Do You Need a Fishing License? Check Which States Require One

As an experienced angler, I understand the importance of having a fishing license. Not only does it ensure that you’re following the law, but it also helps to conserve fish populations for future generations to enjoy.

But do you know which states require a fishing license? Let’s take a closer look.

States That Require a Fishing License

The majority of states in the U.S. require a fishing license for both residents and non-residents. However, there are a few states that don’t require a license at all, or only require it for certain types of fish or locations.

Here are the states that require a fishing license:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How to Obtain a Fishing License

Now that you know which states require a fishing license, let’s discuss how to obtain one.

  1. Research Requirements: Before you purchase a fishing license, it’s important to research the requirements for your state. This may include specific rules and regulations, as well as fees and expiration dates.

  2. Prepare Necessary Documents: Once you know the requirements, you’ll need to prepare any necessary documents. This may include a valid ID, proof of residency, and a social security number.

  3. Purchase the License: You can purchase a fishing license online or in person at a local retailer. Be sure to bring all necessary documents and payment.

  4. Follow Regulations: Once you have your fishing license, be sure to follow all regulations set forth by your state. This may include limits on the number and size of fish you can catch, as well as specific locations and times you can fish.


In conclusion, if you plan on fishing in the United States, it’s important to know which states require a fishing license and how to obtain one. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you’re following the law and doing your part to conserve fish populations. So grab your gear and Get out on the water – just don’t forget your fishing license!


Sure, here are three popular FAQs with answers about fishing licenses:

Q: Do I need a fishing license if I’m just fishing for fun and not selling my catch?
A: Yes, you still need a fishing license in almost all states if you are over a certain age (usually 16 years old or older) and fishing in public waters. This includes fishing for fun or for personal consumption.

Q: What if I’m just fishing in a private pond or lake on my own property?
A: It depends on the state and the size of the pond or lake. Some states exempt private waters from fishing license requirements, while others require a license for all fishing regardless of ownership. Check your state’s fishing regulations for specific rules.

Q: Can I fish in multiple states with just one fishing license?
A: No, each state has its own fishing license requirements and you will need to obtain a separate license for each state you plan to fish in. Some states may offer reciprocal agreements that allow you to use a license from another state under certain conditions, but it’s always best to check with the state’s fishing authority to make sure you’re legal.

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