Kansas Fishing License: Types, Costs, and How To Buy

Kansas, with its expansive waterways and ample aquatic life, can offer some of the best fishing in the United States. 

The allure of fishing in this one-of-a-kind location is simply undeniable! Imagine relaxing on a lake edge, rod in hand, waiting for that rush of pure adrenaline as you feel the tug of a potential catch. 

This dream can soon become a reality if you complete one essential step: Securing the correct fishing license. 

With any recreational sport, there are rules to follow – and in the world of Kansas fishing, a license to catch is a must!

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice looking to indulge in all Kansas has to offer, understanding the ins and outs of the state’s fishing rules is of paramount importance. 

This task may seem daunting initially, with various types, costs, and regulations to consider. Never fear! This article will serve as your one-stop, comprehensive guide to navigating this process. 

We’ll guide you through:

  • The various Kansas fishing licenses
  • Their associated costs
  • The myriad ways to purchase them. 

From those with a house near a Kansas lake to the casual vacationer, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get into it!

Who Needs a Fishing License in Kansas?

Kansas Fishing License

As we alluded to earlier, Kanas is an angler’s paradise. The vast lakes and rivers, coupled with its diverse aquatic life, make it the perfect spot to park up with a rod and your favorite beverage. 

However, before you can cast your line, it’s vital to understand the licensing requirements to keep yourself out of trouble.

Residents and Non-residents Aged 16-74

Kansas welcomes both locals and tourists to come and fish in its waters. 

Whether you’ve been living in Kansas for years or you’re simply visiting, you’ll need a fishing license if you fall within this age range. 

Residents are defined as individuals who have been in the state for at least 60 days., while non-residents are those who have not!


However, there are a few exceptions to the above rule. 

Kansas residents aged 65-74 are required to have a fishing license, but they can secure reduced-price options if they wish. 

Another key exemption is those who are active members of the Kansas National Guard and disabled veterans (with at least a 30% disability rating) can attain free fishing licenses. 

On top of this, if you’re fishing on a private pond that’s not leased for public fishing, you can fish there for free!

Types of Fishing Licenses in Kansas

Fishing Licenses in Kansas

Kansas offers a selection of fishing licenses to cater to different needs:

Resident Fishing License

This license is for those individuals who have called Kansas home for at least 60 days. This particular license allows you to fish in all Kansas waters, both lakes and rivers.

Non-resident Fishing License 

If you’re not a resident of the state but wish to fish in Kansas waters, this is the license for you! It gives you the same fishing access as the resident license.

Multi-year Youth License

This license is specifically designed for young fishermen and women aged 16-20 and is valid until the end of the year the holder of it turns 21.

Lifetime Fishing License

This license is for those who are serious about their Kansas fishing and plan to do it for years to come!

If this sounds like you, a lifetime fishing license might be the way to go. However, it’s only available for Kanas residents.

Fishing Licenses Costs in Kansas

The cost of a fishing license in Kansas varies based on the type and duration (note that all prices are in US dollars):

  • Lifetime Senior Resident Hunt/Fish Combination: This license allows the senior members among us to not only fish but try their hand at hunting for the small price of $42.50
  • Senior Resident Fish: Priced at just $15.00, this license is a steal for those who like to get out of the retirement home and spend some quality time by the water
  • Resident 1-Day Fish License: For those seeking a quick getaway, you can obtain a 1-day license for the price of a Big Mac combo: $6.00!
  • Resident Fishing 1-Year: A year-long fishing adventure awaits for those residing in Kanas for just $27.50
  • 5-Year Resident Fish License: For those who’re confident they’ll be sticking around the Kanas waterways for a while (but don’t want to lock into a lifetime pass), this license is perfectly priced at $102.50
  • Lifetime Fishing (Residents only): For $502.50, you can enjoy a lifetime of fishing in Kansas without ever having to worry about renewing your license again!
  • Non-resident Fishing 1-Year: Visitors to the great state of Kansas can immerse themselves for an entire year for $52.50
  • Non-resident Five-Day Fishing: Those just passing through the state can enjoy a 5-day license for $27.50
  • Discounts: Kansas offers discounts for certain groups. As mentioned earlier, residents aged 65-74 can score reduced price options. Active members of the Kansas National Guard and disabled veterans are eligible for free fishing licenses.

