Buy a license and share the passion for fishing


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Fishing makes memories and license dollars fund work to maintain healthy fish populations

As a kid, Chakong Thao caught his first fish in an east metro area lake that continues to be a great place to start fishing, with 4 miles of fishable shoreline, a pier, easy access by car, bus or bicycle, and perhaps most importantly, lots of fish. 

“I remember catching my first fish ever, which was a sunfish over at Lake Phalen,” said Thao, who lives in St. Paul. “I remember the thrill of just pulling that fish out of the water.”

Chakong Thao

As an adult, Thao needs a fishing license, and dollars from purchase of that license help pay for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to manage, maintain and improve healthy fish populations and habitats in lakes like Phalen.

“People might not realize it, but by buying a license they are helping to share the passion for fishing with future generations,” said Jenifer Wical, the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife marketing coordinator. “Fishing license sales fund our ongoing fisheries work. Buying a license is simple, and we offer several different types of fishing licenses to fit your need.”

There are adult individual angling licenses and licenses for married couples. Anglers can buy licenses for 24-hour, 72-hour and three-year time periods. Lifetime licenses can keep someone fishing long into the future, and come at great prices, especially for children 3 and under and those ages 51 and older. Lifetime licenses can also be given as gifts.

Youth ages 16 and 17 can buy an annual license for $5. Minnesotans 15 and under are not required to buy a license to fish, but must comply with fishing regulations. All nonresidents need a license, except those age 15 and younger do not need one if a parent or guardian is licensed.

Buy licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

For those who hunt and fish, a sports license includes angling and small game, and a super sports license includes a trout/salmon stamp, small game with pheasant and waterfowl, and a deer tag (archery, firearms or muzzleloader).

To learn more about how the DNR spends hunting and fishing license dollars locally, visit the LicenseDollarsAtWork page and select an area near you.