How to Get a Nebraska Fishing License: A Complete Guide 2024

Fishing is a beloved outdoor activity in Nebraska, thanks to the state’s abundant rivers, lakes, and reservoirs teeming with diverse fish species. But before you can cast your line and reel in the big one, you’ll need to obtain a valid Nebraska fishing license. This comprehensive guide covers everything anglers need to know about getting a fishing license in Nebraska for 2024.

Quick Overview: Getting Your NE Fishing License

  • Determine if you need a license (most anglers 16+ do)
  • Choose the right license type for you
  • Buy your license online, by phone, or in-person
  • Familiarize yourself with NE fishing regulations
  • Get out on the water and start fishing!

Why Are Fishing Licenses Required in Nebraska?

Fishing licenses are essential for managing and conserving Nebraska’s valuable fisheries resources. The revenue generated from license sales directly supports the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s efforts to:

  • Monitor and maintain healthy fish populations
  • Improve fish habitats and water quality
  • Stock fish in public waters
  • Conduct research and surveys on fisheries
  • Provide access to fishing opportunities statewide

By purchasing a fishing license, anglers contribute to the sustainability of Nebraska’s fisheries and help ensure excellent fishing opportunities for generations to come.

Who Needs a Nebraska Fishing License?

In Nebraska, a fishing license is required for most anglers, with a few exceptions:

  • Residents: If you are 16 years or older and a Nebraska resident, you must have a valid fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters.
  • Nonresidents: All nonresident anglers, regardless of age, must have a Nebraska fishing license. Nonresidents under 16 need a license but must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
  • Exemptions: You do not need a license if fishing private waters that are entirely on private land, not connected to public waters, and not commercially operated. Landowners and their guests are exempt under these conditions.

So unless you fall under an exemption, plan on purchasing a Nebraska fishing license before heading out to public waters in 2024.

Types of Nebraska Fishing Licenses

Nebraska offers several fishing license types to cater to different angler needs and budgets:

  • Annual Fishing License: Covers fishing privileges for a calendar year. Prices are $38 for residents and $84 for nonresidents.
  • Temporary Fishing License: Options include 1-day licenses for $10 (resident) or $16 (nonresident), and 3-day licenses for $20 (resident) or $40 (nonresident).
  • Combination Hunting & Fishing License: Includes a fishing license and small game hunting privileges. Prices are $55 for residents and $178 for nonresidents.
  • Lifetime Fishing License: A one-time purchase that remains valid for the holder’s lifetime. Fees vary by age, starting at $616 for residents aged 0-15.
  • Paddlefish Permit: Required to snag or spear paddlefish during the open season. Must be purchased in addition to a valid fishing license. Costs $33 for residents and $57 for nonresidents.

Choose the license that best aligns with your fishing plans and budget. Keep in mind that license fees help fund conservation efforts and maintain Nebraska’s fisheries.

How to Get Your 2024 Nebraska Fishing License

You have three convenient options for purchasing a 2024 Nebraska fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) website, create an account, and buy your license online. You can print a temporary authorization immediately.
  2. In Person: Stop by an NGPC office or approved license vendor, complete the application, and pay the fee. You’ll receive your license on the spot. Find a location near you using the NGPC’s interactive map.
  3. By Phone: Call the NGPC at (402) 471-0641 during business hours to purchase your fishing license with a credit card. Have your personal information ready, including your driver’s license number and Social Security number.

Whichever method you choose, be prepared with your personal information, proof of residency if applicable, and payment. Once you have your license, remember to carry it with you whenever fishing, either as a physical copy or a digital version on your mobile device.

Nebraska Fishing Regulations 2024

A fishing license is just the start—anglers must also follow Nebraska’s fishing regulations, which cover seasons, bag limits, size restrictions, legal gear, and more. These rules vary by waterbody and species, so always check the 2024 Nebraska Fishing Guide before wetting a line.

Some highlights of the 2024 regulations include:

  • Statewide Limits: Daily bag limit of 5 trout, with no minimum length limit. For panfish, the daily bag limit is 15, with no minimum length limit.
  • Paddlefish Season: Open from October 1 through October 31 on the Missouri River only. One paddlefish per permit. Snagging is legal from sunrise to sunset.
  • Archery and Spearfishing: Allowed for game fish on certain waters, following specific regulations. Rough fish may be taken statewide. Check the fishing guide for approved waters and dates.

Abiding by the regulations helps preserve healthy fish populations and ensures everyone has a fair chance at a great catch. Violations can result in fines and the loss of fishing privileges, so play by the rules and enjoy your time on the water responsibly.

Local Expert Advice

“As someone who’s been fishing in Nebraska for over 20 years, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get your license squared away before heading out,” says avid angler Mark Johnson. “Not only is it the law, but it’s also an investment in preserving our state’s incredible fisheries. Plus, the process is super simple these days with online options. Trust me, it’s worth taking a few minutes to get legal so you can focus on landing that trophy fish!”


Obtaining your 2024 Nebraska fishing license is a simple but essential step before enjoying the state’s incredible angling opportunities. By purchasing a license, you not only gain access to world-class fishing but also contribute to the conservation of Nebraska’s aquatic resources for generations to come.

Whether you’re a resident or visitor, a first-timer or seasoned pro, securing your fishing license opens the door to unforgettable adventures on Nebraska’s waters. So get your license, grab your gear, and make 2024 a year to remember out on the water!

Remember to always check the 2024 Nebraska Fishing Guide for the most up-to-date regulations, seasons, and limits before heading out.

Can I fish without a license in Nebraska?

Only in limited circumstances, such as on private waters meeting certain criteria. In most cases, anglers 16 and older must have a valid Nebraska fishing license.

How much does a Nebraska fishing license cost?

License fees vary by residency, duration, and age. For example, an annual fishing permit is $38 for residents and $84 for nonresidents in 2024. See the “Types of Nebraska Fishing Licenses” section for more details.

Where can I buy a Nebraska fishing license?

You can purchase a license online through the NGPC website, in person at NGPC offices and approved vendors, or by phone at (402) 471-0641. Refer to the “How to Get Your 2024 Nebraska Fishing License” section for step-by-step instructions.

Do I need any additional permits to fish in Nebraska?

A fishing license covers most angling activities, but special permits are required for certain species like paddlefish. Check the regulations for the specific waters you plan to fish. The 2024 Nebraska Fishing Guide has all the details.

How long is my Nebraska fishing license valid?

Annual licenses are valid for the calendar year, expiring on December 31. Temporary permits are valid for the specified duration, such as 1 day or 3 days. Lifetime licenses never expire. Your permit will clearly state its expiration date.

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