How Much Is A Fishing License In Nebraska?

Fishing is a popular outdoor recreational activity in Nebraska, with over 1 million fishing trips occurring across the state every year. To fish legally in public Nebraska waters, anglers age 16 and over are required to have a valid Nebraska fishing permit. So how much do fishing licenses cost for both residents and visitors to the Cornhusker State?

Types of Fishing Licenses Available

Nebraska offers both annual and short-term fishing licenses for residents and nonresidents:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual: $38
  • 3-Year: $90.50
  • 5-Year: $132
  • 1-Day$10
  • 3-Day$31
  • Lifetime (ages 0-15): $616
  • Lifetime (ages 16-45): $710
  • Lifetime (ages 46+): $616

Nonresident Licenses

  • Annual: $84
  • 3-Year: $216.50
  • 5-Year: $326
  • 1-Day$14.50
  • 3-Day$37
  • Lifetime (ages 0-16): $929
  • Lifetime (ages 17+): $1,306

In addition to regular fishing licenses, combination hunting/fishing permits, special paddlefishing permits, and discounts for seniors, veterans and youth are available. Most annual licenses expire on December 31st of the year purchased.

Where To Buy

Nebraska fishing permits can easily be purchased online through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website. Local purchases are also available from various vendors across the state such as bait shops, convenience stores, Walmart stores, and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offices.

Required For All Anglers Over 16

A fishing permit is required for anyone age 16 or older to fish or attempt to take fish by any method in Nebraska public waters. This includes popular game fish like bass, catfish, trout, walleye, as well as bullfrogs, snapping turtles, and other aquatic species. Those under 16 can fish without a license if accompanied by a permitted adult angler.

Annual fishing permits expire each December 31st, so licenses purchased in mid-2022 for example would still need to be renewed for 2023.

Special Permits For Paddlefish

Paddlefish are a unique prehistoric species found in the Missouri River. Special snagging or archery permits are required in addition to a fishing license to pursue paddlefish. The application fee is $7 and successful draw applicants then pay either a $33 (resident) or $57 (nonresident) paddlefish permit fee.

Discounts Available

Several discounts exist on fishing licenses for Nebraska residents:

  • Senior Annual Hunt/Fish Combo (age 69+): $5
  • Veteran Annual Hunt/Fish Combo (age 64+): $5
  • Disabled Annual Hunt/Fish: $8

These discounted annual permits are deeply reduced in price from the regular hunting/fishing license combos.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation also offers half-priced lifetime hunting, fishing, or combination permits for youth 15 and under through lottery drawings.

Lifetime Fishing Permits

For avid anglers, lifetime fishing permits offer great value and convenience. These permits are valid for the entire life of the permit holder, regardless if they maintain Nebraska residency. Lifetime license fees vary based on age:


  • Ages 0-15: $616
  • Ages 16-45: $710
  • Ages 46+: $616


  • Ages 0-16: $929
  • Ages 17+: $1,306

Lifetime permits authorize fishing only and do not include hunting privileges or other special limited permits.

Funds Support Fisheries Conservation

The funds raised from fishing permit sales support a wide range of fisheries management and conservation efforts. These include fish stocking, aquatic habitat improvements, fish population surveys, angler access upgrades, research studies, and aquatic education programs.

In 2023, over $7 million was spent on fisheries programs and projects across the state. So your license purchase helps protect Nebraska’s world-class fishing for years to come!

Fishing Regulations

In addition to having a valid fishing permit, anglers must follow Nebraska fishing regulations on seasons, bag limits, length restrictions, and tackle restrictions. Make sure to review the annual fishing guide for full specifics based on target species and water body.

Regulations help maintain healthy and sustainable fisheries by preventing overharvest. Different rules may apply to certain waters like trout streams, small impoundments, and the Missouri River reservoirs.

Summary Of Costs

In summary, a resident annual fishing license in Nebraska costs $38 while nonresidents pay $84. Short-term 1-day and 3-day permits range from $10-$37 for residents and $14.50-$37 for nonresidents. Special paddlefish and combination hunting/fishing licenses are also available.

Fishing permits can be purchased online through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website or from various local vendors. A permit is required for those 16 and over to fish public waters.

The funds contributed by anglers through license sales are crucial for continuing fisheries conservation and enhancing fishing opportunities across Nebraska. So make sure to purchase your permit and enjoy great fishing in the Cornhusker State!

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions on fishing license costs or regulations in Nebraska!

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