The Complete Guide to the South Dakota Fishing License

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

Whether you’re a traveling angler looking to explore what the great state of South Dakota has to offer or a resident ready to hit the water, getting your South Dakota Fishing License is the first step. 

It’s quick and easy, and once done, you’ll have access to some of the country’s best freshwater streams and lakes. In this guide, we’ll cover all the details of obtaining your license, so read on and get ready to fish.

Who Needs a Fishing License in South Dakota

SD Fishing License
16+ Years Old16+ Years old

Fish, turtles, bullfrogs, and baitfish can all be taken in South Dakota, but to do so legally you’ll need a fishing license. All persons aged 16 and over are required to have one – whether they’re a resident or just visiting. 

A valid license issued by the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks must be exhibited when requested by a conservation officer or other law enforcement official. 

Persons above the age of 16 who hold a license authorization are required to provide proof of identity such as a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or other valid identification for verification purposes. 

South Dakota has a policy preventing anyone with delinquent child support from holding a hunting or fishing license. 

If you owe more than $1000 in past-due child support, you won’t be able to get your license until entering into a repayment agreement with the Department of Social Services. 

Even if you’re making regular payments or complying with wage withholding orders for child support, you still need to enter into a repayment agreement before receiving your license.

Game Spearing

From May 1st to March 31st, you can use a legal crossbow, spear gun, spear, or bow and arrow to take game fish from Fort Randall Dam downstream 5.5 miles on the Missouri River. 

Game fish spearing hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Setline & Hoop Net Fishing

hoop net fishing in South Dakota

South Dakota residents are required to hold a valid fishing license if they wish to purchase Hoop Net, Trap, and Setline licenses. 

Each of these special licenses comes with a different fee: Hoop Net and Trap are both sold for $10 each, while Setline is available for $5 each.

Combination Small Game + Fishing

Residents between ages 19-64 have the option of taking out a Combination License, which covers both fishing and small game hunting privileges.

Tribal Water

Non-tribal members may need to obtain a Tribal Fishing License or access permit from the tribe if they plan on fishing in inland waters which overlay Indian trust property. 

However, if they are fishing on the Missouri River from shore or its impoundments, a state license is sufficient.

Ice Fishing Houses

Ice fishing shelters must display the name and address of the owner in two-inch letters on the outside. 

Portable shelters that are removed from the ice daily are exempt from this requirement. Shelter doors may only be locked from the outside when unoccupied. 

All shelters must be taken off the ice by midnight on February’s last day, though they can be used again if taken off daily afterward.

Family License

Family fishing in South Dakota

The Family Fishing License allows non-residents and their immediate family (children under 16 and spouses) to fish throughout the license period (annual). 

However, the combined harvest of all family members may not exceed one daily limit and one possession limit.

What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in South Dakota

To obtain a license, residents, and non-residents aged 16 or over must possess a valid South Dakota driver’s license or a state-issued and expiration-dated South Dakota ID card. These can be acquired at any South Dakota driver’s license office.


To be eligible for a resident license, an individual must have had their domicile within the state for at least 90 consecutive days immediately before applying for or purchasing any hunting, fishing, or trapping license/permit. 

Additionally, they must not claim residency in any other state or country and must have a valid South Dakota driver’s license and motor vehicles registered in South Dakota prior to application/purchase.

Active duty members of the armed forces of the United States stationed at a location outside the state can fish and hunt small game without payment of a fee or need for an applicable hunting and fishing license.

To be eligible for a resident license, individuals must:

  • Have been a full-time student in a post-high school institution or residing on restricted military reservations in the state for at least 30 days.
  • Have completed the GFP’s course of instruction and received a certificate of competency and resided in the state for 30 days.
  • Be members of the South Dakota National Guard or any other unit of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States located in South Dakota.
  • Have their domicile within the state for at least 90 consecutive days immediately before application/purchase.
  • Making no claim of residency in any other state or country for any purpose.
  • Claiming no resident hunting and fishing privileges in any other state or foreign country.
  • Have a valid South Dakota driver’s license and motor vehicles registered in South Dakota prior to application/purchase.
  • Certain exceptions apply, such as persons absent due to business in the United States or this state and persons who are patients in veterans’ hospitals.


There are six non-resident South Dakota fishing licenses available for visitors to choose from.

How to Buy a South Dakota Fishing License Online

South Dakota lake

Residents and non-residents can obtain fishing licenses in South Dakota at multiple retail stores, bait shops, and County Treasurer offices. 

When purchasing a license over the counter, individuals must present valid state-issued identification. Additionally, licenses may be purchased online and printed from home.


To purchase a license online, visit and fill out the application.

License Agent

If you would prefer to buy your license in person, you can find a local retailer near you from the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department.

How Much is a Fishing License in South Dakota

A $4 license fee is the maximum amount that can be charged for each fishing license sold or replaced by an agent or via the internet.

South Dakota Resident Licenses
License TitleLicense Price
Annual Fishing$28
One-Day Fishing$8
Combination Fishing and Hunting License$55
Senior Combination  Fishing and Hunting License(65 and over)$40
Junior Combination  Fishing and Hunting License (16-18)$27
Senior Annual Fishing (65 and over)$12
Habitat Stamp$10
Non-resident Fishing License in South Dakota
Annual Fishing$67
Annual Family Fishing$67
Youth Annual Fishing$25
Three Day Fishing$37
One Day Fishing$16
Habitat Stamp$25

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is an out-of-state fishing license for South Dakota?

An out-of-state fishing license for South Dakota varies in price depending on the type of license purchased. 

The most popular out-of-state fishing license South Dakota offers is the annual license that costs $67.

Can you buy an SD fishing license online?

You can buy an SD fishing license online by going to, filling out the application, and making the purchase.

What is the daily fish limit in South Dakota?

The daily fish limit in South Dakota is an extensive list that can be found on the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website.

Final Thoughts

Getting a South Dakota fishing license is easy and necessary in order to fish legally within South Dakota’s waters. 

Not only is obtaining a license the law but also it helps to protect and conserve our fisheries for recreational anglers and future generations. 

Once you do have your fishing license, be sure to download our bass fishing lures cheat sheet, so you always know the perfect lure to throw and the best time to throw it.