Things you need to know about a Fishing License
Fishing is a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s a hobby, it’s a way of life, or it can be a competitive sport. Fishing is an age-old practice that will probably be forever part of our lives as human beings.
As widespread as it is, rules and regulations for fishing vary around the world. In North America, especially in the United States, fishing is regulated based on its region. There are competitive fishing games that are organized in some communities which makes it more exciting. But in certain areas, before you can partake in this wonderful activity, you need a fishing license. In this article, we’ll discuss a few important things about acquiring a fishing license, and a few important things in between.
Let’s start with reeling!
A Step by Step Guide on How to Get a Fishing License
Did you know that fishing licenses were issued way back in ancient China? It was during the Qing Dynasty that fishing boat operators were required to have a fishing license partly to regulate coastal operations. This was way back in 1729.
Moving forward to our modern times, it can get a bit tricky. In the United States, rules can vary per region or state and at the same time, fishing permits or licenses will be required either by the government or by the owner of personal property or both. Sometimes it can be different if you want to fish on freshwater or saltwater. The amount you need to pay for a license may vary too.
It can be different if you’re going out fishing on a large boat, or just kayaking for a single day. There are single day or multiple days fishing licenses and at the same time resident and non-resident licenses. You just have to find what best describes your status.
What does a fishing license regulate?
A fishing license is put up to prevent overfishing. In Oregon, where fishing is such a huge part of the community, a license was started way back in 1899. It was due to the collapse of the state’s sturgeon fishery because of over-harvesting. Recreational fishing licenses were instituted in 1901 in the said state.
Indiana followed suit and added fishing for their wildlife hunting privileges. Pennsylvania did so as well in 1919. To date, there are still license-free countries for fishing.
Aside from overfishing, licenses also tend to limit fishing on certain parts of the year to give marine life a chance to grow and thrive. There can also be restrictions on the number of licenses issued, the size of a vessel, the area for fishing, the method employed for fishing, and at the same time the species that can be caught. There are also licenses distributed for those who collect fish for scientific studies.
So how do you acquire a fishing license?
Acquiring a fishing license should be straightforward. All you got to do is contact your local Fisheries and Wildlife Division and comply with their requirements.
Most of the time, the requirements would be age and health condition. Again, there may be different rules for the collection of fish for scientific purposes.
Licensed angler must always have their angling license with them while fishing.
The following are exempted from the licensing rules:
- Someone who is more than 16 years of age;
- A person who is more than 65 years of age;
- Sometimes, a person can also be exempted to the rule if they have a license from the Department of Health
Once you pass the requirements you should be able to partake in any fishing activity as long as your license is valid (how many days it is for). Please take note that private property owners may impose their fishing permits.
Can you acquire a Fishing License online?
The internet is such a huge part of how we go about things nowadays. So, it’s only natural that you can already acquire a license for fishing through it. So yes, you should be able to apply for fishing licenses online, you just have to pay for online transaction fees.
What are the other benefits of fishing licenses?
Aside from the motivations and missions of an imposed fishing license mentioned above, it’s also important to know that fishing licenses fund conservation efforts.
Sales turned out from fishing licenses reach hundreds and millions of dollars ($700 million in 2018) and the funds are then used for the conservation and restoration of the country’s fisheries. There have been efforts brought about by the licensing process to help in fish management, habitat and species restoration, land acquisition, habitat protection, education, research, and public access for boating and fishing.
There are also taxes imposed on different fishing equipment, boats, and other angling stuff.
How much is a fishing license?
This section will be dedicated to the illustration of how much annual fishing licenses are for different states.
There are also 1 to 14-day licenses offered which may set you back for as low as $5 to probably $40 depending on the state, resident, or non-resident.
Can you buy a lifetime fishing license?
There are about 32 states that have some sort of a lifetime fishing license. This license can be paired up with a hunting license (trapping may or may not be included).
The 32 states mentioned above are the ones that have some type of a lifetime fishing license:
The fees for a lifetime license may vary by age group but sometimes can be the same for everyone no matter if you’re a senior citizen or a veteran. Some states only offer lifetime licenses to those who are 15 years old and younger or those who are 65 years old or older. A senior citizen may have a free lifetime fishing license.
A lifetime license can be priced at around $200 for senior citizens and $600 for adults, it varies per state.
How do you get a Fishing License in California?
The information below is based on the California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations. They offer annual, short-term such as one, two, or ten-day valid licenses and at the same time lifetime licenses separated by age brackets.
As per their website you can now only purchase your California sport fishing license, plus report cards and your validations online. Just visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales. Also, anglers may submit their report cards online.
Report cards are essential as they provide important data of harvest that is critical for helping fishery scientists to better regulate fishing programs. Report card submission online makes the process faster and easier for everyone.
With the harvest details, fishery managers can promptly have information to utilize.
Standard mail reporting though is still available. Reports are expected on the 31st day of January each year.
One-Day Sport Fishing License for residents or nonresidents is $15.69. A two-Day Sport Fishing License for residents or nonresidents is $24.33. And the 10-Day non-Resident Sport Fishing License is $48.34. (For additional information please visit: http://www.eregulations.com/california/fishing/freshwater/license-fees/)
How do you acquire a Fishing License in Texas?
You can buy a Texas fishing license or a package online too. Also, you may visit a Texas Park and Wildlife Department office, and the 1,500 retailers statewide. Licenses are also sold in a lot of department stores, tackle shops, sporting goods stores, gun shops, and also grocery stores.
Photo credit: Amazon
As fun and beneficial as fishing can be, we need to protect our wildlife and fisheries to ensure that future generations can still experience them. That’s what these licenses are all about and if we follow the rules and regulations then we help ensure that fishing can still be a sport for our kids, grandkids, and their grandkids.
Let’s comply and help our fisheries thrive. Now go out there and catch a haul!