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

Ultimate Idaho Fishing License Guide 2024: Easy, Fast & Updated

Are you planning to go fishing in Idaho in 2024? Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to obtain your Idaho fishing license hassle-free.

In a nutshell, here are the key points covered:

  • License requirements and costs for residents and non-residents
  • Types of fishing licenses available (annual, short-term, etc.)
  • How and where to purchase your license (online, in-person, etc.)
  • Regulations, seasons, and limits for different fish species
  • Additional permits required for activities like salmon/steelhead fishing

License Requirements and Costs

In Idaho, anyone 14 years of age or older is required to have a valid fishing license to fish legally in the state’s waters. The costs for fishing licenses vary depending on your residency status, the duration of the license, and any additional permits needed.

Resident Licenses

  • Annual License: $30.50
  • 3-Year License: $73.75
  • 1-Day License: $13.50
  • Junior (14-17 years) Annual License: $13.75
  • Junior 3-Year License: $37.75
  • Senior (65+ years) License: $13.75
  • Disabled Veteran/Person License: $5.75

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual License: $108.00
  • 3-Year License: $320.50
  • Daily License: $22.75 (first day), $7 (each consecutive day)
  • Junior (14-17 years) Annual License: $23.75
  • Junior 3-Year License: $67.75

Please note that a Salmon/Steelhead Permit ($26 for non-residents) and a Two-Pole Permit ($15.25 for non-residents) may be required in addition to your fishing license, depending on the type of fishing you plan to do.

Types of Fishing Licenses

Idaho offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to different needs and preferences:

  1. Annual License: Valid for the entire calendar year, allowing you to fish statewide.
  2. 3-Year License: Valid for three consecutive years from the date of purchase, providing long-term convenience.
  3. Daily License: Perfect for short-term fishing trips, with the option to purchase consecutive day licenses.
  4. Junior License: Designed for anglers aged 14-17 years, available as an annual or 3-year license.

Additionally, special permits are required for specific activities:

  • Salmon/Steelhead Permit: Necessary for fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Two-Pole Permit: Allows you to fish with two poles simultaneously (except in certain waters).

How to Purchase Your License

Idaho offers multiple convenient options for purchasing your fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the Go Outdoors Idaho website or use the mobile app to purchase your license instantly. You can save your digital license on your smartphone for easy access.
  2. By Phone: Call 1-800-554-8685 to purchase your license over the phone (additional fees may apply).
  3. In Person: Visit any authorized license vendor or Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) regional office to buy your license in person.

When purchasing online or by phone, you’ll need to pay a small processing fee in addition to the license cost.

Fishing Regulations, Seasons, and Limits

Idaho has specific fishing regulations, seasons, and limits in place to ensure sustainable fishing practices and protect fish populations. These rules vary by region, water body, and fish species, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the regulations before heading out to fish.

The Idaho Fishing Seasons & Rules booklet, published by the IDFG, provides detailed information on:

  • General fishing seasons for different regions
  • Special rule waters with specific regulations
  • Daily bag limits and possession limits for various fish species
  • Tackle restrictions (e.g., barbless hooks, bait restrictions)
  • Closed seasons and areas

It’s essential to review the regulations carefully and ensure you’re in compliance to avoid any potential violations or fines.

Additional Permits and Considerations

Salmon and Steelhead Fishing

If you plan to fish for salmon or steelhead in Idaho, you’ll need to purchase an additional Salmon/Steelhead Permit. The seasons and limits for these species are set annually, so it’s crucial to check the IDFG website or the Fishing Seasons & Rules booklet for the most up-to-date information.

Reciprocal License Agreements

Idaho has reciprocal license agreements with Oregon and Washington for certain border waters. This means that anglers with a valid license from one state can fish in the shared waters without needing an additional license from the other state.

Discounts and Special Considerations

Idaho offers discounted fishing licenses for certain groups, including:

  • Disabled Veterans: Eligible for a discounted license ($5.75).
  • Disabled Persons: Eligible for a discounted license ($5.75).
  • Military Furlough: Discounted licenses may be available for military personnel on furlough.

Additionally, children 13 years and under can fish for free in Idaho without a license.

Conservation Efforts and Public Access

It’s important to note that a portion of the revenue generated from fishing license sales goes towards supporting conservation efforts, habitat restoration, and providing public access to fishing opportunities in Idaho.

The IDFG stocks over 30 million fish annually in rivers, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and mountain lakes, ensuring a thriving fishing experience for anglers. They also maintain and manage hundreds of boating and fishing access areas, as well as prime wildlife habitat open to the public.

By purchasing your fishing license, you’re directly contributing to the preservation and enhancement of Idaho’s natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Free Fishing Day

Every year, Idaho celebrates a Free Fishing Day, typically on the second Saturday of June. On this day, everyone can fish without a license in the state’s waters. However, all other fishing regulations, including closures, bag limits, and size restrictions, still apply.

The 2024 Free Fishing Day in Idaho is scheduled for June 8th. This is an excellent opportunity for newcomers to try out fishing without the need for a license, or for experienced anglers to introduce friends and family to the sport.


Obtaining your Idaho fishing license for 2024 is a straightforward process, with various options available to suit your needs. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable fishing experience while contributing to the conservation of Idaho’s natural resources.

Remember to review the Idaho Fishing Seasons & Rules regularly, as regulations may change from year to year. Additionally, consider exploring the Go Fish Idaho website for helpful tips, fishing locations, and additional resources.

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