Getting a California Fishing License: A Simple Guide

Studying Time: 5 minutes

You don’t need to look far to seek out world-class fishing in California. From San Diego to Lake Tahoe, the Golden State presents an enormous vary of angling hotspots. What all of them have in widespread is that you simply want a California fishing license to take pleasure in them. How a lot does a license value? What sorts are there? And the place do you even purchase one? We’ll cowl all this and extra on this easy, jargon-free information.

Who wants a sportfishing license in California?

Each angler age 16 or older wants to purchase a California fishing license, which covers each freshwater and saltwater. This is applicable to state residents and non-residents alike, even should you’re fishing with a information or aboard a for-hire constitution boat. Nonetheless, there are just a few conditions the place you don’t want a license. Most significantly:

  • You don’t want a license to fish on public piers.
  • You don’t want a license on Free Fishing Days.
  • Anglers underneath 16 don’t want a license, however they do want a report card for some species (see under).

How a lot is a fishing license in California?

You should purchase a license for anyplace from a single day to a whole 12 months. One- and two-day licenses value the identical whether or not you’re a resident or not, however annual licenses are costlier for out-of-staters. Non-residents do have the choice to buy a 10-day license, although.

License Kind Resident Price Nonresident Price
1-Day License $16.46 $16.46
2-Day License $25.66 $25.66
10-Day License N/A $51.02
Annual License $51.02 $137.73

Need to spend the remainder of your life exploring these waters? We will’t blame you! CA state residents have the choice of shopping for a Lifetime Fishing License. Which means that you get a brand new annual fishing license annually, for so long as you wish to maintain fishing. You’ll be able to solely purchase Lifetime Fishing Licenses at a CDFW gross sales workplace, and the fee varies relying on the age of the angler:

License Kind License Price
0-9 Years Lifetime License $562.25
10-39 Years Lifetime License $919.00
40-61 Years Lifetime License $828.00
62+ Years Lifetime License $562.25

Hardcore sportfishers who need all of it also can buy a Fishing Privilege Package deal for $380.25 (value topic to vary). This consists of an Ocean Enhancement Stamp, Second-Rod Stamp, North Coast Salmon Report Card, and Steelhead Report Card – all legitimate on your entire life.

Diminished-Payment Fishing Licenses

Licenses can be found at a decreased fee in quite a lot of conditions. This consists of anglers who’re blind, developmentally disabled, or mobility impaired, in addition to disabled or recovering veterans and low-income seniors. These discounted licenses are often bought for round $8.

To use for a reduced-fee license, merely fill within the acceptable type and submit it to the CDFW together with any essential proof. For instance, disabled veterans will want a letter from the Veteran’s Administration stating that they had been honorably discharged and have a service-connected incapacity score of fifty% or larger.

Extra Necessities: Report Playing cards and Validations

Report Playing cards

Anglers fishing for Steelhead, Spiny Lobster, and Sturgeon in California will need to have the suitable report playing cards. A North Coast Salmon report card can also be obligatory when fishing for Salmon within the Klamath, Trinity, and Smith Rivers. You’d additionally want a validation to take Abalone, however they’re at the moment closed for harvest, so these aren’t out there in the meanwhile.

Report Card Kind Price
Sturgeon $8.90
Salmon (Smith or Klamath-Trinity River Methods) $7.05
Steelhead
$7.82
Spiny Lobster $10.29

You all the time want a report card to focus on these species, even in conditions the place you don’t want a fishing license. For instance, under-16s and anglers fishing from a public pier nonetheless want legitimate report playing cards.

Keep in mind to return your report card to the California Division of Fish and Wildlife by January 31 of the next 12 months, or by April 30 of the present 12 months for Spiny Lobster. You’ll be able to report your card on-line or mail it to the handle on the cardboard.

Ocean Enhancement Validation

Anglers planning to fish in ocean waters south of Level Arguello in Santa Barbara County want to purchase an Ocean Enhancement Validation ($5.66). One- and two-day sportfishing licenses include this included.

Second Rod Validation

A Second Rod Validation ($15.94) permits an angler to make use of two rods or strains whereas fishing in inland waters. This validation doesn’t apply to particular waters the place anglers can solely use barbless hooks and synthetic lures.

The place to Purchase a California Fishing License

You should purchase a CA sportfishing license straight from the California Division of Fish and Wildlife, both on-line or at certainly one of their license gross sales workplaces. Walmart, Large 5 Sporting Items, native sort out retailers, and different licensed retailers additionally promote sportfishing licenses. Remember that CDFW workplaces don’t settle for money funds.

Changing Misplaced Licenses

Misplaced your license? Not an issue! You will get a alternative on-line and in CDFW license gross sales workplaces.

Duplicate Sport Fishing Licenses value $11.37, whereas alternative Ocean Enhancement and Second Rod Validations are $3.24. Alternative Sturgeon Report Playing cards are solely out there in CDFW license gross sales workplaces, and value $16.22.

Frequent Questions on CA Fishing Licenses

How lengthy is my license legitimate?

Single-day, two-day, and 10-day licenses are legitimate from the date of buy or from a date of your alternative should you purchase them forward of time. Annual licenses are solely legitimate throughout the calendar 12 months of buy. Which means that your annual license will expire after December 31 of the present 12 months, regardless of while you purchase it.

Can I fish interstate waters with a CA fishing license?

California shares numerous fishing spots with neighboring states, together with Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, and the Colorado River. A CA sportfishing license is legitimate in all of those waters. You may also fish in Lake Tahoe or Topaz Lake whereas carrying a Nevada license, with a Trout stamp. Anglers fishing within the Colorado River alongside the California-Arizona border can carry both a California or Arizona fishing license.

Do I have to have my license seen whereas fishing?

No. In California, you now not have to have your license seen. You simply have to be sure to have it on you always.

Do I would like a license if I’m not fishing?

No. If somebody in your group is fishing, you don’t want a license so long as you’re simply watching. Nonetheless, should you take part in any manner, you do want a legitimate license. For instance, should you take your children fishing, it’s a good suggestion to have a license in case you’ll want to assist bait hooks or set the drag.

We tried to cowl all of the fundamentals of getting a fishing license in California. In the event you nonetheless have questions, we suggest you get in contact with tour native CDFW workplace and ask them straight. If not, discover a native constitution or simply seize your rod and begin fishing!

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