Recreational Saltwater Bowfishing Permit
A Bowfishing Permit is required for anglers aged 18 years and older taking or attempting to take saltwater recreational fish with bowfishing gear or engaging in bowfishing activity south of the designated saltwater line (https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/boundaries). Anglers under the age of 18 years and anglers on a charter boat as clients are not required to have a Bowfishing Permit. The permit is free of charge.
Those engaging in spearfishing activities are NOT required to have a Bowfishing Permit.
Charter captains, including those fishing from vessels with a valid federal charter/headboat permit, are required to have a valid Charter Bowfishing Permit to take clients on bowfishing trips. A Charter Bowfishing Permit covers all paying anglers on a charter trip. A Charter Bowfishing Permit is also valid for the captain on any private, recreational bowfishing trips he may take. Charter captains should only register for a Charter Bowfishing Permit if they take clients on bowfishing trips. Charter captains who only go on private bowfishing trips (trips on which they are not acting as a captain/guide) should register for a private recreational Bowfishing Permit using their recreational fishing license. No person should have both a private recreational and Charter Bowfishing Permit at the same time.
Get a Bowfishing Permit
You can obtain, view, or renew a Bowfishing Permit online only. (If you're using Internet Explorer above version 8.0, you may experience issues. If so, try an alternate browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.) The Bowfishing Permit is not available through LDWF's license sales webpage or at any retail vendor. To register, you will need to have your LDWF Saltwater, Lifetime Fishing, Lifetime Hunting/Fishing, or Charter/Guide license number. If you do not know your 10-digit Lifetime Hunting/Fishing license number, you can look it up on our licensing site. You will also need a working email address.
What is a Bowfishing Permit?
A Bowfishing Permit is a free permit that is required in addition to all other applicable licenses and/or permits to anyone taking or attempting to take saltwater recreational fish with bowfishing gear or engaging in bowfishing activity south of the designated saltwater line (https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/boundaries).
What is the purpose of the Bowfishing Permit?
LDWF developed the Bowfishing Permit to help define the universe of anglers participating in bowfishing activity for saltwater species in order to potentially derive estimates of the proportion of harvest of recreationally important saltwater species from this activity, which occurs mainly at night and outside of our normal creel activity.
Do anglers under 18 years of age need a Bowfishing Permit?
I am not required to possess a Louisiana fishing license because I was born before June 1, 1940. Do I need a Bowfishing Permit?
Yes. When registering for a Bowfishing Permit, you must input your date of birth for verification of age prior to adding a permit to your account.
I am a bowfishing charter captain who also bowfishes recreationally. Which license type do I choose when registering for a Bowfishing Permit?
You should register for a Charter Bowfishing Permit only.
I am going on a charter trip as a client. Do I need a Bowfishing Permit?
No. The charter captain is required to have a Charter Bowfishing Permit, which covers all clients onboard.
I am a charter captain. Do I need a Charter Bowfishing Permit?
Yes, but only if you or anyone onboard intends to engage in bowfishing activity. A Charter Bowfishing Permit covers all clients on your boat.
I do not bowfish very often. Should I get a Bowfishing Permit just to be safe?
No. Register for a Bowfishing Permit only if you are planning to go on a private, recreational bowfishing trip. If you do not bowfish or only go bowfishing on charter boats as a client, please do not register for a Bowfishing Permit.
Can I register more than one person under one account or email?
No, each permit holder will need to have their own account.
How do I find my LDWF license number?
Go to the account dashboard on our licensing site. Log in using your social security number or driver's license number to find your LDWF license number.
Do I enter the dashes with my LDWF license number when registering for a Bowfishing Permit?
No, enter the 10-digit LDWF license number without dashes.
What should I do if my LDWF Lifetime License number is not 10 digits?
Enter your LDWF Lifetime License number as 10 digits by using leading zeros prior to your LDWF Lifetime License number.
How do I change my email address?
Once you're logged into your account, click the "Account Settings" (gear icon) to edit your email or password.
How do I change my password if I don't use the email on my account anymore?
Log-in to your account using your license number and date of birth. Once you're logged into your account, click the "Account Settings" (gear icon) to edit your email or password.
How do I change my address or contact information?
Once you're logged into your account, click the "Angler Profile" button to edit your mailing address.
Do I need a copy of my Bowfishing Permit when I go bowfishing?
Yes, you must have a printed or electronic copy of your Bowfishing Permit in your possession while fishing.
Am I required to report my landings?