Permitting and Licensing

Along with your flies and tackle, don’t forget your fishing license.

Before gathering up your fishing tackle for a day on the water, you’ll need to purchase a recreational fishing license. In the U.S., fishing falls under state jurisdiction, so laws and regulations vary from place to place. Depending on where and how you’re fishing, you may also be required to have a permit, validations, report cards, tags and stamps.

Much of the revenue generated through the sale of licenses and permits goes toward conservation of fish and other aquatic species by funding fishery and hatchery management, habitat development and protection, endangered species programs, conservation education programs and more.

Information on permitting and licensing requirements and fees, as well as how and where they can be purchased, is usually available online through your state’s department of fish and wildlife or department of environmental protection. Visit’s State Guide to find fishing resources in your area.

Also, check with your state for information on fishing seasons, areas, limits, reporting systems and best practices.

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