2023 California Fishing License Cost What You Need to Know.jpg scaled

2024 California Fishing License Cost: What You Need to Know

Fishing is a popular activity in California, drawing in anglers from all over the world. Before heading out to the water, it’s essential to know the different fishing licenses available and the associated costs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about 2024 California fishing license costs, including exemptions, special events, and insider tips.

Basic Fishing License Costs

A basic fishing license in California allows you to fish in both freshwater and saltwater. The cost of a basic fishing license for 2024 is as follows:

California Residents:

  • Annual License: $54.66
  • Two-Day License: $18.02


  • Annual License: $145.05
  • Two-Day License: $25.33

For those who are blind, disabled, or low-income, a reduced-fee fishing license is available for $8.38.

Additional Costs and Validations

In addition to the basic fishing license, there are other permits and validations you may need, depending on the species you’re targeting or where you plan to fish. These include:

  • Second-Rod Validation: $16.12 for residents, $16.54 for non-residents
  • Ocean Enhancement Validation: $5.62
  • Abalone Report Card: $25.33
  • North Coast Salmon Report Card: $8.25

It’s crucial to check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for the latest updates on fees and requirements before your fishing trip.

Exemptions And Special Events

While a fishing license is typically required to fish in California, there are some exemptions to keep in mind.

Children Under 16: Children under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license.

Disabled Veterans: Military veterans who are California residents and have a service-related disability of 50% or more can get a free fishing license.

Free Fishing Days: During certain days throughout the year, such as National Fishing and Boating Week or Free Fishing Day, fishing is allowed without a license.

Additionally, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts two Free Fishing Days each year, where a fishing license is not required. To participate in these events, anglers must still follow all fishing regulations and laws, including bag and size limits.

Insider Tip: Mark your calendar for the next Free Fishing Days in California – July 1, 2024, and September 2, 2024. These are excellent opportunities to introduce friends and family to the sport without the initial license cost.


In summary, a basic 2024 California fishing license costs $54.66 for residents and $145.05 for non-residents. Additional permits and validations may be required, depending on the species you’re targeting and where you plan to fish. Children under 16, eligible low-income individuals, and military veterans may be exempt from needing a fishing license. Lastly, keep an eye out for special events and Free Fishing Days that offer exemptions to the license requirement.

Remember, purchasing a fishing license not only helps fund conservation efforts to keep our waters healthy, but it also supports the sport of fishing for generations to come. Happy fishing!


How much does a 2024 California fishing license cost for residents?
A resident annual fishing license costs $54.66 for those aged 16-64. Senior residents (65 or older) can purchase an annual fishing license for $8.38, while a two-day license costs $18.02.

What is the cost of a non-resident 2024 California fishing license?
Non-residents can purchase a 2024 California annual fishing license for $145.05. A two-day non-resident license costs $25.33.

Are there any additional fees when purchasing a 2024 California fishing license online?
Yes, there is a convenience fee of $5.45 for purchasing a license online. If you purchase a license in person at a licensed agent or CDFW office, there is no additional fee. Additionally, some agents may charge a processing fee.

Similar Posts