Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Georgia, attracting both locals and tourists alike. The state is home to a variety of freshwater and saltwater fishing spots, making it a haven for anglers. However, before you can cast your line in the Peach State, you need to obtain a Georgia fishing license. This license is mandatory for both residents and non-residents and is issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. This article provides a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about Georgia fishing licenses, including the types of licenses available, how to purchase them, important applications and forms, organ donation, and how to become a license agent.
Types of Licenses and Permits
There are several types of licenses and permits available in Georgia:
- Hunting/Fishing License: This is a basic license required for fishing privileges in fresh and saltwater, and for hunting.
- Commercial Licenses: These are license applications for commercial operations for fishing, trapping, and all other fish wildlife commercial operations.
- Special Permits: These permits are required for holding exotic and most native species of wildlife.
- Lifetime Licenses: These licenses are available for residents and non-residents and provide lifetime hunting and fishing privileges.
How to obtain a Georgia fishing license
The easiest and quickest way to purchase a Georgia fishing license is through the official website of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). You can visit the website at https://georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes. You’ll need to create an account and follow the step-by-step instructions to purchase a fishing license online.
You can also purchase a Georgia fishing license in person at a DNR office, a retail license vendor, or a county probate office. You can find a list of DNR offices and retail license vendors on the Georgia DNR website.
If you prefer to purchase a Georgia fishing license over the phone, you can call the Georgia DNR’s licensing division at 1-800-366-2661. The division is open from Monday to Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and on Saturdays, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Where to Buy a Georgia Fishing License
You can easily Get a fishing license in Georgia if you like to fish. You can buy one online, over the phone, or at a number of places around the state. Here are some popular places where you can purchase your Georgia fishing license:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Service Centers
If you’d rather buy your fishing license in person, you can go to any of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) service centers that are spread out across the state. In addition to selling fishing licenses, these service centers have information about Georgia’s fishing rules, wildlife management, and conservation efforts. Here are some of the contact details for the Georgia DNR service centers:
- Coastal Regional Headquarters: One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520 Tel: (912) 264-7218
- North Georgia Regional Headquarters: 2150 Dawsonville Highway, Gainesville, GA 30501. Tel: (770) 535-5700
- Central Regional Headquarters: 2070 US-278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025. Tel: (770) 918-6400
You can also visit the Georgia DNR website at https://gadnr.org/ to find a full list of their service center locations.
Several retail stores across Georgia sell fishing licenses. Here are the contact details for some popular stores where you can purchase your Georgia fishing license:
- Walmart: Multiple locations across Georgia Visit https://www.walmart.com/store/finder?location=Georgia&distance=25 for more information.
- Bass Pro Shops: 5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30043. Tel: (678) 847-5500
- Academy Sports + Outdoors: Multiple locations across Georgia Visit https://www.academy.com/shop/storelocator/georgia for more information.
Always call ahead to make sure fishing licenses are available at the store you want to go to, and find out if there are any special requirements or documents you need to bring with you.
Online through the Georgia DNR website
Georgia DNR website: https://georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes
To purchase your fishing license online, visit the above website and follow the instructions provided. You will need to provide personal information and payment details to complete the transaction. If you have any questions or concerns about purchasing your Georgia fishing license online, you can contact the Georgia DNR call center at (800) 366-2661.
Purchasing a Georgia fishing license is easy and convenient. You can choose to buy it online, in person, or at a retail store. We hope this guide helps you obtain your Georgia fishing license and encourages you to follow fishing regulations and conservation efforts in the state.
