Act 356-HB 691 of the 2021 regular legislative session created sweeping changes to fishing and hunting licenses and fees. Though current licenses don’t expire until June 30, new license purchases on June 1 will be subject to the new fee structure. You can find a summary of the changes from Act 356 at the following link ‘Understanding Our New License Fee Changes’.
A few of the key recreational hunting and fishing license changes that will take effect on June 1 are below:
- Simplified Fishing Gear Fees:
- Residential Basic Freshwater Fishing Licenses will include all legal means/gear for catching freshwater species (e.g., hoop nets, seines, slat traps, trammel nets, cast nets with a radius smaller than 8’, 6”, wire nets, pipes, buckets, drums, tires, cans, crawfish traps, crawfish nets)
- Residential Saltwater Fishing Licenses will include all legal means/gear for catching saltwater species (e.g., crab traps [up to 10], shrimp trawl up 25 feet, oyster tong)
- 365 Day Licenses: Recreational licenses purchased on or after June 1, 2022, will be valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. These licenses will no longer follow the July 1-June 30 year.
- Automatic License Renewal: LDWF is excited to offer an auto-renew option for online license sales. This will allow individuals to store their payment information in the system and elect to have their license(s) renewed automatically every year.
- Youth Hunting License and Tags: As of June 1, youths (ages 17 and younger) who are actively harvesting deer or turkey, participating in a lottery hunt or trapping are required to have a Youth Hunting license (or a lifetime license). Youths who are spectating (not actively hunting) – or who are hunting game animals besides deer or turkey – are not required to have a license.
- Deer Hunting License: The Big Game License will no longer exist under the new, consolidated fee structure. Rather, deer hunters will need to obtain a Deer License (in addition to the Basic Hunting License.) The new “Deer License” will include archery and primitive privileges, as well as tags
- Turkey Hunting License: Previously, a hunter needed to obtain all of the following licenses in order to hunt wild turkey: Basic Hunting, Big Game, and a Louisiana Wild Turkey License. Under the new, consolidated fee structure, the Big Game license will no longer exist. Turkey hunters will only be required to obtain a Basic Hunting License and a Turkey License (includes tags).
- WMA Access Permit: As of June 1, you will need a permit to visit an LDWF Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for any reason – boating, hiking, bird watching, berry picking, fishing or hunting. The fee for a WMA access permit, which grants access to the 1.5-million acres of land managed by LDWF, is $20/annual (resident/nonresident) or a $5/day (resident/nonresident). All funds generated from the permit fees will be dedicated to managing the WMAs. Youths 17 and under are not required to have a WMA access permit. The Sportsman Paradise license and Lifetime licenses include the WMA access permit.
- WMA Camping Permit: As of June 1, staying overnight on a designated WMA campground will require a camping permit (in addition to the access permit). The camping permit is $7/night for up to five adults who are camping together and must be displayed at the party’s campsite. All funds generated from the permit fees will be dedicated to managing the WMAs. Youths 17 and under are not required to have a camping permit. A campsite is defined as any tent, RV, camper, vehicle or site occupied within a campground or vessel/houseboat moored adjacent to a campground.
- Disabled Veterans License: As of June 1, a Disabled Veterans combo license fee will be $4. However, this fee will be covered by donations made to the program through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.
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