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Ask a Conservation Officer: State eases fishing license rules for military

Q: I was recently discharged from the Army. Can I fish without a fishing license in Minnesota?

A: Minnesota has special considerations and exemptions from angling licensure for people who are serving or have recently served in the military. Nonresidents who are in the U.S. military and are stationed or training in Minnesota may purchase a resident’s license, provided they show proof of their service location. Minnesota residents who are in the U.S. military and stationed outside the state may fish without a license when they are home on leave, as long as they carry their leave or furlough papers with them. Residents who have served in federal active service outside the U.S. during the preceding 24 months, and are now discharged from overseas duty, do not need to purchase an angling license as long as they possess their discharge papers.

Matthew S. Miller is a Minnesota Conservation Officer with the Lake Superior Marine Unit. Send your questions to outdoors@