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South Dakota Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

South Dakota Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

South Dakota fishing licenses must be acquired by all beginner and experienced anglers to fish in certain bodies of water. Fishing credentials are issued by the SD Fish, Game and Parks and state residents and visitors alike can buy a fishing license online or from a license dealer. However, prior to planning a fishing trip, anglers are encouraged to learn about fishing basics by enrolling in some of the many fishing education classes in SD. Expert anglers can become members of a fishing club or organization and learn about the newest fishing trends, share their knowledge or participate in conservation activities. Find out about fishing in South Dakota by reading the sections below:

Types of South Dakota Fishing Licenses

In South Dakota, anglers are required to purchase a fishing permit through the state’s Game, Fish and Parks Commission in order to legally fish in state waters. When buying a South Dakota fishing license, applicants have the option to choose from the following types of permits:

  • Resident fishing licenses
  • Non-resident fishing licenses

State residents must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for a resident fishing license:

  • Be a SD resident for at least 90 days prior to purchasing the license to fish
  • Not be a resident of another state
  • Not have a fishing license in another state

You can get a fishing license in SD through one of the following methods:

  • Online
  • In person

To buy a fishing license online, visit the SD GFP website and utilize the department’s online license system. Be ready to enter the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your identification information (from your driver’s license or ID card)
  • Your mailing address, phone number and email address

Make sure to have a valid credit card at hand to pay license and processing fees. South Dakota fishing licenses can also be purchased in person, from an authorized license agent.

Resident Fishing Licenses in South Dakota

Resident fishing licenses in South Dakota are available to all state residents who are at least 16 years of age. There are different kinds of licenses to fish, such as:

  • Annual fishing ($28)
  • Senior fishing ($12)
  • One-day fishing ($8)
  • Resident hoop net ($10)
  • Resident game fish spearing and archery ($5)
  • Resident setline ($5)

Nonresident Fishing Licenses in South Dakota

For South Dakota visitors, the following non resident fishing licenses are available:

  • Family fishing ($67)
  • One-day fishing ($16)
  • Three-day fishing ($37)
  • Annual fishing ($67)
  • Annual youth fishing ($25)

Non-residents who are 16 years of age or younger are not required to have fishing credentials when accompanied by an adult with a valid SD fishing license. However, the youth’s catch must be properly included in the daily limit of the adult.

Out-of-state residents, who are on active military duty in South Dakota, and members of the SD National Guard, who do not reside in the state, are considered residents for the purposes of obtaining a resident fishing license in South Dakota.

South Dakota Fishing Education

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission offers fishing education opportunities to both amateurs and expert fishermen. With an emphasis on youth education, SDGFPC’s programs aim to introduce South Dakota’s youth to the sport of fishing while organizing hands-on workshops in school or outdoor settings. Explore the below programs available to SD students:


  • Kids Fishing Weekend
  • Trout in the Classroom

Kids Fishing Weekend

Organized by the SDGFPC, the Kids Fishing Weekend event takes place every summer at Lake Sharpe. Led by fishing professionals, these workshops provide basic angling instruction to kids in a family-friendly environment. Youth anglers are provided the opportunity to fish with commission-provided fishing gear and they compete for various prizes. Children also have the opportunity to view a variety of fishes in fishing tanks set up on site and learn about their habitats.

Trout in the Classroom

Tailored to fit the state curricula, the Trout in the Classroom program provides students with the unique opportunity to raise trout in school settings. The program’s applications are versatile, as activities related to science, social studies, mathematics, arts and physical education can be combined with the program’s workshops. Through the program, students can learn:

  • How to foster conservation ethics.
  • How to monitor the water quality.
  • How to study stream habitats.
  • How to raise trout from eggs.

South Dakota Fishing Organizations

Anglers who would like to enhance their fishing skills or meet like-minded sportsmen can join one or more of South Dakota’s fishing clubs and organizations. Many of these associations focus on developing youth fishing education programs and promoting the state’s conservation policies. Explore a few of SD’s fishing clubs and organizations below:

  • South Dakota Bass Federation
  • Black Hills FlyFishers

South Dakota Bass Federation

As a state association comprised of local fishing clubs, the South Dakota Bass Federation is open to everyone, from anglers who strive to preserve South Dakota’s fisheries to serious tournament fishermen. Applicants of all ages can join the SDBF through one of its local fishing organizations where novice fishermen can learn the basics of the sport, and professional anglers can refine their fishing technique. The benefits of the SDBF membership include fishing in statewide fishing tournaments and exchanging fishing experiences and ideas with like-minded individuals.

Black Hills FlyFishers

Affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Black Hills FlyFishers’ mission is to improve and preserve the aquatic ecosystem of the Black Hills fisheries. Founded by conservation-minded fishermen, the BHFF regularly funds a variety of preservation projects with a number of volunteers on hand.Among the many activities, the club realizes:

  • Monthly meetings.
  • Youth fishing seminars.
  • Fishing equipment loan programs.
  • Casting and fly-ty.