Fishing & Boating

Freshwater Commercial Fishing

The use of certain fishing gear and/or the selling of non-game gross fish are activities regulated under the authority of commercial fishing regulations.


Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License - $30.00*

Nonresident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License - $200.00"

Slat Basket License - $30.00*

*Prices do not include processing fees and agent fees.

All residents and nonresidents must purchase a Mississippi Freshwater Commercial Fishing License and a Slat Basket License in order to fish slat baskets in Mississippi waters. A Slat Basket License will still be needed for each slat basket that a person fishes.

A Freshwater Commercial Fishing License is needed to:

  • Sell, resell, ship or purchase for resale non-game gross fish and non-native fish
  • Fish commercial fishing gear
  • Harvest minnows from public waters
  • Sell minnows at wholesale
  • sell, resell, or export across state lines crawfish and freshwater shrimp taken from public waters
  • Special permits are required for Paddlefish harvest
  • Purchase a Slat Basket License (needed for each slat basket) 
  • Freshwater Commercial Fishing Licenses are sold at all fishing and hunting license vendor locations and at MDWFP Regional Offices; most State Parks; State Fishing Lakes the MDWFP Jackson Office. Freshwater Commercial Fishing Licenses can also be purchased by mail and over the phone with a credit card payment by calling 1-800-5GO-HUNT.
  • Application for Commercial Fishing License
  • Commercial Harvest Report Forms

Non-Game Gross Fish
The category of fishes listed as non-game gross fish are a valuable resource, supplying protein, income and enjoyment. These fish are sometimes referred to as rough fish. They consist of catfishes, buffalo fishes, paddlefish (spoonbill catfish), carp, shad, gar, drum, and several species of minnows. Non-game gross fish can be sold by persons having a commercial fishing license.

Commercial Fishing Gear
Non-game gross fish can be harvested using traditional sport fishing gear, but they can also be caught using commercial fishing gear, such as, gill nets, trammel nets, hoop nets (also called barrel nets, fiddler nets, and lead nets), slat boxes, and trotlines. A person must have a commercial fishing license to fish commercial fishing gear. Although a trotline can be fished on a sport license, a commercial license is needed when fishing more than 100 hooks in aggregate or to sell fish.

Recent Changes to Commercial Fishing Rules

Over the last several years the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Commission has made some changes to the rule concerning commercial fishing. The current Rule can be found at: Commercial Fishing Rule

  1. The minimum slat width on slat baskets shall be 1 ¼ inches.
  2. The minimum size for gill nets and trammel nets on all waters except border waters is 3.5 inches square measure. 
  3. Commercial fishing equipment will be TAGGED by a water proof tag that has the fisherman's MDWFP # on the tag. Persons fishing hoop nets, gill nets, trammel nets, commercial trotlines, crawfish traps, shrimp traps, and slat baskets will no longer have to purchase a tag from MDWFP. A valid tag for commercial fishing gear can be (a) a waterproof tag supplied by the fisherman with the owner's MDWFP Number, or Customer ID Number. 
  4. Persons with a Freshwater Commercial Fishing License may fish freshwater shrimp traps and crawfish traps.
  5. There is no license exemptions (age or disability) for those who fish commercially or for those helping a person with a Freshwater Commercial Fishing License fish commercial fishing gear:  A person holding a Freshwater Commercial Fishing License can be assisted by a helper who has any valid license issued by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks. Everyone in the boat with a licensed commercial fisherman is considered a "helper" and all helpers must have a license.

Rules & Regulations

Asian Carp Program

There are companies that buy the invasive Asian Carp species and need commercial fishermen to harvest these species. If you would like more information about these companies and how to contact them please call Dennis Riecke at (601)-432-2207 or send an Email to

Additional Resources


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