Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Kansas Fishing License

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

Kansas Fishing License requirements vary by species, type of water, and season. 

It’s also important to know that different licenses may be needed depending on the type of fish species and the area where you plan to fish.

But no matter what your fishing trip looks like in Kansas, let us help you find what’s needed so you can go ahead with reeling in those Kansas bass.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting your fishing license, what it entails, and how much it costs. 

Who Needs a Fishing License in Kansas

License Requirement in Kansas
Kansas Residents 16-74 YearsRequired
Non-residents 16+ Years Required

What Age Do You Need a Kansas Fishing License?


Residents under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license in Kansas. However, anyone between the ages of 16-74 years old needs a valid fishing license.

Disabled veterans with at least 30% disability and who are able to provide proof of disability are able to get a free fishing license.

Residents who are active members of the National Guard are eligible for a free hunting and fishing license.

They will need to provide proof of their active service in the form of their military ID or a letter from their commanding officer.


All non-residents over the age of 16 will need to have a fishing license to be able to fish in Kansas.

Trout Permits

Kansas fishing regulations require that both resident and non-resident anglers are required to get a permit to fish for trout in Kansas.

If you are fishing on waters stocked with trout between Nov. 1 and April 15, you must purchase a trout permit.

Nonresidents aged 16 and older, as well as all residents aged 16-74, must also have a valid fishing license in addition to the trout permit. 

These permits can be acquired at KDWP offices, most county clerk offices, license vendors, or online at ksoutdoors.com, and they are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

Paddlefish Permits

Anglers in Kansas can take part in paddlefish snagging with the Paddlefish Permit from March 15 to May 15 in posted areas inside Chetopa and Burlington city parks: 

  • Neosho River, Neosho River at Iola (downstream from dam to city limits)
  • Marais des Cygnes River below Osawatomie Dam (downstream to the posted boundary)
  • Marais des Cygnes River on the upstream boundary of each respective Wildlife Area (downstream to the Kansas-Missouri border and the Browning Oxbow of the Missouri River)

Pole and line with no more than two single or treble barbless hooks are allowed for snagging. Catch, and releases are allowed except that once a fish is attached to a stringer, it becomes part of the daily creel limit. 

The daily creel limit is two, while the season limit is six; the 24-inch minimum length limit applies for waters near the Missouri River boundary, and the 34-inch minimum length limit applies to Marias des Cygnes River. 

Measure the fish from the front of the eye to the fork of the tail.

Bass Pass

bass fish

Anglers participating in bass tournaments in Kansas need to purchase a Tournament Black Bass Pass (TBBP). 

This permit is required regardless of age or exemption status and gives anglers two privileges:

  • During weigh-in tournaments held between September 1 – June 15, the holder may keep up to five fish that meet the statewide 15-inch minimum length limit but are under the special length limit applies to the specific fishing location.
  • During weigh-in tournaments held between September 1 – June 15, the holder can also “cull” their catch after reaching the daily creel limit by releasing a smaller fish and replacing it with a larger one.

Handfishing Permit

Handfishing is legal from sunrise to sunset between June 15 and August 31 in the following areas with a permit: 

  • Arkansas River
  • All federal reservoirs (from beyond 150 yards of the dam to the upper end of the federal property)
  • Kansas River (from its origin downstream to its confluence with Missouri River) 

Anglers may not use hooks, snorkeling or scuba gear, or any other man-made device; possession of fishing gear except a stringer is also not allowed until fish are caught and at/above the surface of the water. 

The use of manmade objects like barrels, boxes, or bathtubs to attract fish is also prohibited.

A handfishing permit is required for all ages planning to handfish.

How to Buy a Kansas Fishing License

Kansas makes the process of purchasing a fishing license really easy and offers multiple ways to get one.


You can purchase your Kansas fishing license online by going to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website and ordering it there. 

Local Retailers

You can walk into any licensed agent (retailer) or visit any Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism office and purchase your license in person if it’s not possible to order your license online.

By Phone

Lastly, you are able to buy a Kansas fishing license by phone by calling 1-833-587-2164. 

How Much is a Fishing License in Kansas

KS Fishing LicenseLicense Fee
Lifetime Senior Resident Hunt/Fish Combination (age 65-74)$42.50
Senior Resident Fish (age 65-74)$15.00
Senior Resident Combination Hunt/Fish (age 65-74)$25.00
Resident 1-Day Fish License$6.00
Resident Annual Fishing License$27.50
Resident Combination Fishing & Hunting License$47.50
5 Year (multi-year) Resident Fish License$102.50
Kids Lifetime Fishing and Hunting License Information
Lifetime Fishing(Residents only)$502.50 – (If paid in 8 quarterly payments $69.00)
Kansas Lifetime Fishing License
Combo Lifetime Fishing & Hunting (Residents only)$962.50 – (If paid in 8 quarterly payments $131.50)
8 and Older Hunting and Fishing
Nonresident Fishing$52.50
Nonresident Combination Fish & Hunt$137.50
Nonresident Five-Day Fishing$27.50
Nonresident 1-Day Fishing$10.00
Resident/Nonresident Additional Permits
Trout Permit$14.50 (adult), $7 (youth)
Paddlefish Permit$12.50
Youth (15 and younger) Paddlefish Permit$7.50
Hand Fishing Permit$27.50
Bass Pass$14.50
Three Pole Permit$8.50
Duplicates (All Licenses/Permits)$2.50

Kansas Bagging Limits

Fishing in Kansas has different bagging limits depending on the species. 

The statewide 15-inch length limit on walleye, sauger and saugeye does not apply in rivers, streams, and tailwaters.

It is important to know specific fishing regulations that apply in the area you are fishing to ensure that you are within legal limits.

Type of FishNumber of FishLength of Fish
Channel catfish10Any Length
Blue catfish5Any Length
Walleye, sauger, saugeye (single species or in combination)515 inches
Rainbow trout, brown trout (single species or in combination)5Any Length
Black basses (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, single species or in combination)515 inches
Flathead catfish5
Northern pike230 inches
Striped bass5Any Length
Wiper (white bass/striped bass hybrid)5Any Length
Crappie50Any Length
White bass, bullhead, bluegill, and all other legal speciesNo limitAny Length

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fish in Kansas without a license?

You can fish in Kansas without a license if you are either under the age of 16 and over the age of 74. 

Everyone ages 16-74 is required to have a valid Kansas fishing license. Nonresidents are required to have a valid fishing license from 16+ years. 

Where do I get a fishing license in Kansas?

You can purchase a fishing license in Kansas online, from any licensed agents, visit any Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism office, or call 1-833-587-2164. 

Do you need a fishing license if you’re over 65 in Kansas?

You do need a fishing license if you’re over 65 in Kansas. Resident anglers between the ages of 65-74 need a senior resident license.

Those who are above 74 years old can obtain a complimentary lifetime license. 

Do I need a fishing license on private property in Kansas?

You do need a fishing license on private property in Kansas in most circumstances.

This includes impoundments with a stream going into and/or out of it, as well as impoundments owned or operated by more than one person or group. 

Final Thoughts

As a responsible angler, your purchase of a fishing license plays an essential role in maintaining the health of the state’s waterways and fisheries.

Taking the time to get your license ensures that you are helping preserve these waterways for generations to come. 

Furthermore, following fishing regulations established by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism is paramount in making sure that the fish populations are not overfished and habitats are not destroyed. 

Once you’ve got your Kansas fishing license, download our lures cheatsheet, so you always know what lure to throw and when to throw it.