Fishing Regulations in Arkansas

Residents and non-residents of the state of Arkansas are both eligible to apply for a fishing license in the state. In the event that you’ve never had one before or if you’re planning an outdoor adventure, you should carefully review the rules and regulations that apply in this area.

You must have a valid Arkansas fishing license in order to take or attempt to take aquatic wildlife in the state’s waters, unless you are fishing in a licensed “put-and-take” pay lake. People who are 16 years of age or older are subject to this rule.


A fishing license can be purchased over the counter at any of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offices, as well as nature centers, sporting goods stores, and some discount boat docks in the state. Depending on your availability and time constraints, you can obtain it over the phone or by visiting the AGFC website at and selecting the section that allows you to purchase a license. The fishing privileges are effective immediately, and the fishing permit will be delivered to you via postal mail within a few days.

As of the date of publication of this article, the cost of a Resident Fisheries Conservation License (FSH) was $11.50 USD. Using this permit, you are permitted to fish in the waters of the state using only sport fishing tackle. If you want to catch trout, you must first obtain a trout-fishing permit, which costs $5 per year and can be obtained online.

Residents over the age of 65 can apply for a Lifetime Fishing License, which costs $10.50, or a Lifetime Combination Sportsman’s License, which costs $35.50 and allows them to participate in both hunting and fishing activities. In addition, a lifetime permit for trout fishing is available for purchase for $5.00.

If you want to enjoy your fishing adventure in complete safety, you should be aware of the following prohibited acts, which are listed in the following section:


  • If a person violates the wildlife regulations in Arkansas, he or she will receive points based on the type of offense committed. The severity of the violation determines the number of points awarded, which can range from 6 to 99. If a person accumulates 12 points or more over the course of three years, they will be ineligible for any further permits issued by the relevant authorities. If a person accumulates 18 points in five years, his or her hunting and fishing privileges may be suspended.
  • Any item associated with your outdoor activity, such as equipment, a weapon, or a license, cannot be withheld from an officer who has made a lawful request to inspect it.
  • No matter what the circumstances, it is strictly prohibited to illegally transport taken fish or wildlife across state lines.
  • With the exception of bream over 4 inches in length caught by hook and line and 4-inch bream, only game fish and their parts, whether dead or alive, may be used as bait or lures. Bream that measure more than 4 inches in length must be included in your daily fishing limit.
  • You are not permitted to purchase or sell game fish unless they were raised by a licensed fish farmer or unless the bream are less than 4 inches in length. In order to engage in commercial fishing activities, you must first obtain a license from the state of Florida.
  • If you do not have written permission to release any fish, baitfish, or crayfish into public waters, you are prohibited from doing so unless the species in question originally belonged to that particular area.


Other angling regulations that you may need to be aware of include:


  • After coming into contact with lead sinkers, the state of Arkansas recommends washing your hands with soap. Furthermore, avoid putting them in your mouth and keep children away from them. Additionally, zinc sinkers should be avoided because they are toxic to the waterfall.
  • In most camping and fishing areas, it is against the law to have a loaded firearm on your person unless you have a concealed weapon permit.


For failing to comply with these rules, the penalties listed above will be applied. You will receive points for a specific period of time, and your license may be suspended as a result. Once you have received three suspensions, you may be subject to a permanent suspension of your fishing privileges.