Effective June 1, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the hunting license fee structure will be simplified.
According to the LDWF, Bill 356-HB 691 of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session brought 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 pricing structure.
The new fee structure, they say, streamlines the old process, reducing the number of permits required for hunters and anglers. These changes will provide the agency with a more stable source of revenue, which is critical to our ability to provide programs and services to Louisiana residents.
You can find a summary of the changes to Law 356 here: Understanding Our New Licensing Fee Changes
Here are some of the key changes to hunting and recreational fishing licenses that will come into effect on June 1:
- Simplified fees for fishing gear:
- Basic Residential Freshwater Fishing Licenses will include all legal means/gear for catching freshwater species (e.g. fyke nets, seines, slat traps, trammel nets, cast nets with a radius of less than 8′ , 6″, metal nets, pipes, buckets, drums, tires, canisters, crayfish traps, crayfish nets)
- Residential saltwater fishing licenses will include all legal means/gear to catch saltwater species (e.g. crab pots [up to 10]shrimp trawl up to 25 feet, oyster gripper)
- 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 year from July 1 to June 30.
- Automatic license renewal:
LDWF is pleased to offer an auto-renewal option for online license sales. This will allow individuals to store their payment information in the system and choose to have their license(s) automatically renewed each year.
- Hunting license and tags for young people:
As of June 1, young people (aged 17 and under) who actively hunt deer or turkeys, participate in a lottery or trap must have a youth hunting license (or a lifetime licence). Youth who are spectators (not actively hunting) – or hunting game other than deer or turkey – are not required to have a licence.
- Deer hunting license:
The Big Game license will no longer exist under the new consolidated pricing structure. Instead, 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 beacons
- Turkey hunting license:
Previously, a hunter had to obtain all of the following licenses to hunt wild turkeys: Basic Hunting, Big Game, and Louisiana Wild Turkey License. As part of the new consolidated pricing 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/year (resident/non-resident) or $5/day (resident/non-resident). -resident). All funds generated from permit fees will be dedicated to the management of the WMAs. Youth 17 and under are not required to have a WMA access permit. Sportsman Paradise License and Lifetime Licenses include WMA Access Permit.
- WMA Camping Permit:
Starting June 1, staying overnight at a WMA designated campground will require a camping permit (in addition to the access permit). Camping permit is $7/night for up to five adults camping together and must be posted at the party campsite. All funds generated from permit fees will be dedicated to the management of the WMAs. Youth 17 and under are not required to have a camping permit. A campsite is defined as a tent, RV, motor home, vehicle or occupied pitch in a campground or a ship/houseboat moored adjacent to a campground.
- Invalid veteran’s license:
Effective June 1, the combined license fee for disabled veterans will be $4. However, these costs will be covered by donations made to the program through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.
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