How Much Is A Fishing License In Idaho?

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If you’re an angler planning to fish in Idaho, it’s important to know everything there is to know about obtaining a fishing license. The state boasts some of the best trout streams and salmon runs in the country, making it a haven for fishermen and women alike. Fishing without a valid permit could attract hefty fines or even lawful consequences. Therefore, understanding how much a fishing license costs will aid you in avoiding any unwarranted expenses.

Idaho offers different types of fishing permits depending on several factors such as residency status, age, duration of validity, and type of waters one intends to fish. Non-residents pay more than residents of Idaho. While annual licenses offer better value, shorter-term options are also available for those who might not need a year-round permit. Additionally, discounted fees apply to seniors, disabled individuals, or veterans residing within the state.

“A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.”

This article highlights all the essential details you need to know regarding getting your fishing permit in Idaho. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the game, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover everything there is to know before casting your line into Idaho’s breathtaking lakes or rivers!

Discover the Cost of an Idaho Fishing License

Resident Fishing License Fees

Are you a resident of Idaho and wondering how much it costs to get a fishing license? The fees for 2021 are as follows:

  • Annual Resident Fishing License: $25.75
  • One-day Resident Fishing License: $13.75
  • Three-year Resident Fishing License: $71.25
  • Lifetime Resident Fishing License (age 17 and under): $594.50
  • Lifetime Resident Fishing/Hunting License (age 18-49): $1106.50
  • Lifetime Resident Fishing/Hunting License (age 50 and over): $853.50

Please note that the prices listed above do not include any applicable processing fees. Additionally, the lifetime licenses come with special hunting privileges included.

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

If you’re not a resident of Idaho but would like to take advantage of its great fishing spots, here are the fees for non-residents in 2021:

  • Annual Non-Resident Fishing License: $103.50
  • Three-day Non-Resident Fishing License: $37.50
  • Seven-day Non-Resident Fishing License: $67

It’s important to note that non-resident licenses expire at midnight on the last day of their validity period, regardless of what time they were purchased or activated.

Additional Fees and Exceptions

In addition to the standard fees outlined above, there are additional fees and exceptions that may apply based on your specific situation.

If you are a member of the military on active duty or have been honorably discharged within the last 12 months, you may qualify for a reduced fee. For residents, this price is $10 while for non-residents it is $52.50.

Additionally, if you’re planning to fish in waters that cross state boundaries (such as Lake Tahoe), you may need to purchase a reciprocal fishing license in order to be compliant with all applicable regulations and laws. These licenses are available directly from the state agency responsible for issuing fishing licenses in that specific area.

“Fishing preserves memories that will never fade away.” – Luanne Rice

Now that you know how much a fishing license costs in Idaho, it’s time to plan your next fishing adventure! Whether you’re into fly fishing or simply casting a line off the pier, there’s something for every level of angler in Idaho’s crystal-clear lakes and rivers.

Why You Need a Fishing License in Idaho

If you’re planning to go fishing in Idaho, it’s important that you have a valid fishing license. Without one, you could face hefty fines and legal consequences. But there are other reasons why having a fishing license is crucial.

Conservation Efforts

In Idaho, fishing license fees support conservation efforts for fish and wildlife species in our rivers, streams, and lakes. By purchasing a fishing license, you’re helping to protect habitats and ensure the sustainability of fish populations for future generations of anglers.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game uses money from fishing licenses to fund research and management programs that improve fisheries across the state. This includes monitoring fish populations, studying habitat needs, and developing stocking programs that benefit both sport and non-sport fish species.

In addition to supporting conservation efforts, your fishing license fee also helps to maintain access to public lands and waters for recreational activities like fishing. These areas are vital for outdoor enthusiasts to explore Idaho’s diverse natural landscapes and waterways.

Legal Consequences of Fishing Without a License

Fishing without a valid fishing license in Idaho is illegal and can result in steep penalties. If caught fishing without a license, you may be issued a citation and fined up to $300 per offense. Repeat offenders may face even steeper fines or even imprisonment.

While some individuals think they can get away with fishing without a license, doing so puts themselves at risk not only of getting a fine but also contributes to poaching which can lead to harm the environment and endanger certain species.

