Reciprocal Fishing Privileges

Fishing privileges on boundary waters common to Missouri and an adjoining state are mutually agreed upon by the two states. It is your responsibility to know which state you are fishing in and the regulations that apply to the waters where you are fishing. You must be licensed in Missouri to fish in Missouri tributaries of the Mississippi, Missouri and St. Francis rivers. You may not fish in the tributaries of these rivers in a state where you are not licensed.

Reciprocal Fishing Privileges
Properly licensed or exempted anglers from Missouri: Missouri River (Kansas, Nebraska) Mississippi River (Illinois, Kentucky*, Tennessee) St. Francis River (Arkansas) Des Moines River (Iowa)
May fish in the flowing waters of either state. X X X X
May fish in either state’s adjacent backwaters and shared oxbow lakes X X*   X
May fish from the bank or attach to the bank of either state. X X*    
Must abide by the regulations of the state in which you are fishing, regardless of where you are licensed. X X   X
Must abide by the regulations of the state where you are licensed, regardless of where you are fishing.     X  
Must abide by the most restrictive of the two states’ regulations when fishing the other state’s waters. X X   X

* For the purposes of these reciprocal fishing privileges with Kentucky, the Mississippi River is defined as the main channel and immediate side or secondary channels or chutes. It does not include oxbow or floodplain lakes, or backwaters that extend onto the floodplain or up tributaries when the river level exceeds 33 feet at the Cairo, Illinois, gauging station.

For more information on adjacent states’ regulations and permits, contact:

  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission: 800-364-4263
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources: 217-782-6302
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources: 515-281-5918
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks: 620-672-5911
  • Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources: 800-858-1549
  • Nebraska Game and Parks Commission: 402-471-0641
  • Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency: 615-781-6500