Special Fishing Permits in Kansas

Special Fishing Permits in Kansas

This is where things can get a little complicated.

Unfortunately, fishing in Kanas is not just about casting a line into the water, as there are special permits you must obtain if you want to fish a certain way or catch a certain fish. 

In this section, we’ve prepared a rundown of some of the unique permits you might need to consider:

Trout Permit

If you love (catching) trout, then a Trout Permit is non-negotiable. This license comes in at $14.50 for adults and $7 for youths. 

This permit grants you exclusive access to designated trout streams and lakes during the trout season. At the end of the day, it’s an essential investment for anyone serious about trout fishing in Kansas!

Paddlefish Permit

Paddlefish are a unique species of fish that require a special permit to catch. 

These creatures, often referred to as “spoonbills,” are a prehistoric fish species that lurk in Kansas waters. 

The Paddlefish Permit costs $12.50, and a discounted version for youths is available at $7.50 (not bad at all to get your hands on a piece of history!). 

This permit is your ticket to some of the most exciting and challenging fishing experiences in the state. 

Hand Fishing Permit

If you consider yourself a bit more rugged and “hands-on”, you might consider a Hand Fishing Permit. 

Hand fishing, sometimes called “noodling”, offers an exhilarating experience. A Hand Fishing Permit, priced at $27.50, is mandatory if you wish to take part in this activity. 

The permit allows you to engage in this older fishing technique which involves using your bare hands to catch fish like catfish.

Bass Pass

Bass fishing has become increasingly popular in recent years, if you’re part of this growing crowd, Kansas offers a specialized Bass Pass for $14.50. 

This pass grants you access to exclusive bass fishing locations and can be a game-changer for those who love to reel in a good old bass.

Where to buy a Kansas fishing License


The fastest way to grab your license is by visiting the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism website. 

This online portal is user-friendly, and secure, and offers immediate issuance of your license. 

Once purchased, you can simply print at home. Or, for those who want to save the trees, store it on your mobile device!

Licensed Agents

Various businesses across the state, ranging from sporting goods stores to your local convenience stores, are authorized to sell Kanas fishing licenses. 

It’s as easy as looking for the official “Licensed Agent” Kansas Fishing signage when you walk in.

Kansas Department Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Offices

If you’re old-school and prefer human interaction with the guarantee of a good chat, you can always head to a Kansas Department Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism office. 

These offices will take care of all your needs and can answer any questions you may have about fishing in the great state of Kansas. 

By Phone

For those who may not have easy access to the internet or prefer a voice on the other end, calling 1-833-587-2164 is the option for you. 

Phone purchases are available during regular business hours, 9 to 5, and offer another layer of convenience if you don’t want to leave the house or start your computer up.


When Does the Kansas Fishing License Expire?

Generally speaking, Kansas fishing licenses expire 365 days from the date of purchase. However, as shown in this article, there are exceptions for multi-day, multi-year, and lifetime licenses. 

It always pays to check the expiration date on your license to avoid any complications.

Can You Fish on Private Property Without a License?

Yes, you can fish on private property without a license. However, there are certain conditions to be aware of. The pond or lake must not be leased for public fishing, and you must obtain explicit permission from the property owner if you don’t own it yourself.

What Is the Fishing License Age Requirement for Kansas?

In Kansas, the age requirement for a fishing license is quite specific. If you want to go fishing and are between the ages of 16 and 74, you must have a valid fishing license. 

However, if you’ve been a resident of Kansas for at least 60 days, you may be exempt from this requirement. Always check the latest regulations to ensure you’re in the clear!

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