CommunityThis Week in Fish and Wildlife


This Week in Fish and Wildlife: Conservation licenses required for fishing access sites starting July 1

river floaters.jpg
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jun 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-26 16:00:13-04

Hundreds of thousands of people will use fishing access sites every summer, but very few will actually fish. Montana's licensed anglers have paid for its upkeep and maintenance—that is, until this legislative session.

“Montana legislature passed a bill that will now require anyone using certain types of state properties to purchase a conservation license,” said Morgan Jacobsen with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Those lands include fishing access sites, wildlife management areas, and state trust lands managed by the DNRC.

“So those three lands, if you folks plan on visiting these areas, using them for recreation starting July 1 they'll be required to purchase a conservation license to able to access those lands,” said Jacobsen.

If you hunt or fish, you already have a conservation license. If you don’t, you'll need to spend $8 and get one, ten bucks if you're not a resident. It will be good from March 1 until the end of February next year.

“We see hundreds of thousands of people visiting our sites here in southwest Montana who don't necessarily fish or purchase a fishing license, and so really this is an opportunity for them to participate in the upkeep and the maintenance and upgrades that happen at these sites so that we all can continue to enjoy them,” Jacobsen said.

“This requirement will be in place for anyone ages 12 and older, so starting July 1 if you plan to visit a fishing access site, go on to our website and purchase a conservation license or stop by our office we're happy to help,” he added.

Jacobsen notes that this does not include state parks. Most Montana residents already help fund those lands when they buy and renew their license plates.

So get the Montana My FWP app, fill out your info, and submit your eight bucks. You'll be good for the year and can feel good about yourself for helping take care of resources you use.