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Ohio Fishing License Requirements

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Source:  Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife

On May 5 and 6, 2018, all Ohio residents are invited to experience Ohio’s free public fishing days without purchasing a license. All size and bag limits apply during these two days. Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937 can obtain a free license at any license outlet, or online at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov.

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty while on leave or furlough are exempt from the fishing license requirements. Holders of veteran license plates displaying the international wheelchair symbol, certain veterans who are permanently disabled and former prisoners of war are exempt from the fishing license requirements.  Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty stationed in Ohio, but not on leave or furlough are required to purchase a resident license.

Ohio residents who are mobility impaired and require the assistance of another person to cast and retrieve and residents of state and county institutions are eligible for a free license, but must submit a formal application (Form DNR 9032), which is available online or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543).

A fishing license is required to take frogs or turtles on public and private property. Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs that are open to public fishing through an agreement or lease with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife are required to have a fishing license.  Persons fishing must have their license in their possession while fishing and must show the license to anyone on request. Licenses can be displayed using a mobile device

Anglers age 16 and up are required to have an Ohio fishing license to take fish from Ohio waters. Fishing licenses are available at all authorized license sales agents and online. Ohio’s license year begins March 1 and ends the last day of February. Persons less than 16 years of age are exempt from the fishing license requirements, including frogs and turtles. Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs to and from which fish do not migrate are not required to have a license to take fish. Assisting an angler who has been issued the free mobility impaired or blind fishing license, provided the two persons together are using only one line, does not require a fishing license. Also exempt are persons fishing, or taking frogs and turtles, on land and water which they or their parents own, except where the land is in or borders on state parks or state-owned lakes and/or fishing, or taking frogs and turtles, on land and water where they or their parents are tenants on which they reside, and from which they derive the majority of their income from agricultural production on that land (except state-owned lakes). 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is Ohio’s source for state parks, forests, wildlife areas, natural areas, hunting and camping. ODNR regulates and manages state lands, wildlife programs, oil and gas, and water resources for the benefit of all Ohioans.  Information concerning recreation, regulations, landowners, programs and how to contact ODNR can be found on http://ohiodnr.gov.  

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