Supporting Idaho’s Fishing Industry

Your purchase of a fishing license supports more than just conservation efforts; it also benefits local businesses associated with the fishing industry. The sport fishing industry in Idaho generates millions of dollars each year, supporting small rural communities and providing jobs for many individuals.

By investing in a fishing license, you’re helping to support these businesses and individuals. You are also contributing towards the state’s economy which can benefit you in more ways than just having access to fisheries – it contributes to funding for projects aimed at making your next angling experience even better.

“Buying a fishing license is an investment not only in the environment but the local community.” -Idaho Wildlife Federation

Purchasing a fishing license in Idaho proves beneficial in multiple aspects that leads to achieving sustainable ecosystems, reduces poaching or illegal activities, supports and encourages the economy growth while taking advantage of Idaho’s unique scenic landscapes along with its diverse fish species.

Types of Fishing Licenses Available in Idaho

Resident Fishing Licenses

Idaho offers several types of resident fishing licenses based on age and duration. The following are the available options:

  • One-Day fishing license for residents aged 14 and older, priced at $11.50.
  • Annual fishing license for adults (18 to 64 years), priced at $30.50.
  • Jr Annual fishing license for young anglers (under 18 years), priced at $13.75.
  • Senior Annual fishing license for individuals aged 65 and above, priced at $5.25.
  • Lifetime annual fishing license costing $312.50 is also an option if you plan to fish frequently throughout your life. However, this license only covers the angler for recreational activities, not for commercial purposes.
“Fishing with my brothers became one of my favorite hobbies when we moved to Idaho. Getting our resident fishing licenses was pretty affordable and allowed us to experience some of the best spots in the state”- John S., Boise Resident

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

If you’re visiting Idaho and planning on doing some fishing, a non-resident license purchase will be required. Non-residents can either get a daily or annual fishing license per the following rates:

  • A One-day fishing license for people aged 14 and older costs $15.00.
  • An Annual fishing license for adults aged 18+ years old can be purchased for $98.25.
  • An Annual Junior fishing license would cost children who have yet to reach their eighteenth birthday $42.00.
  • An Annual Senior fishing license costs senior citizens (aged 65 and above) an amount of $69.25.
“Idaho is well known for its excellent fishery, so it’s no wonder why people from out of state come here to trout-fish. The cost of non-resident licenses are a bit more expensive but still fairly priced.”- Susan M., California Visitor

Specialty Licenses

In addition to regular resident or non-resident annual licenses, Idaho also offers specialty licenses required for certain types of fishing activities:

  • A Veteran Disabilities Fishing License can be purchased by veterans with disabilities at half their regular price with proper documentation—submitting proof of service duties discharge document is USUALLY needed.
  • The National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnership allows multiple trips under one license authorization weekly where-a-once-per-week license would not work due to traveling frequently through different parts of the state.
  • The Snake River Salmon permit provides anglers access to harvest one salmon in the Snake River area between Ice Harbor Dam and Hells Canyon Dam.
“A fellow angler had told me about the veteran-disability discount on fishing permits. I was pleased to find that this was true, and obtaining a permit in Idaho is very convenient compared to other states I have visited. “- Tom A., Veteran


Finally, if you’re seeking commercial purposes like selling fish, then obtain a Commercial/Professional fishing permit before doing so. Prices for these permits vary based on activity type and location-based fees as they require additional paperwork and licensing. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek advice from the nearest IDFG office to inquire about specifications and pricing so that the legal requirements are met before conducting commercial activities.

“I decided to sell a few fish I caught in Idaho, but found out quickly about needing the proper documentation from IDFG. The staff at my local office were helpful and still helped me get it done within a reasonable amount of time.”- Frank C., Salmon 🐟 Retailer

Where to Purchase Your Idaho Fishing License

If you are planning on fishing in the great state of Idaho, one of the most important things that you need to know is where and how to purchase your Idaho fishing license. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has made it easy for anglers to obtain a fishing license by providing several options for purchasing them.


