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Special Licenses



All anglers must purchase a paddlefish tag OR a snag and release license to fish for paddlefish. To purchase a tag or license, all anglers, regardless of age, must purchase a conservation license and a fishing license. Limit of 1 tag or license per person.

Paddlefish “harvest only” tags will be available via a lottery draw for the Upper Missouri River Paddlefish season only. There is a $5 non refundable application fee for the drawing. Anglers need to apply individually or as a party (up to five people) on or before March 31. Unsuccessful applications in the drawing will be sent a “catch/release only” license for the Missouri River. See page 86 of the 2016 Fishing Regulations for specifics on the Upper Missouri Paddlefish drawing.

Anglers, both residents and non residents, who do not want to participate in the Upper Missouri Paddlefish lottery, can purchase a snag and release license to fish for paddlefish. Snag and release licenses will be available for purchase after the lottery drawing has been completed.

Resident - $6.50 each
Nonresident - $15 each

Commercial Whitefish Fishing

A permit is required to sell whitefish. Contact a FWP regional office for a permit and a list of waters open to the commercial harvest of whitefish.

Commercial Bait Fish Seining and Sale of Bait Fish

Contact regional FWP offices for a Bait Fish Seining License and a list of waters open to commercial seining: $10 fee.

A bait fish seining license is required:

  • For persons 15 years of age and older to seine for and transport bait fish for commercial purposes in Montana;
  • For any person who seines for and has in his/her possession more than 24 dozen nongame bait fish.

Nongame bait fish (except carp, goldfish and rainbow smelt) may be harvested commercially and transported in accordance with Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) Section 12.7.201-12.7.204. Live bait fish or leeches may not be imported into Montana for commercial or other purposes unless authorized by FWP. Bait fish may not be exported without FWP authorization. Call 406-452-6181 or go online at for more information.

Aquatic Invertebrates


A valid fishing license is required to harvest crayfish for personal use (see "Licenses to Fish in Montana" for specific license requirements). Crayfish may be taken in traps no larger than 24x12x12 inches. Commercial harvest of crayfish for any purpose is prohibited.


In accordance with the Administrative Rules of Montana, Section 12.2.501, it is unlawful to take or possess freshwater mussels or their shells for sale or commercial distribution.

Collecting Aquatic Invertebrates Commercially

Persons wishing to collect aquatic invertebrates (such as leeches and aquatic insects) for sale or commercial distribution should contact their regional FWP office for information.

Montana Resident With Disability

Resident Person with a Disability Conservation License - $8.00

Must be permanently and substantially disabled. Applications available at regional FWP offices and online. These licenses are not available to nonresidents.

Legion of Valor

A Conservation License allows both residents and non-residents, regardless of age, to fish. Legion of Valor membership card is required to qualify.