Georgia Fishing License Fees
The price of a fishing license in Georgia depends on the type of license and how long it is good for. The cost of a resident fishing license is $15 for one year, $25 for two years, or $35 for three years. A non-resident fishing license costs $50 for one year or $80 for two years. Senior fishing licenses for Georgia residents aged 65 and above cost $7 and are valid for one year. A disability fishing license for individuals with permanent disabilities also costs $7 and is valid for one year. Additional fees may apply for processing and handling, depending on the method of purchase. It’s essential to review the fees carefully before purchasing a Georgia fishing license to ensure compliance with state regulations and avoid any penalties.
|Type of License||Cost||Validity|
|Resident Fishing License||$15 (1 year) $25 (2 years) $35 (3 years)||1-3 years|
|Non-Resident Fishing License||$50 (1 year) $80 (2 years)||1-2 years|
|Senior Fishing License||$7||1 year|
|Disability Fishing License||$7||1 year|
|Combo Hunting & Fishing Licenses||Annual||$30||$150|
|Apprentice Hunting & Fishing License||One-Day||$5||$30|
|Fishing License (Resident: 16-64, Non Resident: 16+)||Annual||$15||$50|
|One Day||See combo||$10|
|+Additional Day||See combo||$3.50|
|Optional Youth Fishing License (younger than 16 years old)||Multi-Year$10||—|
|Senior Sportsman License (65+)||Annual||$7||—|
|Commercial Fishing License||Seasonal||$20||$200|
|Disability Fishing License||Annual||$3||—|
|Public Land Access||Term||Resident||Non-Resident|
|Georgia Lands Pass||Annual||$30||$60|
|Sports Licenses||Resident 16-64; Non-Resident: 16+||Annual||$65||$400|
|Optional Youth Sportsman’s License||Under 16||Multi-Year||$15||—|
|Senior Sportsman’s License (65+)||65 and over||Annual||$7||—|
|One-Time Honorary Veterans License||—||One-Year||FREE||—|
|Disability Sportsman’s License||—||Annual||$5||—|
|Infant Lifetime Sportsman’s License||Under 2||Lifetime||$500||$500|
|Youth Lifetime Sportsman’s License||2-5||Lifetime||$600||—|
|Adult Lifetime Sportsman’s License||16-49||Lifetime||$750||—|
|Older Adult Lifetime Sportsman’s License||50-59||Lifetime||$375||—|
|Senior Discount Lifetime Sportsman’s License||60-64||Lifetime||$315||—|
|Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License||65+||Lifetime||$70||—|
|Senior Lifetime Hunting License||65+||Lifetime||$35||—|
|Senior Lifetime Fishing License||65+||Lifetime||$35||—|
|Free Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License||65+||Lifetime||FREE||—|
|Military and Veterans Lifetime Sportsman’s License||16-49||Lifetime||$600||—|
|Non-Resident Grandchild Lifetime Sportsman’s License||2-15||Lifetime||—||$1500|
|Shooting Preserve Life License||—||Lifetime||$75||$75|
Please note that processing and handling fees may be extra, depending on how the item is bought. Before buying a Georgia fishing license, you should carefully look over the fees to make sure you’re following state rules and to avoid any fines.
When Does Your Georgia Fishing License Expire?
Georgia fishing licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase. You can find the expiration date of your fishing license printed on the license itself. It’s important to note that fishing licenses are not transferable or refundable, so make sure you purchase the correct license for your needs.
How to Renew Your Georgia Fishing License
Renewing your Georgia fishing license is a straightforward process. You can Renew your license online, in person, or over the phone. To Renew your license online, log in to your account on the Georgia DNR website and follow the instructions. You can also Renew your license in person at a DNR office, a retail license vendor, or a county probate office. If you prefer to Renew your license over the phone, call the Georgia DNR’s licensing division at 1-800-366-2661.
What Are the Consequences of Fishing Without a License in Georgia?
Getting caught fishing in Georgia without a valid fishing license is a misdemeanor that can lead to fines, court costs, or even jail time. The exact punishments depend on how bad the crime was and how the judge feels. Getting a valid fishing license is important before fishing in public waters to avoid getting in trouble with the law.
Georgia Fishing Regulations
Georgia has strict fishing regulations to protect and preserve the state’s natural resources. Some of the fishing regulations in Georgia include:
- Size and bag limits for certain fish species
- Prohibitions on the use of certain fishing equipment and methods
- Closed fishing seasons for certain fish species
- Restrictions on fishing in certain areas, such as private property or wildlife refuges.
Before going fishing in Georgia, it’s important to read and understand the rules so you don’t break any of them.
