Kansas Fishing License Exemptions: Know Who’s Eligible for an Exception!

Who is Exempt from Kansas Fishing License?


Fishing is a popular recreational activity in the state of Kansas, attracting both residents and visitors alike. However, before casting your line into one of the many picturesque lakes or rivers in the Sunflower State, it’s crucial to understand whether you need a fishing license or if you fall under any exemptions. In this blog post, we will explore who is exempt from obtaining a Kansas fishing license and ensure you have all the necessary information at hand for an enjoyable angling experience.

Kansas Fishing License Overview:

Before delving into specific exemptions, let’s briefly discuss what a Kansas fishing license entails. The Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) governs fishing regulations across the state. Generally speaking, anyone aged 16 years and older needs to possess a valid fishing license when engaging in recreational angling activities within Kansas waters.

Main Exemptions from Kansas Fishing License:

1. Resident Landowners:

Kansas recognizes that landowners should have certain privileges on their property; therefore, resident landowners are exempted from purchasing a fishing license while on their own land. This exemption extends to their immediate family members residing on that property as well.

2. Children Under 16 Years Old:

Children below the age of 16 do not require a fishing license to cast their lines anywhere in Kansas—a wonderful opportunity for young anglers to discover and nurture their love for this outdoor pastime.

Additioal Exemptions Worth Noting:

1. Disabled Individuals

The KDWPT understands that some individuals may face physical challenges but still wish to enjoy nature through angling. Therefore, physically disabled persons who meet specific requirements outlined by the department are exempt from obtaining a fishing license.

2. Non-Resident Military Personnel:

Non-resident active duty military personnel stationed in Kansas can fish without a state fishing license, provided they possess a valid military identification card and have orders designating their assignment within the state.

3. Fishing Derbies and Tournaments:

If you are participating in an approved fishing derby or tournament that has received prior authorization from the KDWPT, you do not require an individual fishing license during the duration of the event.


While Kansas requires individuals aged 16 years and older to obtain a fishing license for recreational angling purposes, there are several exemptions worth noting. Resident landowners, children under 16 years old, physically disabled individuals meeting specific criteria, non-resident military personnel stationed in Kansas with proper documentation, as well as participants of authorized derbies or tournaments all fall under these exemptions. Remember to familiarize yourself with local regulations to ensure compliance before heading out on your next exciting fishing adventure!