Commercial fishing licenses now available online

PAM BOESCH Contributing writer
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recently began processing commercial licenses online.

BATON ROUGE - The long-awaited site for renewing commercial licenses with state Wildlife and Fisheries is ready to begin processing applications, state officials say.

Fisherman have tried for years to have this process simplified. Prior to this change, renewals either had to be mailed or hand delivered to the department’s offices.

Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville, said it’s a “hardship” fishermen shouldn’t have to suffer, given the cost-effectiveness and ease of web-based services.

“You have to contend with the price of gas, drive all the way to Baton Rouge and lose precious time dealing with paperwork,” Harrison said.

He made such an argument during this year’s legislative session when the House and Senate approved his bill to put all commercial-license renewals online.

The resulting law states an online “license may be issued to the person who held that same license in the immediately preceding license year.”

Online renewals can be found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses. The cost varies based on the renewal needed.

The portal also offers other services, such as renewing boat registrations, purchasing certain hunting and fishing licenses and validating deer and turkey tags.

Hunters can also use the site to get their Harvest Information Program certification, which is federally required of all migratory birds hunters.

Users can even use the web to update addresses and personal information.

“We have advanced electronic systems at our fingertips,” Harrison said in an earlier interview. “Let’s use them.”