At What Age Do You Need a Fishing License?

At What Age Do You Need a Fishing License?

The age at which you need a fishing license varies from state to state in the United States. However, most states require individuals aged 16 or older to obtain a valid fishing license before engaging in recreational fishing activities.

To provide a comprehensive overview, we have compiled the fishing license age requirements for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This information is current as of May 2024 and has been verified through official state wildlife agency websites.

Fishing License Requirements by State

Alabama

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older require a fishing license.
  • Children under 16 do not need a license.

Alaska

  • Residents under 18 and non-residents under 16 do not need a fishing license.
  • All others must have a valid Alaska sport fishing license.

Arizona

  • Residents and non-residents aged 14 and older require a fishing license.
  • Children under 14 can fish without a license.

Arkansas

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older must have a fishing license.
  • Those under 16 are exempt from the license requirement.

California

  • A sport fishing license is required for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and older also need a non-resident sport fishing license.
  • Children under 16 do not need a license.

Colorado

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 can fish without a license.

Connecticut

  • An inland fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older fishing in inland waters.
  • A marine waters fishing license is needed for saltwater fishing from age 16 and up.

Delaware

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and over also require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

District of Columbia

  • All anglers 16 and older require a fishing license, regardless of residency status.
  • Children under 16 do not need a license.

Florida

  • Residents and non-residents must have a fishing license if they are 16 years of age or older.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license in Florida.

Georgia

  • A current Georgia fishing license is required for anglers aged 16 and older, both residents and non-residents.
  • Children under 16 do not need a license.

Hawaii

  • All residents and non-residents regardless of age require a valid fishing license for freshwater fishing.
  • For saltwater fishing, only those under 16 are exempt from needing a license.

Idaho

  • Residents and non-residents aged 14 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Youth under 14 can fish without a license.

Illinois

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Those under 16 are exempt from the license requirement.

Indiana

  • Residents and non-residents aged 18 and older need a valid fishing license.
  • Anglers between 16-17 years old can purchase a youth license at a reduced rate.
  • Children under 16 do not require a license.

Iowa

  • A fishing license is required for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and over also need a non-resident fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 can fish without a license.

Kansas

  • Residents aged 16 through 74 and all non-residents 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Those under 16 and residents 75 and older are exempt.

Kentucky

  • Fishing licenses are required for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Youth under 16 do not need a license.

Louisiana

  • Residents aged 16 and older must have a basic fishing license.
  • Non-residents 16 and over require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

Maine

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Youth under 16 do not need a license in Maine.

Maryland

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older require a fishing license.
  • Children under 16 can fish without a license.

Massachusetts

  • A fishing license is required for residents aged 15 and older.
  • Non-residents 15 and over also need a non-resident fishing license.
  • Youth under 15 are exempt from the license requirement.

Michigan

  • Residents and non-residents aged 17 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Those under 17 can fish without a license.

Minnesota

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older need a fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 do not require a license.

Mississippi

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and over also require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

Missouri

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing permit or license.
  • Youth under 16 do not need a permit or license.

Montana

  • Residents and non-residents aged 12 and older require a fishing license.
  • Children under 12 can fish without a license.

Nebraska

  • A fishing license is required for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and over also need a non-resident fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 are exempt from the license requirement.

Nevada

  • Residents and non-residents aged 12 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Children under 12 do not need a license.

New Hampshire

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license in New Hampshire.

New Jersey

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older require a fishing license for freshwater fishing.
  • Youth under 16 and residents aged 70 and older are exempt.
  • No license is required for saltwater fishing from shore.

New Mexico

  • Residents and non-residents aged 12 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Children under 12 do not need a license.

New York

  • A fishing license is required for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

North Carolina

  • Residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Non-residents 16 and over require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 are exempt from the license requirement.

North Dakota

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older need a fishing license.
  • Children under 16 do not require a license.

Ohio

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and over also require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

Oklahoma

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 do not need a license.

Oregon

  • Residents and non-residents aged 18 and older require a fishing license.
  • Children under 12 do not need a license, while those aged 12-17 can purchase a youth license.

Pennsylvania

  • A fishing license is required for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

Rhode Island

  • Residents and non-residents aged 18 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Youth under 18 do not require a license.

South Carolina

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-residents 16 and over also require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Those under 16 can fish without a license.

South Dakota

  • Residents and non-residents aged 18 and older need a fishing license.
  • Youth under 18 do not require a license.

Tennessee

  • A fishing license is required for residents aged 13 and older.
  • Non-residents 13 and over also need a non-resident fishing license.
  • Children under 13 can fish without a license.

Texas

  • Residents and non-residents aged 17 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Those under 17 are exempt from the license requirement.

Utah

  • Residents and non-residents aged 12 and older require a fishing license.
  • Children under 12 do not need a license.

Vermont

  • A fishing license is mandatory for residents and non-residents aged 15 and older.
  • Youth under 15 can fish without a license.

Virginia

  • Residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Non-residents 16 and over require a non-resident fishing license.
  • Those under 16 are exempt from the license requirement.

Washington

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older need a fishing license.
  • Youth under 16 do not require a license.

West Virginia

  • A fishing license is required for residents aged 15 and older.
  • Non-residents 15 and over also need a non-resident fishing license.
  • Children under 15 can fish without a license.

Wisconsin

  • Residents and non-residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
  • Those under 16 are exempt from the license requirement.

Wyoming

  • Residents and non-residents aged 14 and older require a fishing license.
  • Youth under 14 do not need a license.

As you can see, while the specific age requirements vary slightly from state to state, the general consensus is that individuals aged 16 and older typically need a valid fishing license to engage in recreational fishing activities. However, it’s always best to check the latest regulations with your state’s wildlife agency before heading out to fish.

Remember, purchasing a fishing license not only ensures compliance with state laws but also contributes to the conservation and management of our valuable aquatic resources. By obtaining the proper licenses and permits, anglers play a vital role in sustaining healthy fish populations for generations to come.

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