for college students and members of the military. Full-time students attending an Indiana university or college are eligible for resident license fees, regardless of their home state. Active-duty military personnel stationed in Indiana can also purchase resident licenses, even if they maintain residency elsewhere.

How to Get Your Indiana Fishing License

Obtaining an Indiana fishing license is a breeze, with several convenient options available:

  1. Online: Visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website ( to purchase your license securely. A small convenience fee applies.
  2. In-Person: Stop by one of over 500 authorized license retailers throughout the state, such as sporting goods stores, bait shops, and county clerk offices.
  3. By Phone: Call the DNR Customer Service Center at (317) 232-4200 or toll-free at (877) 463-6367, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.
  4. By Mail: Send a completed application form, along with a check or money order payable to the DNR, to: DNR Customer Service 402 W. Washington St., Room W160 Indianapolis, IN 46204

Remember to carry your fishing license with you whenever you’re on the water, either as a printed copy or a digital file on your mobile device. Conservation officers may ask to see your license to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Additional Trout & Salmon Stamp Requirements

If you plan on fishing for trout or salmon in Indiana’s stocked streams and lakes, you’ll need to purchase a separate trout and salmon stamp in addition to your fishing license. The stamp costs $11 for both residents and non-residents. Anglers under 18 and residents born before April 1, 1943, are exempt from the trout/salmon stamp requirement.

The revenue generated from trout and salmon stamp sales directly supports the state’s trout and salmon stocking program, which releases over 100,000 fish annually in designated waters. By purchasing a stamp, you’re contributing to the sustainability of these prized game fish for future generations of anglers.

Fishing License Exemptions & Discounts

While most anglers need a valid fishing license, Indiana offers a few notable exemptions and discounts:

  • Resident landowners and their families can fish on their own property without a license.
  • Disabled American veterans (DAV) who are Indiana residents can purchase discounted hunting and fishing licenses for $2.75 annually or $27.50 for a 10-year license. These licenses do not include deer or turkey hunting privileges.
  • Legally blind Indiana residents and those with developmental disabilities can fish without a license.
  • Residents born before April 1, 1943, are exempt from fishing license and trout/salmon stamp requirements but must carry proof of age and residency.

If you believe you may qualify for a fishing license exemption or discount, contact the Indiana DNR for more information on how to apply.

Why Fishing License Fees Matter

You might be wondering where your fishing license dollars go. In Indiana, fishing license sales directly fund critical fish and wildlife management efforts, including:

  • Fish stocking in public waters
  • Habitat restoration and improvement projects
  • Public access site maintenance and development
  • Angler education and outreach programs
  • Conservation officer salaries and equipment

By purchasing a fishing license, you’re investing in the future of Indiana’s fisheries and ensuring that anglers can enjoy quality fishing opportunities for generations to come. Plus, having a valid license helps protect you from potential fines and legal troubles.

Get Licensed & Get Fishing!

Now that you understand the ins and outs of Indiana fishing license fees and requirements, you’re ready to hit the water with confidence. Whether you’re a Hoosier State resident or an out-of-state visitor, obtaining your fishing license is a simple and essential step in your angling journey.

Remember to check the Indiana Fishing Regulation Guide for specific season dates, bag limits, and size restrictions for your target species. With a valid license in hand and a commitment to responsible fishing practices, you’ll be well on your way to creating unforgettable memories on Indiana’s abundant waters.

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