License and Regulation Questions

License requirements, catch and length limits, and legal equipment answers.

For answers to further questions, view and download a copy of our fishing regulations summary here.  These pages and this publication are not intended to be a complete listing of all Kansas fishing regulations.

I lost my license. How do I get a new one?

If you purchased your license online:  Contact us at (620) 672-5911

If you purchased your license from a local vendor:  return to the store where the license was purchased, or contact the county clerk in the county where the license was purchased.

I purchased my license online but couldn't print it. What should I do?

Contact us at 620-672-5911 or click here to contact us

I purchased a second license by mistake. How do I get a refund?

Contact us at 620-672-5911 or click here to contact us

Can I purchase a license by phone?

Yes.  To purchase a license by phone, call 1-800-918-2877.

Where can I get a copy of the fishing regulations and license requirements for Kansas?

Free copies of our regulations summary are available from most license vendors.  To download a PDF version of the regulations, click here.

Who needs a license, and where can I get one?

Click here for who is required to purchase a fishing license in Kansas.

Click here to purchase a license online, or contact us at 620-672-5911.

Do I need a license if I'm only helping my kids fish?

If you are going to take a child fishing, buy a license for yourself.  Invariably, you will end up with the pole in your hand.

I am disabled. Do I need to purchase a fishing license?

Anyone with a permanent physical disability that prevents them from fishing may apply for a Disability Assistance Permit. 

The permit allows a licensed designated person to actually harvest fish while accompanying the permit holder.  For more information or applications, contact KDWP Law Enforcement at (620) 672-5911.

Does a person assisting an angler need a license?

Yes.  However, anyone needing assistance - due to a permanent physical disability that prevents them from fishing - may apply for a Disability Assistance Permit.

The permit allows a licensed designated person to actually harvest fish while accompanying the permit holder.  For more information or applications, contact KDWP Law Enforcement at (620) 672-5911.

Is night fishing allowed?

Night fishing is allowed at most public waters.  Check local rules before fishing at night.

Can I help another person catch his or her limit of fish?

No, it is illegal to assist another person in catching his or her limit of fish.

Is there a law restricting the number of fish I can have in my freezer?

Yes, the possession limit on all fish species is three times the daily creel limit for that species.

Can lighted lures be used in Kansas?

Yes, lighted lures may be used in Kansas.

Is a license required to catch crawdads?

No license is required to catch crawdads for non-commercial use.

Can you professionally guide on public lakes and streams?

Yes, professional guiding is allowed on public lakes and streams.

I am an American Indian. Do I need to purchase a fishing license?

Anyone residing in Kansas who is at least one-sixteenth American Indian by blood, and is so certified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, may apply to Wildlife and Parks for a free fishing license, which must be in possession when fishing. 

All other laws and regulations apply to American Indians.  However, to fish with a third pole, American Indians are required to purchase a three-pole permit.

Am I exempt from purchasing a fishing license because I am in the military?

Persons on active duty in the armed forces, who entered the service while residents of Kansas, may purchase a resident fishing license. 

Non residents on active military duty stationed in Kansas are entitled to purchase a resident fishing license, which they must have with them while fishing, along with evidence of active duty.

Do non-resident children need a fishing license?

Non-resident children age 15 and younger are not required to purchase a fishing license. 

All non-residents 16 and older must have a valid nonresident license to fish in Kansas, unless fishing on a private pond.  Guests of landowners fishing on streams and rivers must have a fishing license

Do I need a fishing license to fish in a private pond?

Landowners, tenets and members of their immediate family living with them are exempt from fishing license requirements for waters on land they own or lease for agricultural purposes. However, a license IS REQUIRED for all others fishing on private land if:

  1. The private impoundment has a stream or river going into and/or out of it – whether the stream is continually flowing or not.
  2. The private impoundment is owned or operated by more than one person or group. In this case, the owner(s) or operator(s) would be exempt from the fishing license requirement only while fishing on the portion of the impoundment that they own.
  3. You are a guest of landowner or operator and fishing on streams or rivers on their land.
  4. The impoundment is leased by the department from the pond owner, through the F.I.S.H. program.
  5. The impoundment has been stocked by the state within the past 10 years.

The above rules apply to watershed ponds, any man-made impoundment, or any stream or river.

Where and how do I register my boat?

Click here for information on registering your boat.

How many poles can I fish with?

Each angler is limited to two lines with not more than two baited hooks (single or treble) or artificial lures per line.

However, you may purchase an additional three pole permit, which allows you to fish with one additional pole by clicking here.

What are slot limits?

Slot limits are used by biologists to improve fish growth rates within a population. 

For instance, if the slot length limit for bass is 13-18 inches, bass from 13-18 inches long must be returned to the water.  Bass shorter than 13 inches and longer than 18 inches, however, may be kept.

Can I use sport fish for bait?

Any legally taken sport fish, of legal length and having been taken by hook and line only, may be used for bait. 

Can I use a cast net to catch sport fish?

No, any type of net is illegal for taking sport fish.

What are the sport fish in Kansas?

Sport fish species include: 

Northern Pike, walleye, sauger, saugeye, yellow perch, striped bass, white bass, wiper (white bass/striped bass hybrid), black bass (largemouth, spotted and smallmouth), trout, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, paddlefish, and panfish (bullhead, black and white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, warmouth and rock bass).

What are the bait fish in Kansas?

Bait fish species include: 

Minnow or carp family (Cyprinidae), sucker family (Catostomidae), top minnows or killifish family (Cyprinodontidae), shad family (Clupeidae), sunfish family (Centrarchidae), excluding black basses and crappie.  Bait fish exclude any of those fishes specifically named by regulation as Kansas threatened or endangered species.

Is is legal to bait or "chum" on public waters?

It is legal to bait, or ?chum? water to attract fish. 

Check city and county laws for waters managed by these localities.  Some may have local ordinances against chumming.

Is it legal to shoot carp with a bow?

Yes, carp may be taken with a bow. 

All public waters are open to bow fishing, unless posted otherwise, so consult local rules before bow fishing.  Bow fishermen must have in possession a valid Kansas fishing license, unless exempt by law.  Arrows must have barbed heads, and each arrow must be attached by a line to the bow and must be shot from the bow.  Waters within 50 yards of an occupied boat dock or ramp, occupied swimming area, occupied picnic site or camping area, and other public use areas are closed to bow fishing.  Firearms may not be used to take fish.

How do I report a violation of a fishing regulation such as fishing without a license or keeping fish under the legal limit?

Call Operation Game Thief toll free at 1-877-426-3843. 

This phone number is for the reporting of violations only.  Contact phone numbers for the Conservation Officer in each county are also available in the regulations handbook.