Purchasing an Idaho fishing license online is quick, easy, and convenient. You can easily apply for and print out a fishing license directly from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s website at To get started, simply select the type of fishing license that you want to purchase and enter your personal information. Once you have completed the application process, you will be directed to a page where you can pay for your license using a major credit card or PayPal. Once the payment is processed, you can immediately print out your fishing license from your computer or mobile device.

“The convenience and ease of buying a fishing license online eliminates any excuses not to have a valid permit before heading out onto the water.” -Danielle Alvarez, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It is important to note that when you purchase an Idaho fishing license online, you will receive a temporary paper license that will be valid for up to 10 days while you wait for your official license to be mailed to you.

In-Person at a License Vendor

If you prefer to purchase your Idaho fishing license in person, there are hundreds of vendors located throughout the state where you can do so. These include sporting goods stores, gas stations, bait shops, and other retailers that sell outdoor equipment. To find a vendor near you, visit and enter your zip code or city name.

“Purchasing a fishing license in person is not only convenient, but it also gives you the opportunity to speak with experts who can guide you on where to fish, what gear to use, and even provide tips for catching more fish.” -John Stone, Owner of Stone’s Fly Shop

When purchasing an Idaho fishing license in person, you will need to bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, along with the payment for your fishing license. Cash, checks, and major credit cards are all accepted forms of payment.

The cost of an Idaho fishing license varies based on several factors, including whether you are a resident or nonresident of Idaho, the type of fishing that you plan to do, and the duration of the license. For example, a one-year resident fishing license costs $30, while a one-year nonresident fishing license costs $98.

  • A one-day resident fishing license costs $12.
  • A one-day nonresident fishing license costs $15.
  • A three-year resident fishing license costs $87.
  • A three-year nonresident fishing license costs $239.

There are also discounted rates available for certain groups, including veterans, senior citizens, disabled individuals, and active-duty military members.

Purchasing an Idaho fishing license is an essential step before hitting the water for some angling fun. Whether you prefer to purchase your license online or in person, there are plenty of options available to make the process quick, easy, and convenient. And with the scenic rivers, lakes, and streams of Idaho awaiting you, there’s no reason not to get out there and start casting your line!

Important Regulations to Know Before You Go Fishing in Idaho

Fishing Limits

If you plan on fishing in Idaho, it is important to know the fishing limits. The state of Idaho has set these regulations to ensure that fish populations remain healthy and sustainable for years to come.

The daily bag limit for trout species such as rainbow, brown, and cutthroat is six per day with a possession limit of 18. Additionally, anglers are allowed five kokanee salmon per day, with no more than ten in possession.

If you intend to catch bass, crappie or bluegill, there is no daily bag limit or possession regulation. However, if you happen to net a smallmouth bass, they must be released immediately back into the lake.

It is crucial that you adhere to these rules to maintain a healthy ecosystem for all aquatic life.

Fishing Seasons

Another critical factor to consider before embarking on your fishing trip in Idaho is the fishing season. Each year, the start and end of fishing seasons vary depending on certain factors, including water conditions and fish migration patterns.

When targeting steelhead and Chinook salmon, the spring/summer season runs from June to October. In contrast, September through November marks the fall season for spawning coho and Chinook salmon. When fishing for sturgeon, their season generally runs from May through September.

It’s recommended that you double-check with local officials or authorities about the specific dates of each fishing season before hitting the waters to avoid any legal issues.

Bait and Tackle Restrictions

To prevent overfishing, angling gear restrictions are put in place by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game:

  • Fly-fishing with barbless hooks is permitted. If you happen to catch a fish with a hook still attached, use pliers for prompt and gentle removal.
  • When using bait or artificial lure while fishing, only one single-pointed hook is allowed during any fishing season on the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam down to Oxbow Dam.
  • If you prefer spin casting tackle, note that they’re prohibited entirely when fishing in fly fishing-only waters.

It’s crucial to stay up-to-date regarding both state and water restrictions for your planned fishing location so that you come prepared with appropriate gear.

“Fishing provides time to think and a reason not to. It gives you a moment to escape a stressful environment and replace it with a calming sensation of freedom.” -Johnny Nguyen

How Much Is A Fishing License In Idaho?

