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BWCA Fishing Regulations and Licenses

Anyone 16 years of age or older who chooses to fish in the BWCA is required to have a license. Fish eaten as part of shore lunch count towards daily fish possession limits.

Minnesota Residents must meet legal residency requirements and must provide their Minnesota driver's license or public safety identification. Nonresidents must provide their nonresident driver's license number, Minnesota DNR number from a prior license or social security number to obtain a license. For short-term licenses, anglers may choose any consecutive dates.

To purchase a non-commercial game or fish license, a customer must either have their social security number (SSN) on file with the DNR or must provide it as part of the license application. Once your SSN is in our records, you will not be asked again for this number. United States residents who do not have a SSN must complete and sign a form stating that they have not been issued a SSN.

Licenses Issued Without a Fee

Permanent angling license issued to any Minnesota resident over age 16 who is mentally retarded or a veteran with a 100% service-connected disability. Available only from the DNR License Center. Annual angling and/or spearing license may be issued to Minnesota residents who are blind, disabled, receiving a supplemental income (SSI, SSD), receiving worker's compensation for total and permanent disability, ward of the Commissioner of Human Services, a resident of a state institution that has an approved application, or a foreign exchange student attending school in Minnesota. To get SSI or SSD benefit verification, call 1-800-772-1213, visit the following web site or visit your local Social Security office. Foreign exchange students may receive a free annual angling license with proof of foreign exchange student status.

Exempt from License Requirement

Minnesota residents in the U.S. Military who are stationed outside the state. Military staff must carry leave or furlough papers. Patients of a state hospital or U.S. Veterans Administration hospital, inmates of a state correctional facility, residents of a Minnesota licensed nursing or boarding care home, and residents of a licensed board and lodging facility. Persons who are enrolled in and regularly participate in an adult day care program of a Minnesota licensed nursing or boarding care home. Residents of a drug or alcohol residential treatment program who are under the age of 20. Persons must carry written consent from the superintendent or chief executive of the institution. Residents who receive aid under the federal Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 (U.S. Code Title 45, section 228b (a5) or receive U.S. Postal Service disability pay under U.S. Code Title 5, section 8337. Railroad and Postal Service exemptions must carry evidence of disability retirement.

CBO has a complete list of detailed regulations and can help you with any questions you may have.

MN Fishing Licenses may be purchased online at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or at our Moose Lake base. The 2017 rates are:

Non Resident: 7-day Individual $39.00
Non Resident: Annual Youth (16-year and 17-year-olds) $6.00
Non Resident: 3-day Individual $33.00
Non Resident: 14-day Married Couple $49.00
Non Resident: Annual family $61.00 - covers youth under 16.

For organized groups staying in the Boundary Waters, you may obtain a certificate allowing all youth under 16 to fish without a licensed guardian or parent. Call or write: Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, 1201 E. Hwy 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, (218) 327-4455.

Fishing Licenses quoted were accurate as of September 17, 2008, but are subject to change without notice.