Indiana’s Lifetime Fishing License: A One-Time Investment for a Lifetime of Fishing

Fishing is a popular outdoor recreational activity in Indiana, with over 1 million licensed anglers casting their lines in the state’s abundant lakes, rivers and streams each year. For devoted Indiana fishermen, the lifetime fishing license offers an excellent value, providing permanent fishing privileges for a reasonable one-time fee.

Overview of Indiana’s Lifetime Fishing Licenses

Indiana’s lifetime fishing licenses are available to state residents of any age. They provide permanent fishing privileges throughout one’s lifetime in all public waters in Indiana, with no requirement to renew annually. These non-expiring licenses are valid as long as the license holder remains an Indiana resident.

There are two main types of lifetime fishing licenses available:

  • Regular Lifetime Fishing License – Covers fishing by pole or line with hook and line. The fee is $477.50 for ages 0-3; $601.50 for ages 4-15; and $601.50 plus $15 for each year over age 65** for seniors.
  • Lifetime Comprehensive Fishing License – Includes fishing by pole or line as well as trotlines, limb lines, jug lines, nets, spears, harpoons, bowfishing equipment and other legal fishing gear. The fee is $702.50 regardless of age.

These fees are very reasonable when compared to the cost of buying an annual license every year for life. Lifetime license holders never need to worry about renewing or losing proof of a valid fishing license.

Additional Indiana Fishing License Options

In addition to lifetime licenses, Indiana offers a variety of shorter-term fishing license options:

  • Annual Fishing Licenses – Valid for one year from date of purchase. The resident license fee is $17.
  • Senior Annual Fishing Licenses – Indiana residents age 65+ can purchase an annual license for only $5.
  • 1-Day Fishing Licenses – Allow fishing for a single designated day. The cost is $5 per day.
  • 7-Day Fishing Licenses – Provide seven consecutive days of fishing privileges. The fee is $9 for Indiana residents.

Those with lifetime licenses do not need to purchase these shorter-term licenses.

Exemptions from Fishing License Requirements

Certain Indiana residents are exempt from needing any type of fishing license, including:

  • Children under age 18
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Residents born before April 1, 1943

See the full list of exemptions. Those with exemptions can fish without any license but must carry documentation confirming their eligibility for exemptions when fishing.

Where to Buy an Indiana Fishing License

Indiana fishing licenses can be purchased:

  • Online – Convenient option allowing license purchase direct from the DNR website.
  • In-person at hundreds of retailers statewide – Such as bait & tackle shops, sporting goods stores, Walmart stores, etc.
  • By phone – Call 800-809-FISH (3474). Operators can sell licenses over the phone.
  • By mail – Download application form and mail to the DNR with payment.

When making in-person, phone or mail purchases, licenses are mailed to customers within two weeks. Those in immediate need of proof of a valid license can obtain a temporary document for short term use.

Use of Fishing License Revenue

The sale of fishing licenses, trout/salmon stamps, and Lake Michigan stamps generates over $10 million annually in dedicated funding for the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. These revenues are used to:

  • Stock over 80 million fish annually into public waters
  • Protect and restore fish habitats
  • Provide public fishing access sites and boat ramps
  • Fund a variety of fisheries management and conservation programs

By purchasing a fishing license, anglers directly support Indiana’s world-class fishing opportunities.

Reciprocity With Neighboring States

Indiana has reciprocal license agreements with all four bordering states – Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. With a valid Indiana fishing license, resident anglers can legally fish public waters in the reciprocal states without needing a separate non-resident license.

This allows fishermen near state borders convenient access to productive waters in neighboring states. Certain restrictions may apply so it’s best to consult the specific state’s fishing regulations.

Why Choose Indiana for Fishing?

What is it that brings over 1 million licensed anglers to cast lines in The Hoosier State each year? Indiana offers outstanding variety and quality of fishing opportunities.

The state boasts:

  • Over 400 fishable lakes and reservoirs
  • Over 5,000 miles of fishable streams and rivers
  • Some of the Midwest’s best bass, crappie and bluegill fishing lakes
  • World-class steelhead and salmon runs on Lake Michigan tributaries
  • Trophy catfish waters teeming with monsters over 50 pounds
  • Urban and rural fisheries providing convenient local angling sites

Whether seeking trophy lunkers or family-friendly action, Indiana has hundreds of productive waters to meet all fishing needs.

For devoted anglers, Indiana’s lifetime fishing license offers the ultimate value – one reasonable fee providing permanent fishing privileges for all legal public waters in the state. It’s the perfect way to maximize time on the water without worrying about licenses from season to season or year to year.

So grab your favorite fishing rod, tie on a shiny lure, and head out to Indiana’s abundant waters with the confidence and convenience of a lifetime license securely in your tackle box. Tight lines and full creels await!

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