For this species, the guideline is 12 inches minimum statewide except for the areas mentioned below:
- Lake Blackshear: 14 inches
- Lake Blue Ridge: no minimum
- Lake Burton: no minimum
- Lake Juliette: no minimum
- Lake Lanier: 14 inches
- Lake Oconee: 14 inches
- Lake Lindsay Grace: Any largemouth mass that is between the length of 15 to 22 inches must be released immediately. Only one bass may be caught above 22 inches
- Lake Walter F. George: 14 inches
- West Point Reservoir: 14 inches
- Public Fishing Areas operated and managed by Department of Natural Resources: 14 inches
- Lake Lanier: 14 inches
- Flint River and its accompanying tributaries below Warwick Dam: 12 inches
- Flint River and its accompanying tributaries above Warwick Dam: 15 inches
- Lake Lanier: 14 inches
Striped bass, White Bass and Hybrid White-Striped Bass:
Only two fish that are longer than the length of 22 inches may be kept.
- In the areas of North Newport River, Medway River including Mount Hope Creek, Little Ogeechee River, Ogeechee River downstream Hwy 22 and downstream Hwy 96, Altamaha River, Saint Mary’s River, Satilla River and the tributaries to their rivers, require a 22 inch minimum for all fish
- The minimum length is 27 inches on the Savannah River and its tributaries downstream of J. Strom Thurmond Dam. These areas also have a two-fish limit.
No minimum length limit for trout except in the following water areas:
- Water creek:
- Brown and rainbow trout: 22 inches
- Brook trout: 18 inches
- Noontootla Creek and its tributaries on Blue Ridge WMA
- All trout minimum of 16 inches
Staying Compliant with Georgia Fishing Regulations
To stay compliant with Georgia’s fishing regulations, it’s essential to follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the state. Here are some tips for staying compliant:
- Before fishing in public waters, make sure you have a valid Georgia fishing license.
- Review and understand the fishing regulations in Georgia.
- Only use legal fishing equipment and methods.
- Follow size and bag limits for fish species.
- Respect private property and wildlife refuges.
By following these rules, you can fish in Georgia’s public waters and stay in line with the state’s rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a fishing license to fish in Georgia?
Yes, any individual aged 16 years or older needs a valid fishing license to fish in public waters in Georgia.
Where can I purchase a Georgia fishing license?
You can purchase a Georgia fishing license online, in person at a DNR office or retail vendor, or over the phone.
How long is a Georgia fishing license valid for?
A Georgia fishing license is valid for one year from the date of purchase.
What are the consequences of fishing without a license in Georgia?
Getting caught fishing in Georgia without a valid fishing license is a misdemeanor that can lead to fines, court costs, or even jail time.
What are some of the fishing regulations in Georgia?
Georgia has size and bag limits for certain fish species; restrictions on the use of certain fishing equipment and methods; closed fishing seasons for certain fish species; and restrictions on fishing in certain areas, such as private property or wildlife refuges.
Important Applications and Forms
There are several important applications and forms that you may need to fill out depending on your requirements:
- Lifetime License Application: This application is required for those who wish to purchase a lifetime license.
- Disability License Application: This application is required for individuals with disabilities who wish to apply for a special disability license.
- One-Time Honorary Veterans Hunting & Fishing License Application: This application is required for veterans who wish to apply for a one-time honorary hunting and fishing license.
Organ, tissue, and eye donation is a noble act that can save and enhance many lives. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources encourages everyone to become organ, tissue, and eye donors by joining Georgia’s donor registry.
Becoming a License Agent
If you are interested in becoming a Georgia license agent, you need to contact the Agent Help Desk for assistance. You can reach them via email at GoOutdoorsAgentHelp@outdoorlicensingsolutions.com or via phone at 855-502-6358.
Obtaining a Georgia fishing license is a crucial step for anyone planning to fish in the state. Whether you are a resident or a non-resident, a recreational angler or a commercial operator, there are specific licenses and permits that you need to obtain. Additionally, consider becoming an organ donor to help save lives and enhance the well-being of others. Lastly, if you are interested in becoming a license agent, contact the Agent Help Desk for more information.