Are you worried about getting your fishing license? The common beginner angler question is “how much is a fishing license?”

This article will show the various factors that affect fishing license’s price as well as the rules and regulations on fishing across states.

Type Of Fish

Fishing license prices vary depending on the preferred type of fish. The rarity of the fish is one of the biggest indicators of the price of the fishing license.

Fishing license to gather clams and oysters are the cheapest fishing license. Salmon, steelheads and sturgeons, on the other hand, fetch a high price.

There are also combination fishing licenses where people can fish and gather a wide selection of fishes. These types of licenses are generally more expensive than most fishing licenses.


Prices of fishing license also vary depending on the intended method of fishing. Generally, fishing using normal fishing rods has cheaper fishing license costs.

There are others, however, who wants to go for a hunting rather than a fishing activity. Usually, these licenses cost higher and has a more delicate process.

More expensive specialty licenses give hunting privileges to use equipments such as crossbows. Basically, the state grants them permission to hunt as a recreational activity for a higher price.


Adults are not the eligible age bracket who can apply for a fishing license. Parents who want to have fishing as a family activity can also acquire a fishing license for their children.

Fishing licenses for children have three age brackets. Children at the age of four years old or below fetch the lowest price.

Senior citizens and veterans also gain special privilege in getting their fishing licenses. The state legislature mandated that seniors are eligible to acquire fishing licenses for a discounted price.

Resident vs Non-resident

Residents registering for a fishing license enjoy a cheaper price compared to non-residents. Moreover, there are fishing licenses that are only allowed for residents of the state.

Prices vary according to the residency because there are certain fish types that are unique to a particular state. In light of protecting the fishing resources of the said state, fishing licenses are carefully issued to non-residents.

In terms of duration, state allows only a maximum of a week of freshwater fishing. Likewise, the state also encourages residents to get long-term fishing licenses.

Variations Across State

The United States does not have a singular and unified fishing law in the country. Thus, states have varying prices in terms of acquiring fishing licenses as well as their fishing rules.

States base their prices for fishing licenses based on the current situation of their resources. States with an abundant fish population offer cheaper fishing licenses to the community.

The funds gathered through the registration for a fishing license are allocated to the maintenance and enhancements of the water bodies in order to sustain fishing activity in the state longer.

The fishing licenses are set to the state-mandated price to control the population who engage in fishing activity in the state. This is also essential for maintaining the resources  the water bodies.


The price of fishing licenses increases depending on the intended duration of the of the fishing license. The longer the person intends to enjoy his fishing rights, the more expensive the fishing license.

Most states offer up to a lifetime fishing license. This license gives the angler an annual renewal o his fishing license for the rest of his life.

Of course, this type of fishing license is the most expensive fishing license in all states. Most people acquire lifetime fishing licenses as a personal investment.


People can apply for a fishing license at any sporting goods stores in the US. Most of these sporting goods stores have an automated registration panel where people can start acquiring a fishing license.

Most states offer government websites where people can apply for a fishing license. However, application through these websites have an additional charge.

Registration for a fishing license only needs a driver’s license or a social security number and the payment. The fishing license comes as a slip indicating the type of fishing license.