Fishing Licenses 

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Reciprocal Agreements

Mississippi and Arkansas recognize the resident fishing and commercial fishing licenses of the two states on flowing waters of the Mississippi River and all waters between the main levees of the Mississippi River, excluding the St. Francis, White and Arkansas rivers and oxbow lakes accessible from the mouths of the St. Francis, White or Arkansas rivers. Licensees must abide by the regulations of the state in which they are fishing. The agreement does not include frog hunting.

Missouri and Arkansas recognize the sport fishing and resident commercial fishing licenses of the two states on the flowing waters of the St. Francis River that form a common boundary between the two states. A sport-fishing licensee or legally exempt resident of either state abides by the regulations of the state issuing the license. The agreement does not apply to tributaries, bayous and backwaters of the St. Francis River.

A White River Border Lakes License (WRL) is available for a $10 annual fee. This license allows holders of a valid resident license from either state to fish all waters of Bull Shoals, Norfork and Table Rock lakes without a fishing license from the other state. The permit is valid for impounded waters (the waters between Beaver Lake Dam and Houseman Access in Arkansas are excluded). Trout may not be taken with this license. Anglers younger than 16 do not need to buy this license to fish in Missouri waters. Anglers are required to abide by the fishing regulations of the state where they are fishing. The only differences in regulations are:

  • On Table Rock Lake, spotted bass must be at least 12 inches long to keep (Arkansas) or at least 15 inches long to keep (Missouri).
  • On Lake Norfork, anglers may take up to three stripers and hybrids and 25 white bass of any size per day in Arkansas, except for striped bass, which must be over 20 inches. In Missouri, anglers may take up to 15 stripers, hybrids, white and yellow bass, only four of which may exceed 18 inches long.

Tennessee and Arkansas recognize the fishing licenses of both states on the flowing waters of the Mississippi, adjacent sloughs, bayous, old river runs (if accessible by boat from the river proper) and old river chutes that form a common boundary. Not included are wildlife management areas and the Wolfe, Loosahatchie, Hatchie, Forked Deer and Obion rivers. Anglers must abide by the regulations of the state in which they are fishing. Commercial fishermen must abide by the regulations of the state in which they are fishing, however, closures by either state are recognized by both states. The agreement does not apply to tributaries, bayous or backwaters except as specifically provided herein.

Sport anglers on Ikes Chute, Hopefield Chute, Mosquito Lake, Mound City Lake, Island 40 Chute and Lake Neark shall comply with Arkansas sport fish, size and creel limits. Fishermen and waterfowl hunters may not attach any device or equipment to, nor trespass on private property without the landowner’s permission.

Angling on the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Line

Arkansas River Border

Arkansas and Oklahoma do not have a reciprocal license agreement for waters along their shared border. Anglers fishing on the Arkansas side of the official state line must have an Arkansas fishing license, and anglers fishing on the Oklahoma side of the official state line must have an Oklahoma fishing license.

The state line runs from the second rock jetty downstream of the Garrison Avenue Bridge (U.S. Highway 64) on the west side of the river to approximately the third bridge support column of the same bridge from the east side (the Arkansas side) of the river. It continues from the bridge support to the mouth of the Poteau River and up the center of the Poteau River to the old Port of Fort Smith.