How To Get a Fishing License
You’ve already picked out your favorite fishing gear and are counting down the days until your awesome new reel arrives – but will you be ready to go fishing, even when you’ve got all the gear? Many new fishermen and women do not realize that all 50 states require a license to fish in public bodies of water. Luckily, the process is easy, affordable, and can often be done online, right from the comfort of your own home.
What Is a Fishing License?
A fishing license is a document, often worn as a clip-on badge or sticker, that indicates you have paid a required fee to the state and are allowed to fish in public waterways. Fishing licenses are generally purchased once per season. Anglers who are interested in fishing for specific kinds of fish such as trout or salmon may need to purchase special permits for that particular activity as well. The fees paid for licenses and permits help states maintain public waterways and fish populations, ensuring that everyone can continue to enjoy the sport for years to come. According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, fishing licenses generated over $700 million for conservation and restoration in 2018 alone.
Buying a Fishing License
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service website contains a handy directory that makes it easy to buy a fishing license in any state. Licenses can be purchased online in just a few clicks. Many states also offer in-person license purchases through designated agents. A simple call to your state’s fish and game regulation office can point you in the direction of the closest place to buy a new license.
You are welcome to purchase a fishing license for the state you live in, or another state you plan to visit. It is very affordable for state residents to purchase a fishing license, making fishing a fun and accessible activity. Out-of-state fishing licenses are slightly more expensive, but remember – your license fee goes to help keep natural resources beautiful for everyone. If you will be going on a guided fishing trip in another state, check with your tour guide to see if fishing licenses are provided or if you will need to buy your own.
If you will be fishing from a boat, a separate boating license may be required.
Using Your Fishing License
Your new fishing license will come with instructions on how it needs to be displayed or worn while you are fishing. Be sure to have it with you on the water in case any state game officials ask to see it. Being able to produce your fishing license upon request not only saves you time and additional fees, but shows you are a committed, conservation-minded angler who wants to protect the waterways you enjoy. Happy fishing!