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Colorado Springs Fishing License Cost: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re an angler looking to cast a line in the picturesque waters around Colorado Springs, the first step is making sure you have a valid Colorado fishing license. Fishing licenses are required for anyone 16 years of age or older who wants to legally fish in the state’s bountiful lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams.

Purchasing a license not only keeps you compliant with state regulations, but the fees also go toward protecting and enhancing Colorado’s fisheries and aquatic habitats. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Colorado Springs fishing license costs, requirements, where to buy them, and more essential information to help you prepare for your next angling adventure.

Who Needs a Colorado Springs Fishing License?

Before diving into the details on fishing license costs, it’s important to understand who is required to have one:

  • Colorado residents aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license to fish in the state. You are considered a resident if you have lived continuously in Colorado for at least 6 months immediately prior to buying a license.
  • Non-residents visiting Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas must also purchase a fishing license, regardless of age. If you are not a Colorado resident, you will need to buy a non-resident license.
  • Youth under 16 years old can fish without a license. However, they must be accompanied by a licensed adult and their catch will count towards the adult’s bag limit.

There are a few exceptions to these general requirements. Colorado residents on active duty military leave can fish without a license for up to 30 days, as long as they carry their official leave papers. Additionally, anglers can fish without a license statewide during the annual Free Fishing Weekend, which takes place the first full weekend of June each year.

Types of Colorado Springs Fishing Licenses and Costs

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) offers a variety of fishing license options to cater to both resident and non-resident anglers. Here’s a breakdown of the 2024 license fees (note that all prices include a 25-cent search and rescue fee and a $1.50 surcharge for the Wildlife Education Fund):

Resident Fishing Licenses

  • Annual (ages 18-64): $41.83
  • Senior Annual (ages 65+): $11.47
  • Youth Annual (ages 16-17): $11.47
  • Low-Income Senior Lifetime (64+): $10.00 (one-time fee)

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

  • Annual: $117.14
  • 5-Day: $38.19
  • 1-Day: $19.97

Other License Types & Fees

  • Additional Day License (resident or non-resident): $7.82
  • Second Rod Stamp (resident or non-resident): $12.68

The annual fishing licenses are valid from March 1 through March 31 of the following year, giving you a full 13 months to enjoy Colorado Springs’ world-class fishing. If you only plan to fish for a short period, the 1-day and 5-day licenses offer more cost-effective options for non-residents.

The second rod stamp allows anglers to fish with a second line, doubling your chances of landing a trophy trout or hooking into a feisty bass. Keep in mind that purchasing the stamp does not increase your daily bag limits.

Additional Fees and Requirements

In addition to your fishing license, there are a couple other fees and requirements to be aware of:

  • Habitat Stamp: All anglers aged 18-64 must purchase a $12.15 Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp with their first license of the year. Funds from habitat stamp sales go toward preserving and improving wildlife habitats across the state. The stamp is valid from March 1 through March 31 of the following year.
  • Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Stamp: If you plan to fish using a motorboat or sailboat, you must purchase an ANS stamp to help prevent the spread of invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels. The stamp costs $25 for Colorado residents and $41.83 for non-residents.

It’s important to note that in addition to a fishing license, you may need a park pass or permit to access certain state wildlife areas, state trust lands, or Colorado Parks and Wildlife properties. Be sure to check regulations for the specific location where you plan to fish.

Where to Buy a Colorado Springs Fishing License

You have several convenient options for purchasing a Colorado Springs fishing license:

  1. Online via the CPW website at You can print out a temporary authorization number to use until your physical license arrives by mail.
  2. By phone at 1-800-244-5613. A sales representative can guide you through the licensing process and provide a temporary authorization number for immediate use.
  3. In person at a CPW office, state park, or one of over 600 license agents across Colorado, including many sporting goods stores, bait shops, and outdoor retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Use the CPW license agent locator to find a location near you.

When purchasing a license, be prepared to provide your driver’s license or state-issued ID, proof of residency, and social security number. If you’re buying a license online or by phone, you can pay with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) or CPW gift certificate.

Free Fishing Opportunities

If you’re looking to try fishing in Colorado Springs without the commitment of buying a license, mark your calendar for the Free Fishing Weekend. Held annually on the first full weekend of June, this event allows anglers of all ages to fish without a license at any public waterway in the state.

While no license is required during Free Fishing Weekend, all other rules and regulations apply, including bag and possession limits, fishing methods, and site-specific restrictions. CPW also hosts several other free fishing clinics and events throughout the year to introduce newcomers to the sport.

Fishing Season and Regulations in Colorado Springs

With your Colorado Springs fishing license in hand, it’s time to start planning your angling excursions. But before you head out, familiarize yourself with the fishing seasons and regulations for the waters you intend to fish.

In general, most Colorado waters are open to fishing year-round, but specific seasonal closures or restrictions may apply depending on the location and species you’re targeting. For example, some rivers and streams may be closed to fishing during certain times of year to protect spawning trout populations.

Additionally, daily bag limits, possession limits, length limits, and approved fishing methods can vary by water body. The Colorado Fishing Regulations brochure, published annually, is your go-to resource for statewide and special regulations.

As a responsible angler, it’s crucial to follow all rules and regulations to help maintain healthy fish populations and aquatic ecosystems. Practice catch and release when possible, handle fish carefully if you plan to release them, and properly dispose of fishing line, bait containers, and other trash to keep Colorado Springs’ waterways pristine.


Obtaining your Colorado Springs fishing license is a simple and affordable way to unlock access to some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. By understanding the license requirements, costs, and regulations, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and legal angling experience.

Remember, your license dollars directly support CPW’s fisheries management, habitat conservation, and angling access programs. So not only will you be able to pursue your passion for fishing, but you’ll also be contributing to the long-term sustainability of Colorado Springs’ world-class fisheries.

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