The state of Arkansas allows both residents and non-residents to apply for a fishing license. If you’ve never had one before or if you want to go on an outdoor adventure you must carefully review the rules and regulations that apply to this region.

Unless you are fishing in a licensed ‘put-and-take’ pay lake, you need to carry a valid fishing license in order to take or attempt to take aquatic wildlife in the waters of Arkansas. This rule applies to those who are 16 or older.

You can purchase a fishing license over the counter from any of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offices as well as nature centers, sport good stores, and some discount boat docks. Depending on your possibilities and time, you can get it by phone or visit the website and click on the section that allows you to buy a license. The fishing privileges become effective immediately and the permit will arrive in the mail in a few days.

At the time this article was written,  the cost of a Resident Fisheries Conservation License (FSH) was $10.50. This permit allows you to fish the waters of the state with sports fishing tackle. If you want to catch trout then you must apply for a specific trout-fishing permit that costs $5 per year.

Residents that are older than 65 can apply for a Lifetime Fishing License at $10.50 or a Lifetime Combination Sportsman’s License that supports hunting and fishing activities for $35.50. In addition, the lifetime permit for fishing trout is another $5.00.

Showcased below you’ll find some prohibited acts that you must take into consideration if want to enjoy your fishing adventure in complete safety:


  • If a person violates the wildlife regulations in Arkansas gets points according to the class of offense. Depending on the nature of the violation, the points range from 6 to 99. If during a period of three years, the person accumulates 12 points or more, they will no longer be eligible for another permit released by the authorities in the matter. Once the person gets 18 points in 5 years, the hunting and fishing rights might be suspended.
  • It is illegal to refuse an officer’s lawful request to see or inspect anything related to your outdoor activity such as gear, weapon, or license.
  • You cannot, under no circumstance, illegally transport taken fish or wildlife across the state line.
  • Except for bream over 4 inches caught by hook and line and 4-inch bream, you can only use game fish and their parts, dead or alive, as bait or lures. Bream that has more than 4 inches must be counted as a part of your daily fishing limit.
  • Unless they were raised by a licensed fish farmer or the bream are shorter than 4 inches, you can’t buy or sell game fish. Either way, you need a fish dealer’s license in order to perform commercial activities.
  • It is prohibited to release any fish, baitfish or crayfish into the public waters if you don’t have written permission unless those species belonged to that specific area in the first place.



Some other angling laws that you might have to consider:


  • Authorities of Arkansas recommend washing your hands with soap after touching lead sinkers. Moreover, never put them into your mouth and keep the children away. Plus, avoid sinkers made of zinc because they are toxic to the waterfall.
  • It is illegal to possess a loaded firearm in a camping or fishing area unless you have a concealed weapon permit.

The penalties for not obeying this rules are applied as mentioned above. You receive points for a certain period of time that might get your license suspended. Once you reach three suspensions, you can receive a lifetime suspension of your fishing rights.



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