A fishing license is necessary for adults in almost every state. With children, the ages vary a bit based on the location. However, most of the time, children don’t need a fishing license until they’re 16.
It’s vital, however, to know the exact law in your state because you could be subject to legal consequences if you’re caught breaking a regulation. When children fish without a license, you could receive a fine for each child you have with you at the time. Additionally, you could receive a fine for each fish caught illegally.
Fishing Laws by State
This is a simple breakdown of the fishing license age requirements by state.
In Alabama, you need a fishing license once you reach 16.
In Alaska, you don’t need a license to fish until you’re 18.
Arizona is a bit different from other states. In fact, in this state, people need a fishing license at a younger age than in any other state. In fact, children require a fishing license at age 10.
Anyone who is 16 or older needs a license to fish.
California law states that anyone who is 16 or older will need a fishing license.
If you’re 16 or older in Colorado, you’ll need a fish license.
At 16, you’ll need to apply for a fishing license.
Delaware laws require that anyone who is 16 or older will need a fishing license.
In Florida, teenagers between 16 and 18 will need a fishing license. Anyone over that age will also need a fishing license.
All Georgia residents who are 16 or older require a fishing license.
In Hawaii, nobody needs a fishing license if they’re going freshwater fishing if it’s for recreational purposes only. Anyone who partakes in commercial fishing, however, will need a license.
In this state, anyone who is 14 or older needs to have a fishing license.
Any person 16 or over needs to have a fishing license.
Fortunately, in Indiana, children of any age don’t need to have a license to fish. However, once a person reaches 18, they’ll need a license to fish.
Iowa law says that all people who are 16 or over require a fishing license. Anyone who is under 16 can fish and keep their catches. However, there are limits regarding how many fish they can catch.
Kansas is another state that requires all people who are 16 or older to have a fishing license.
Kentucky makes it necessary for younger children to have a license to fish. In fact, in Kentucky, anyone who is 12 or older requires a fishing license.
People don’t need a fishing license in Louisiana until they turn 16.
A teenager doesn’t need a fishing license in Maine until they turn 16.
No child requires a fishing license under the age of 16.
Anyone under the age of 17 doesn’t require a fishing license, though, anyone who is under 17 must still follow state regulations and rules regarding fishing. An adult who is monitoring the young angler must have a fishing license.
Nobody who is under the age of 16 needs a fishing license.
You won’t need a fishing license to fish in Mississippi if you’re under 16.
According to Missouri law, you need an active fishing license if you’re over the age of 16.
A license is required for anyone who is 12 or older.
Anyone who is 16 or older needs to have a fishing license in Nebraska.
Anyone who is under the age of 12 may fish with a license. Once a child reaches 12, he or she must have a license.
No license is necessary if you are under 16.
You won’t need a license to fish if you’re 15 or younger. However, once you turn 16, you’ll need to start applying for a fishing license.
Anyone who is 12 or older needs to have a fishing license in New Mexico.
Children don’t need a fishing license until they reach 16 years of age.
In North Carolina, anyone who is 15 or younger doesn’t need a license. However, anyone 16 or older requires a license.
North Dakota residents need to have a fishing license if they’re 16 or older.
Ohio requires anyone who is 16 or older to get a license to fish.
Oklahoma’s law deems it necessary for anyone who is 16 or older to have a fishing license.
Nobody under the age of 15 needs a fishing license in Oregon, but those who are 16 or older need a license.
In Pennsylvania, you only need to have a license if you’re 16 or older.
You’ll need to have a license if you’re 15 or older.
Anyone who is 15 and under can fish without a license. Once a person is 16, though, he or she needs to have a fishing license.
Nobody under the age of 16 needs a fishing license.
People under the age of 13 can fish without a license. After 13, everyone needs to have a fishing license to fish.
A fishing license isn’t needed if you’re under the age of 17.
Children who are under 12 can fish without a license. Once they turn 12, though, they’ll need to apply for a license before fishing.
Anyone who is under 15 can fish without a license. At the age of 15, the person will need a license.
Virginia law states that anyone under the age of 16 can fish without a license.
At 15, a person will need to obtain a license to fish in Washington.
You’ll need a fishing license if you’re 15 or older in West Virginia.
Once a person turns 16, they need to have a fishing license in Wisconsin.
Anyone 13 or younger can fish without a license in Wyoming. At 14, a person will need a license to fish.
Saltwater Fishing Requirements
Keep in mind that the aforementioned recommendations apply to freshwater fishing only. The regulations for saltwater fishing are different. As a general rule, a saltwater fishing angler will need to have a fishing license once they’re 16 or older. Although laws vary by state, to saltwater fish, a person usually requires a separate fishing license.
Some states have a combination license, which is valid for both freshwater and saltwater.
Laws Regarding Children Fishing
Make sure you research your particular state’s laws regarding children fishing. Your child might not be able to fish alone. Additionally, there could be limits to how many fish a child can catch and keep.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for ensuring your child follows the regulations, or you could be held accountable. For instance, if your child fishes without a license once he or she reaches the age to need a license, you’ll be held responsible unless your child is 18.
While laws in certain states allow children to fish without a license, there are also states that allow seniors to fish without a license. In some cases, a senior may be able to obtain a license at no cost to them. Additionally, a few states extend a discount on fishing licenses for seniors.
In the following states, a senior doesn’t need a fishing license:
- Rhode Island
There are 27 states that extend offer discounts for senior anglers.
How to Apply for a Fishing License at Any Age
A person needs to visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website. Then, the individual needs to select the state he or she is a resident of along with his or her birthday. From there, the site will give you a breakdown of the types of fishing licenses available and their prices. You can then select the license variety.
In a majority of cases, you can apply for your fishing license online by completing a form and selecting your payment type. However, in a few states, you may need to complete the process over the phone or in person. You can figure out this information by selecting your state and inputting your birthday. The site will then redirect you to your state’s page, and you can determine how you can apply for a license.
In most cases, a person needs a fishing license once he or she is 16. However, in some states, the age is lower. Fortunately, once a person becomes a senior, they may no longer need a fishing license or can obtain one at a discounted rate.
My name is Ruben. I love fishing like most guys I know. Fishing is so much more than just an outdoor activity- its an escape, its therapy and so much more. I put together a team of other professional anglers in order to create the most inclusive fishing resource.