A Guide to Fishing Licenses in the US

A Guide to Fishing Licenses in the US. Fishing licenses are very, very important. The minor details of a fishing license can change from state to state, but as a general rule, your license fee helps to pay for some really important things that will help protect and preserve the sport – and the wildlife it depends on – for the future.

The Legal Stuff

The first thing you really need to know about fishing licenses is that there is no license that is valid across the whole of the US. Permits and licenses differ slightly from state to state, and whatever state permit you have, some places – such as National Parks or Wildlife Refuges – may require you to have a special fishing license especially for them in addition to, or sometimes even instead of, your state license. Unfortunately, the relaxing part of fishing only happens once you’ve got your license in order, so check what your state’s regulations say. You may even find that you can apply for your license online, along with all the information you need about your state’s specific rules on licenses. Everyone over the age of 16 who wants to fish must have a license. It’s not optional.

Why You Need a License and Why It Costs Money

If this is starting to seem like a bit of a pain to you, you might want to consider what your license fee actually pays for. It goes towards things like the protection of fish habitat, and the management of fisheries and hatcheries. Your license fee also goes towards educating people by means of printed publications or towards lake maps and other important programs. If people didn’t pay for licenses, fishing as a recreational activity would be much harder to enjoy. Fishing licenses are essentially what keep fishing sustainable and ensure that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, well into the future.

IMG: Thinkstock, Digital Vision, Stewart Sutton