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FAQs

Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division

Frequently Answered Questions about Freshwater Fishing in Alabama

Logo for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, ADCNR

Why am I being asked for my hunter education card or number when I buy a fishing license?

The Wildlife Heritage Act of 2007 created a Wildlife Heritage License allows:

  • residents to fish in freshwater statewide with hook and line from the bank
  • residents to fish in WFF operated Public Fishing Lakes (daily lake permits required)
  • residents to hunt small game, except waterfowl, on WFF WMA (WMA permit required)
  • residents to shoot on WFF managed shooting ranges 
  • residents to support wildlife
  • These privileges are also included in all resident hunting and freshwater fishing licenses except the Disabled Fishing License).
  • Residents who have not completed the hunter education course but are required to complete one will have a fishing license that indicates supervision required. This supervision requirement is not for fishing but for the hunting component of the Wildlife Heritage license that is included in the fishing license.

Traci with a big bassCan I fish from my pier in public waters without a fishing license? Normal fishing license requirements apply to anglers fishing in public freshwaters of Alabama from a private pier.

I am 67 years of age and a non-resident. Must I purchase a fishing license to fish the public waters of Alabama? Yes. Non-residents 16 years of age and older must first purchase a fishing license before fishing the public waters of Alabama.

Is a fishing license required to fish private lakes or ponds? No. Fishing licenses are only required to fish in public waters.  Permission of the pond owner is required to fish a private lake or pond.

I’m active duty military and a resident of Alabama home on leave. Must I purchase a hunting/fishing license? No, residents on active duty home on leave may hunt and fish without license, but they must have proof of leave in their possession.

I’m a non-resident but stationed in Alabama with the military. Must I purchase a hunting/fishing license? Yes, but you are allowed to purchase a resident hunting and/or fishing license.

Is there a special fishing license for disabled persons? Yes. Persons that are totally disabled and have been a resident of Alabama for six months may obtain this license for $1.00. Applications for this license can be obtained on-line as a PDF or from the Probate Judge or License Commissioner in the county in which they reside.

I am concerned about fish flesh being contaminated with something that may be harmful to me. Where do I find out about fish consumption advisories? The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) handles listing waters containing contaminated fish.  Fish are collected by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and are chemically analyzed by ADEM. The ADPH lists their findings under the "Contents A-Z" at the top of their main page, www.adph.org. Look for "Fish Consumption Advisories." The ADPH site will list waters that have advisories and waters that scientists have checked, and fish were found not to be a concern to human health.  These lists are updated annually.

2001 State Fish Art Contest Winner; Levin - Artist


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