Law 356-HB 691 of the 2021 regular legislative session created sweeping changes to fishing and hunting licenses and fees. Although current licenses do not expire until June 30, new license purchases on June 1 will be subject to the new fee structure. A summary of the changes to Law 356 can be found at the following link ‘Understand our new license fee changes’.
Some of the key changes to recreational hunting and fishing licenses that will take effect June 1 are listed below:
- Simplified fishing gear fees:
- Basic Residential Freshwater Fishing Licenses will include all legal means/equipment to catch freshwater species (e.g., hoop nets, purse seines, ribbon traps, trammel nets, cast nets with radius less than 8′ , 6”, wire nets, pipes, buckets, drums, tires, cans, lobster traps, lobster nets)
- Residential saltwater fishing licenses will include all legal means/equipment to take saltwater species (eg, crab traps). [up to 10]shrimp trawl up to 25 feet, oyster tongs)
- 365-day licensesNote: 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 year from July 1 to June 30.
- Automatic license renewal: LDWF is pleased to offer an automatic renewal option for online license sales. This will allow people to store their payment information in the system and choose to have their licenses automatically renewed each year.
- Youth Hunting License and Tags: Beginning June 1, youth (age 17 and younger) who are actively hunting deer or turkey, participating in a lottery hunt, or trapping must have a youth hunting license (or a lifetime license) . Youth who are spectators (not actively hunting), or who hunt game other than 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 primitive and archery privileges as well as tags
- Turkey Hunting License: Previously, a hunter needed to obtain all of the following licenses to hunt wild turkeys: Basic Game, Big Game, and 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 permission: Starting June 1, you will need a permit to visit an LDWF Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for any reason: boating, hiking, birding, 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 the LDWF, is $20 per year (resident/non-resident) or $5 per day (resident/non-resident). All funds generated from permit fees will be dedicated to the management of the WMAs. Youth under the age of 17 are not required to have a WMA access permit. Sportsman Paradise license and Lifetime licenses include WMA access permission.
- WMA camping permit: As of June 1, staying overnight at a WMA-designated campground will require a camping permit (in addition to the access permit). The camping permit is $7/night for up to five adults camping together and must be displayed at the party campsite. All funds generated from permit fees will be dedicated to the management of the WMAs. Youth under the age of 17 are not required to have a camping permit. A campsite is defined as any tent, RV, mobile home, vehicle, or occupied site within a campsite or boat/houseboat moored adjacent to a campsite.
- Disabled Veterans License: Effective June 1, the combined license fee for disabled veterans will be $4. However, this fee will be covered by donations made to the program through the Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
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