Get a Montana Fishing License

Buy your Montana fishing license online and then take the family to catch rainbow trout or bass at a place like Wadsworth Park in Great Falls. Before you go, read a current copy of the Montana or Big Sky fishing regulations that apply to the district or area that you plan to fish since there are often district specific exceptions to the standard state fishing regulations.

Get a Montana Fishing License
Fishing License

Montana Fishing Licenses Requirements

Whether you’re planning to fish in high mountain lakes or fly fish in big prairie rivers, angling opportunities abound in Montana. But before you take advantage of the numerous fishing spots the state has to offer, you need to make sure you’re following Montana’s fishing license requirements.

The most important thing you need to know is that a valid fishing license is required for fishing in state waters for anyone over the age of 11. A license gives you the right to fish for and possess any fish or aquatic invertebrate authorized by the state’s fishing regulations.

Many anglers in the state will need two licenses: a fishing license and a conservation license. Another type of pass called the Angler Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass is also required for anyone fishing in Montana.

Types of Fishing Licenses

Depending on how long you plan to fish in Montana waters, there are different license types available to residents and non-residents alike.

  • Full Season: This license is valid from March 1 to the end of February the following year.
  • Short-term: There are two options for this type of license. One is good for two consecutive days and the other for 10 consecutive days.

To qualify as a resident, you’ll need to have physically resided in Montana as your primary home for 180 consecutive days and meet other requirements such as filing your tax returns in Montana and licensing and titling your car in the state.

It’s important to note that you can also get a Resident Sportsman and Non-resident Combination license, which includes a season fishing license, to satisfy the state’s requirement.

Fishing License Exemptions

There are some exceptions to the fishing license requirement in Montana. Specifically, free fishing license exemptions are available to qualify educational events and fishing clinics. These events must be educational and taught under the guidance of a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks employee or certified fishing instructor.

License Fees

The Montana fishing license fees are subject to change every year. These are published on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website. For 2021, the costs are as follows:

Full-Season Fishing License

  • Resident Cost: $21
  • Youth 10-17 Resident Cost: $10.50
  • Senior 62+ Resident Cost: $10.50
  • Non-resident Cost: $86

Short-Term License for 2 Consecutive Calendar Days

  • Resident Cost: $5
  • Youth 10-17 Resident Cost: $5
  • Senior 62+ Resident Cost: $5
  • Non-resident Cost: $25

Short-Term License for 10 Consecutive Calendar Days

  • Non-resident Cost: $56

Where to Buy a Montana Fishing License

You have a couple of options when it comes to purchasing a Montana fishing license. One way to get your license is online through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website. Once you complete your purchase, you can print your license immediately.

You can also visit one of the many Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks license providers located throughout the state. A listing and interactive map of these providers can be found on the department’s website.