What’s the Price? Breaking Down Fishing License Costs in Each State

Fishing is a cherished pastime for many, offering a chance to connect with nature, find relaxation, and even bring home a fresh catch. But beyond the bait and tackle, there’s an essential aspect every angler must consider: the fishing license.

Understanding the cost of a fishing license is more than just budgeting for a trip; it’s about recognizing how these fees play a pivotal role in preserving the very waters and fish populations we enjoy. Every dollar spent on a license contributes to conservation efforts, ensuring that our lakes, rivers, and oceans remain abundant and healthy for future generations.

Moreover, these fees often fund state-specific projects, from stocking programs to habitat restoration. By purchasing a fishing license, anglers are not just buying permission to fish; they’re investing in the future of the sport and the environment.

In this guide, we’ll delve deep into the costs associated with fishing licenses across the USA, providing anglers with a clear picture of what to expect and why it matters.

State-by-State Fishing License Costs

StateLicense TypeResident CostNon-Resident CostShort-Term License Available
AlabamaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$14~$53$7 (7 days)
AlaskaAnnual Fishing License (buy)$29$145$20 (7 days)
ArizonaAnnual Fishing License (buy)$37$55$15 (1 day)
ArkansasAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$11~$50$11 (3 days)
CaliforniaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$52~$142$16 (1 day)
ColoradoAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$35~$97$17 (1 day)
ConnecticutInland Fishing License (buy)~$32~$63$16 (3 days)
DelawareAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$9~$23$8.50 (7 days)
FloridaFreshwater Fishing License (buy)~$18~$48$17 (3 days)
GeorgiaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$15~$50$10 (3 days)
HawaiiFreshwater Game Fishing License (buy)~$6~$26$5 (7 days)
IdahoAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$31~$103$13 (1 day)
IllinoisAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$15~$32$6 (1 day)
IndianaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$18~$36$9 (1 day)
IowaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$20~$48$10.50 (1 day)
KansasAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$27~$52$8.50 (1 day)
KentuckyAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$23~$55$10 (1 day)
LouisianaBasic Fishing License (buy)~$10~$60$5 (1 day)
MaineAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$27~$67$11 (1 day)
MarylandAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$21~$31$7.50 (3 days)
MassachusettsAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$28~$38$12.50 (3 days)
MichiganAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$26~$76$10 (1 day)
MinnesotaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$25~$51$14 (1 day)
MississippiAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$13~$65$10 (1 day)
MissouriAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$13~$49$8 (1 day)
MontanaConservation License (buy)~$10~$15N/A
NebraskaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$31~$67$10 (1 day)
NevadaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$41~$81$9 (1 day)
New HampshireAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$46~$63$15 (1 day)
New JerseyFreshwater Fishing License (buy)~$23~$34$9 (2 days)
New MexicoGame Hunting & Fishing License (buy)~$30~$65$12 (1 day)
New YorkAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$26~$51$10 (1 day)
North CarolinaInland Fishing License (buy)~$25~$45$8 (10 days)
North DakotaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$18~$48$10 (3 days)
OhioAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$20~$51$14 (1 day)
OklahomaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$26~$56$15 (6 days)
OregonAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$44~$110$23.50 (1 day)
PennsylvaniaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$23~$53$11.90 (1 day)
Rhode IslandFreshwater Fishing License (buy)~$19~$40$16 (3 days)
South CarolinaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$10~$35$5 (14 days)
South DakotaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$28~$68$16 (1 day)
TennesseeAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$34~$56$6.50 (1 day)
TexasFreshwater Fishing License (buy)~$30~$58$11 (1 day)
UtahAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$34~$85$16 (7 days)
VermontAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$28~$54$21 (3 days)
VirginiaFreshwater Fishing License (buy)~$24~$47$8 (5 days)
WashingtonFreshwater Fishing License (buy)~$30~$85$20 (1 day)
West VirginiaAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$20~$40$3 (1 day)
WisconsinAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$20~$50$14 (1 day)
WyomingAnnual Fishing License (buy)~$27~$102$14 (1 day)
  • Always refer to the official state websites or local regulations for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Please note that these costs are for general fishing licenses and might vary based on specific conditions or additional stamps required in each state.
  • There are various other licenses and permits available, such as for specific species, saltwater fishing, combination licenses, and more.

Factors Influencing License Costs

When it comes to the cost of a fishing license, several factors come into play. Understanding these variables can help you better plan your fishing trips and make informed decisions. Below are some key factors that influence the cost of fishing licenses:


  • Daily Licenses: Ideal for short trips, but generally more expensive on a per-day basis.
  • Weekly Licenses: A good option for vacationers looking to fish for an extended period.
  • Annual Licenses: The most cost-effective for regular anglers.

Type of Fishing

Type of Fishing
  • Freshwater: Generally less expensive than saltwater licenses.
  • Saltwater: May require additional permits or stamps, increasing the overall cost.
  • Specific Species: Some states require special stamps or permits for fishing certain species like trout or salmon.

Residency Status

  • Residents: Usually enjoy lower fees.
  • Non-Residents: Typically pay higher fees and may have fewer options for short-term licenses.

Special Licenses

  • Seniors: Often eligible for discounted or even free licenses.
  • Veterans and Military Personnel: May qualify for special rates or exemptions.
  • Disabled Individuals: Some states offer free or discounted licenses.

Average Costs Nationwide

While each state sets its own pricing for fishing licenses, looking at the average costs nationwide can provide a general understanding of what to expect. Here’s a brief overview:


  • Daily License: Ranges from $5 to $15.
  • Annual License: Typically falls between $20 and $50.


  • Daily License: Generally priced between $10 and $30.
  • Annual License: Can vary widely, with prices ranging from $40 to $100 or more.

It’s essential to note that these are average figures, and the actual cost can differ based on the factors discussed in the previous section. Additionally, some states offer combo licenses (e.g., hunting and fishing combined) or family licenses, which can also influence the overall cost.

Happy angler showing USA fishing license

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