How to Get an Indiana Fishing License?

Are you an avid angler seeking to explore Indiana’s bountiful waters? Or perhaps a newcomer eager to cast your line and discover the thrill of fishing? Regardless of your experience level, obtaining the proper fishing license is a crucial first step. This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the essential information you need to legally and responsibly embark on your next angling escapade in the Hoosier State.

Why a Fishing License Matters

Fishing licenses serve a vital purpose beyond mere legal compliance. The fees collected from these licenses directly contribute to the preservation and enhancement of Indiana’s aquatic ecosystems. By obtaining a license, you’re playing an active role in supporting:

  • Fish stocking programs to maintain healthy populations
  • Habitat restoration and protection initiatives
  • Research studies to monitor fish species and their environments
  • Educational programs promoting responsible fishing practices

Your investment in a fishing license ensures that Indiana’s diverse fisheries remain vibrant and sustainable for generations to come.

Types of Indiana Fishing Licenses

Indiana offers a variety of license options to cater to different angling needs and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the most common licenses:

Annual Fishing License

  • Residents: $23
  • Non-Residents: $60

The annual fishing license is the most comprehensive option, granting you access to fish in Indiana’s public waters for an entire year, from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. This license is ideal for frequent anglers who plan to make the most of Indiana’s fishing opportunities throughout the season.

One-Day Fishing License

  • Residents: $10 (includes Trout/Salmon Stamp)
  • Non-Residents: $15 (includes Trout/Salmon Stamp)

If you’re planning a short fishing excursion or want to test the waters before committing to an annual license, the one-day option is perfect. It allows you to fish for a single day, including trout and salmon species, without the need for an additional stamp.

Seven-Day Fishing License

  • Non-Residents Only: $35

Designed for out-of-state visitors or those planning an extended fishing trip, the seven-day license provides non-residents with a week of angling opportunities in Indiana’s waters. This option is ideal for those seeking a more extended fishing experience without the commitment of an annual license.

Senior Fishing Licenses

  • Annual Senior Fishing License (Residents Only): $3
  • Senior Fish-for-Life License (Residents Only): $23

Indiana recognizes the lifelong passion for fishing among its senior residents by offering discounted license options. The annual senior license is a budget-friendly choice, while the fish-for-life license provides a one-time investment for unlimited fishing during your golden years.

Trout/Salmon Stamp Privilege

  • Residents and Non-Residents: $11

If you plan to target trout or salmon species, you’ll need to purchase the Trout/Salmon Stamp Privilege in addition to your fishing license. This stamp is included in the one-day licenses for both residents and non-residents, making it a convenient option for those seeking a short-term trout or salmon fishing experience.

Who Needs an Indiana Fishing License?

While most individuals are required to have a valid fishing license when angling in Indiana’s public waters, there are a few exceptions:

  • Residents born before April 1, 1943
  • Residents and non-residents under the age of 18
  • Legally blind residents
  • Residents of state-owned mental rehabilitation facilities
  • Residents fishing on their own private ponds with no public water connections
  • Disabled American veterans with a special DAV license

If you fall into one of these categories, you may be exempt from obtaining a fishing license. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check the regulations and carry proper identification to avoid any potential issues while enjoying your angling adventures.

How to Purchase an Indiana Fishing License

Indiana offers multiple convenient options for purchasing your fishing license, ensuring that the process is seamless and accessible for all anglers.


Visit the official Indiana DNR website ( and follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the “Buy a License” button.
  2. Select “Start Shopping” under the “Licenses for Hunting, Trapping and Fishing” section.
  3. Choose the appropriate license type based on your residency status, age, and fishing preferences.
  4. Complete the required personal information and payment details.
  5. Print or save your license for future reference.

The online purchase process is quick, secure, and allows you to obtain your license from the comfort of your own home or on-the-go.


