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At What Age Do You Need a Fishing License

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Are you a teenager who would like to follow in the footsteps of your dad or uncle who is respected by everyone for his angling skills and experience?

Then you may be wondering if it’s necessary for you to get your hands on a fishing license before you fully plunge into a life where angling rules.

This article will provide you with an answer.

So keep on reading to know whether or not you need to purchase a fishing license.

But first, let us take a quick look at some of the reasons why having a fishing license is a definite must.

Are you aware of the fact that purchasing a fishing license in the US became a requirement only in the early 1900s (

This was done during the time of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Together with conservationists, they decided to require visitors from other states to purchase a fishing license.

And didn’t take long for even the local residents to be required to purchase a fishing license, too.

Such was deemed a necessity because of the increasing population of humans and a decreasing population of fish.

Before the 19th century struck, no one had to purchase a fishing license and anglers could catch fish to their heart’s content.

Why The Need For A Fishing License

You may be thinking that issuing a fishing license is counterintuitive as it gives everyone the opportunity to fish.

Well, it may seem true but the fact is it’s something that can be beneficial to both anglers and fish:

  • Purchasing a fishing license allows you to catch the fish you want, provided that you stick to the limit — by now, you should know that keeping as many fish as you want in a day is not legal.
  • A fraction of the amount of money used for purchasing a fishing license goes to wildlife research necessary for making sure that there’s always fish for anglers to catch.

If you care about fishing as well as the fish themselves.

Then you should consider purchasing a fishing license.

Otherwise, you could wind up paying a steep fine or even find yourself behind bars if you’re a repeat offender (!

Going back to the main topic of this article.

Different Requirements For Every State

Different states have different requirements in terms of who should purchase a fishing license.

And also at what age.

What’s more, there are different fishing licenses available for various kinds of anglers.

Again depending on which state you are living in or where you would like to go fishing (

They include: resident, non-resident, freshwater, saltwater and recreational fishing licenses.

To know which type of fishing license you should purchase.

You may inquire at a fishing equipment store in the area, local department office or an authorized licensing agency.

By the way, you can purchase your fishing license in many different ways:

  • in person
  • online
  • by phone
  • via mail

But then again where or how you can obtain a fishing license can differ from one state to the other.

Fishing License By State

Let’s take a look at some of the licensing information in some states just to give you a clearer idea on the fact that the age at which you should get your hands on a fishing license can vary tremendously:


If ice fishing is your thing, then heading to Alaska is the way to go.

However, make sure that you have a fishing license if you are over 18 years old.

Do take note that if you’re planning on angling for something that has an annual or a seasonal limit.

You should also have a Sport Fishing Harvest Record Card.


You may be surprised to learn that Arizona.

Despite its generally arid landscape, is home to one of the largest lakes in the southwestern part of the US.

And it’s none other than Lake Mead.

For as long as you have already celebrated your 10th birthday.

In the state of Arizona, you should purchase a fishing license.


There is only one type of fishing available in Colorado, and that’s freshwater fishing.

This only means that it is less confusing to purchase a fishing license in the Centennial State.

You don’t have to wonder if it’s this fishing license or that which you should get.

For as long as you are 16 years of age or older, you should purchase one.


Because of the presence of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

It’s no wonder why a lot of serious and casual anglers head to Illinois for some fun and excitement.

To ensure a trouble-free fishing experience, make sure that you purchase a fishing license before you go angling if you are at least 16 years old.


Getting a fishing license in Montana is complicated because generally…

Angling in the state requires you to purchase 3 different ones: a fishing license, conservation license and the AIS Prevention Pass.

There’s no need for you to get a license if you’re 14 years old and below.

Although kids between 12 and 14 years of age should purchase a conservation license (

North Carolina

If you’re planning on fishing in one of the various angling hotspots in North Carolina.

See to it that you purchase a fishing license beforehand if you are over 16 years old.

Do take note that additional licenses or privileges may have to be purchased if you wish to angle at some locations and for certain species of fish.


There is no need for you to purchase a fishing license if you are thinking about angling in the state of Oregon.

However, there’s a special youth license available for anglers between 12 and 17 years of age.

Purchasing tags, which come in various combination packages, is necessary for angling for some fish types in Oregon.


Due to the fact that there are lots of bodies of water and marine life in Washington.

It doesn’t come as a shock why there are various fishing licenses to purchase in the state.

Youths 15 years old and below may purchase special licenses at discounted rates.

By the way, there are licenses available for catching some species of fish.

Be sure to also check out: how much is a fishing license in ny

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