How Much are CA Fishing Licenses?

How Much are CA Fishing Licenses?

Are you an angling enthusiast looking to cast your line in the Golden State’s waters? If so, you’re probably wondering, “How much are CA fishing licenses?” This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on the costs, legal requirements, and benefits of obtaining a fishing license in California.

California Fishing License Costs

The cost of a California fishing license varies depending on several factors, including your residency status and the type of license you need.

How Much are CA Fishing Licenses?

Annual Sport Fishing Licenses

For California residents over the age of fifteen, an annual sport fishing license costs $54.00. Non-residents within the same age range can purchase an annual license for $145.80.

Short-Term Fishing Licenses

If you’re planning a brief fishing trip, you might consider a short-term license. These are available for both residents and non-residents at the following rates:

  • One day: $17.54
  • Two-day: $27.00
  • Ten-day: $54.00

Reduced Rates

California offers reduced rates for certain individuals. Disabled veterans, recovering service members, and low-income senior citizens can obtain an annual sport fishing license for just $8.24. Additionally, resident low-income Native Americans and individuals who are blind, mobility impaired, or developmentally disabled can apply for free annual sport fishing licenses.

Lifetime Sport Fishing Licenses

For those who plan to fish in California’s waters for many years to come, lifetime sport fishing licenses are available for residents only. The prices are as follows:

  • Ages 0-9: $594.75
  • Ages 10-39: $972.50
  • Ages 40-61: $876.00
  • Ages 62+: $594.75

Please note that additional report cards and validations may be required for certain target catch species or gear types.

Non-Resident Fishing License Costs

Non-residents over the age of fifteen can purchase an annual sport fishing license for $145.80. Disabled veterans who are non-residents of California can apply for an annual fishing license at a reduced rate of $8.64, provided they have a service-related disability of at least 50 percent and hold an honorable discharge status.

Free Fishing Days in California

Every year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts two Free Fishing Days. On these days, you do not need a fishing license to fish in California waters. Some areas even provide classes and seminars for novice anglers. However, all catch and length limit regulations still apply, and anyone catching sturgeon, steelhead, or salmon must hold a report card to comply with state regulations.


Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, fishing in California offers a unique experience. Understanding the costs and requirements of obtaining a fishing license is the first step to enjoying this pastime. For more information or to apply for a license, visit the official California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

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