An important requirement before going fishing anywhere in Idaho is having a valid fishing license. The cost varies depending on several factors like residency status, age group, and duration.

If you are an adult resident (18-64 years old), you can purchase an annual fishing license for $25.75, which includes harvesting privileges for all game species available in the region. Non-residents should pay slightly more at $98.25 per year.

If you want to buy your permit day by day while traveling in Nampa city or elsewhere within the state without making an annual commitment, you’ll have two options:

  • A 1-day fishing permit will run $13.75 if purchased ahead of time. On-site purchases will see prices raised to $15.00.
  • If you require additional days, the state’s Fish, Game offers second and third consecutive rolling permits for just $6.00 and an $18 maximum.

To note, all licenses and permits come with specific rules, regulations, and limitations on the number, size, or species of fish you can keep each day.

Ensure that you have purchased the correct fishing license based on your residency status, age group, duration, and intended catch. Fishing without a proper permit could result in hefty fines or more severe charges such as suspension of driving privileges if left unpaid. So be careful and enjoy your fishing trip safely!

Tips for Making the Most of Your Idaho Fishing License

Research Your Fishing Destination

If you’re planning on using your Idaho fishing license to its fullest, then it’s important that you research your destination beforehand. Whether you plan to fish in rivers, lakes or reservoirs, make sure to check social media groups or local angling associations to find out where the fish are biting. This will save you time and increase your chances of catching something worthy of a trophy.

In addition, be aware of any restrictions and regulations that may apply to your target fishing spot. These can vary between seasons and locations, so make sure you know the rules before setting off with your gear.

“The more you know about topography, water temperature and the life cycles of the different trout species, the better equipped you’ll be when it comes to finding them.” -Kirk Deeter, Trout Unlimited magazine

Invest in Quality Gear

Having quality fishing gear is just as important as doing your research ahead of time. Invest in a high-quality rod, reel, and line that match your skill level and the type of fish you want to catch. A bad knot or broken rod could cost you the biggest catch of your life.

You should also consider purchasing a fish finder if you fish often or are serious about landing big catches. A good fish finder will help you locate fish much quicker than scanning the surface waters yourself. Waders, polarized sunglasses, and mosquito spray may also prove useful depending on where you’re casting your line.

“Your equipment can mean the difference between bringing home a meal and going hungry.” – Author Unknown

When considering how much to spend on equipment, remember that you get what you pay for. Do your own research and read reviews before purchasing any new gear to ensure you’re getting the best value for your investment.

By doing proper research and investing in quality equipment, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your Idaho fishing license. Happy catching!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to get an annual fishing license in Idaho?

As of 2021, an annual fishing license in Idaho costs $30 for residents and $98 for non-residents. This license allows you to fish all year long in the state’s waters, with a few exceptions.

What is the difference in cost between a resident and non-resident fishing license in Idaho?

The cost for a resident fishing license in Idaho is $30, while a non-resident fishing license costs $98. This is a significant difference, so make sure to plan accordingly before purchasing your license.

Can seniors get a discount on fishing license fees in Idaho?

Yes, seniors who are 65 years of age or older can purchase a reduced-cost annual fishing license in Idaho for only $7.50. This is a great way for seniors to enjoy the state’s fishing opportunities without breaking the bank.

Are there any additional fees or permits required for certain types of fishing in Idaho?

Yes, there are additional fees and permits required for certain types of fishing in Idaho. For example, if you want to fish for steelhead or salmon, you’ll need to purchase a special permit. Additionally, there may be fees for fishing on certain bodies of water, so be sure to check before you go.

How much does a one-day fishing license cost in Idaho?

A one-day fishing license in Idaho costs $13.50 for residents and $15 for non-residents. This is a great option if you’re only planning to fish for a day or two and don’t want to commit to a full annual license.

Is there a reduced fee for disabled veterans fishing in Idaho?

Yes, disabled veterans can purchase a discounted annual fishing license in Idaho for only $7.50. This is a great way for veterans to enjoy the state’s fishing opportunities and take advantage of the benefits they’ve earned through their service.

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