For those who prefer a more traditional approach, you can purchase your fishing license from various authorized retailers across Indiana, including:

  • Bait and tackle shops
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Select Walmart and Meijer locations
  • County clerk offices

Simply visit a nearby retailer, provide the necessary information, and complete your purchase. Many anglers find this option convenient, especially when combined with stocking up on essential fishing gear and supplies.

By Phone

If you prefer a more personal approach, you can call the Indiana DNR licensing hotline at 1-800-918-2766 and follow the prompts to purchase your license over the phone. This option is particularly useful for those who may have additional questions or require assistance with the licensing process.

Remember, it’s essential to carry your fishing license with you whenever you’re out on the water. Indiana Conservation Officers may request to see it during routine checks to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Responsible Fishing in Indiana

Obtaining a fishing license is just the first step in enjoying Indiana’s diverse angling opportunities. It’s equally important to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations, which are designed to promote sustainable practices and ensure a positive experience for all anglers.

Key regulations to keep in mind include:

  • Size and bag limits: Specific fish species have designated size and bag limits to prevent overfishing and maintain healthy populations.
  • Seasonal restrictions and closed areas: Certain waters or areas may be closed during specific seasons to protect spawning grounds or sensitive habitats.
  • Proper handling and release techniques: For catch-and-release fishing, it’s crucial to follow proper handling techniques to minimize stress and injury to the fish.
  • Use of barbless hooks: In certain waters, the use of barbless hooks may be required to facilitate easier release and reduce harm to the fish.

Additionally, consider practicing Leave No Trace principles by properly disposing of any litter and minimizing your impact on the natural environment. By being a responsible angler, you contribute to the long-term sustainability of Indiana’s fisheries and ensure that future generations can enjoy the same angling experiences.

Explore Indiana’s Fishing Hotspots

With your fishing license in hand, it’s time to explore the diverse angling opportunities that Indiana has to offer. From the vast waters of Lake Michigan to the winding rivers and serene lakes, there’s something for every type of angler.

Here are a few popular fishing destinations to consider:

  • Lake Michigan: Known for its world-class salmon and trout fishing, Lake Michigan offers opportunities to catch Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead. The lake’s vast expanse and diverse structure provide a thrilling challenge for anglers of all skill levels.
  • St. Joseph River: This renowned river is a prime location for catching steelhead trout during their annual spawning runs. The St. Joseph River offers a picturesque setting for fly fishing enthusiasts and those seeking a more intimate angling experience.
  • Brookville Lake: Anglers flock to Brookville Lake for its abundant walleye and crappie populations, as well as the chance to catch trophy-sized bass. This lake’s clear waters and diverse structure make it a favorite among both novice and experienced anglers.
  • Patoka Lake: With its clear waters and diverse fish species, Patoka Lake is a favorite among bass anglers and those seeking a peaceful fishing experience. The lake’s serene surroundings and well-managed fishery make it a true angler’s paradise.

Remember, Indiana is home to numerous state parks, reservoirs, and streams, each offering unique fishing experiences. Consult local guides, bait shops, or online resources like how to get a michigan fishing license and delaware fishing license to discover the best spots for your preferred species and techniques.

Get Hooked on the Fishing Lifestyle

Obtaining an Indiana fishing license is more than just a legal requirement – it’s a gateway to a lifetime of outdoor adventures, cherished memories, and a deeper connection with nature. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your next fishing excursion while contributing to the preservation of Indiana’s aquatic resources.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rod, reel, and newly acquired fishing license, and get ready to experience the thrill of landing that next big catch in Indiana’s pristine waters. Tight lines and happy fishing!

Bold Key Takeaways:

  • Obtaining an Indiana fishing license is crucial for legal and responsible angling.
  • License fees support conservation efforts and sustainable fisheries management.
  • Indiana offers various license options to cater to different angling needs and preferences.
  • Familiarize yourself with state regulations to promote sustainable fishing practices.
  • Explore Indiana’s diverse fishing hotspots for unforgettable angling experiences.

Don’t forget to check out our other informative articles on fishing licenses, such as how to get a california fishing license, to ensure you’re fully prepared for your next angling adventure!

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