Idaho Fishing License: A Comprehensive How-To Guide for Anglers

Idaho Fishing License: A Comprehensive How-To Guide for Anglers

Fishing in Idaho is a pastime that many people enjoy, but before you can cast your line into the water, you need to have a valid fishing license. It’s not just a formality; it’s a legal requirement that helps to conserve and manage fish populations, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the thrill of the catch. So, let’s dive into the details of how you can get your Idaho fishing license.

What is an Idaho Fishing License?

An Idaho fishing license is a legal document that grants you the right to fish in the state’s waters. It’s a way of regulating and managing fishing activities to protect and conserve fish populations. Fishing without a license can lead to hefty fines and penalties, so it’s always best to stay on the right side of the law. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Who Needs an Idaho Fishing License?

If you’re 14 years or older and want to fish in Idaho, you need a fishing license. This applies to both residents and non-residents. However, there are some differences between the requirements for residents and non-residents, especially for youth under 14.

For instance, a resident child under 14 has their own separate fishing limit, while a non-resident child under 14 must be with someone who has a valid fishing license, and their fish are included in the license holder’s fishing limit. However, a non-resident child may purchase their own license and have their own limit.

Special considerations are also given to disabled individuals and veterans, so it’s worth checking out the specifics if you fall into these categories.

Idaho Fishing License: A Comprehensive How-To Guide for Anglers

Types of Idaho Fishing Licenses

Idaho offers different types of licenses, including hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. There are also controlled and general season hunts. General season tags are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while hunters need to apply for controlled hunts, which are issued through a random drawing.

Special fishing permits are also required for certain activities, such as fishing for salmon and steelhead or fishing with two poles. So, make sure you’re fully clued up on what you need before you head out!

The state of Idaho offers the following types of fishing licenses:

  • Resident Fishing Licenses
  • Nonresident Fishing Licenses
  • Junior Fishing Licenses (for ages 14-17)
  • Child Fishing Licenses (for ages 13 and under)
  • Disabled American Veteran Fishing Licenses
  • Disabled American Veteran Reduced Fee Combination Licenses

Where to Purchase an Idaho Fishing License

You can purchase an Idaho fishing license online, by phone, or in-person at various retail locations, including sporting goods stores, convenience stores, and department stores. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game website has a comprehensive list of vendors where you can buy a fishing license.

Exemptions from Idaho Fishing License Requirements

Certain age groups and military veterans may be exempt from the requirements of an Idaho fishing license. Some special fishing events, such as free fishing days, may also offer exemptions. Here are some of the exemptions:

  • Residents under the age of 14 are not required to have a fishing license.
  • Nonresidents under the age of 14 are exempt from the fishing license requirement but must have a valid permit.
  • Idaho residents who are 70 years of age or older and have continuously resided in the state for five years are eligible for a senior fishing license at a reduced fee.
  • Military veterans with service-connected disabilities may be eligible for a discounted fishing license or a free fishing license.

How to Get an Idaho Fishing License

Getting an Idaho fishing license is a straightforward process. You can purchase one online through or the “GoOutdoorsIdaho” mobile application. If you prefer to do things in person, you can also buy a license at an Idaho Fish and Game office or a license vendor.

Alternatively, you can make a phone purchase by calling 1-800-554-8685. Just remember to jot down your confirmation number for phone purchases. It’s as easy as pie!

Cost of Idaho Fishing Licenses

The cost of an Idaho fishing license varies depending on the type of license and whether you’re a resident or non-resident. There’s also an Access/Depredation Fee to consider. So, make sure you’re clear on all the costs before you make your purchase. After all, every penny counts!

Idaho Fishing Regulations

When it comes to fishing in Idaho, there are certain rules and regulations you need to follow. These are designed to protect fish populations and ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all anglers. So, make sure you’re up to speed with the regulations before you cast your line. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse!

Suggestions for New Anglers in Idaho

If you’re new to fishing in Idaho, don’t worry! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start with easy-to-catch fish species.
  • Try fishing in popular spots where fish are plentiful.
  • Learn from experienced anglers. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
  • Practice catch and release to help conserve fish populations.

Remember, everyone has to start somewhere, and with a bit of patience and practice, you’ll soon be reeling in your first catch!


Getting an Idaho fishing license is a crucial step for anyone planning to fish in the state’s waters. Not only does it ensure that you’re fishing legally, but it also contributes to the conservation and management of Idaho’s fish populations. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a complete beginner, make sure you have your license before you cast your line. Happy fishing!


What is the easiest way to get an Idaho Fishing License?

The easiest way to get an Idaho Fishing License is to purchase it online through the Idaho Fish and Game website. You can also buy your license at any of the Idaho Fish and Game offices or through participating vendors throughout the state.

What information do I need to provide to get an Idaho Fishing License?

When applying for an Idaho Fishing License, you will need to provide some basic information, such as your name, date of birth, address, and social security number. You will also need to provide information about the type of license you want, such as whether you want a resident or nonresident license, and what type of fishing you will be doing.

How much does an Idaho Fishing License cost?

The cost of an Idaho Fishing License varies depending on the type of license you want and whether you are a resident or nonresident. For example, a resident adult fishing license for the year 2021 costs $30.50, while a nonresident adult fishing license costs $103.50. You can find a complete list of license fees on the Idaho Fish and Game website.

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