Do You Need a Fishing License For Catch And Release?

Last Updated on September 18, 2023

Fishing is a fun outdoor sport, but to partake in it legally, you must possess a valid fishing license In line with the regulations of the state or province where the fishing activity occurs. 

So do you need a fishing license for catch and release? Well, in this post, I will cover that and most of the situations you need, plus the types of fishing licenses available.

Let’s get rolling!

What is a Fishing License, and Why do You Need One?

What is a Fishing License

A fishing license is an official document that grants someone permission to engage in fishing activities, whether for recreational or commercial purposes.

Who Needs a Fishing Licence?

Any person fishing, regardless of age or the type of fishing they are doing, must have a valid fishing license. Children under a specific period may not need to buy a license in some jurisdictions. However, they must still carry a legitimate form of identification while fishing.

When is a Fishing License Required?

No matter what kind of fishing a person does, they always need a fishing license. This includes ice fishing, boat fishing, shore fishing, freshwater fishing, and fishing in saltwater.

The Different Types of Fishing Licenses

The two primary categories of fishing licenses are recreational and commercial. Commercial fishing permits are for those who fish for profit, while recreational fishing licenses are for those who fish for enjoyment or recreation.

Recreational Fishing

Recreational Fishing Licenses

A recreational fishing license is needed for fishing on the sea, in freshwater, or from a boat.

These licenses are meant to regulate and manage fishing activities to guarantee the long-term sustainability of fish populations and the ecosystems in which they live.

Recreational fishing license prices vary depending on the region and duration of the license.

In some places, you can get a permit for a day, a week, a month, or a year, but in others, you may only be able to get seasonal licenses.

The license fee may also vary based on the fishing type and the angler’s age. Special licenses or permits may be necessary for some circumstances for specific sorts of fishing, such as fly fishing or catch-and-release fishing.

Anglers should check with their local fishing authorities to see what license is required.

Fishing without a proper license can result in fines, penalties, and legal implications.

Getting the proper license is an easy and essential step to making sure your fishing trip is safe and fun.

Commercial Fishing Licenses

Commercial fishing licenses are necessary for those who fish for a living, such as commercial fishermen and seafood traders. This kind of permit is needed to operate fishing boats and harvest, sell, and transport fish.

Do You Need a Fishing License for Catch and Release?

For catch-and-release fishing, a fishing license is typically needed. Fish are caught and put back into the water uninjured in catch-and-release fishing, which is a well-liked and environmentally responsible method of fishing. Because it still qualifies as fishing and is subject to the same rules and laws, this sort of fishing calls for a current fishing license.

Do You Need a Fishing License On Private Property?

Even if lakes or ponds are on private property, you may still need a fishing license to fish in them. Fishing on private property will only sometimes require a license. However, it’s crucial to confirm the rules and legislation of the particular state or province where the personal property is situated.

Do You Need a Fishing License for Every State?

Yes you do, and on top of that, it’s essential to check the laws and rules of the state where the fishing will occur because each state has different fishing license requirements. While some states may demand a freshwater or saltwater fishing license, others may only do so. In some states, a license may also be needed to fish in specific locations, such as state parks or wildlife management zones.

How to Get a Fishing License

It’s simple and affordable to purchase a fishing license. In most states, you can get a license online, over the phone, or at a licensing agency near you.

To receive a license, people must supply personal information, such as their name, address, and birthdate. In some states, you may also need to show proof of who you are and where you live.

Before getting a fishing license, it is important to know the rules and laws of the state or province where the fishing will take place.

Remember, you can get this information by contacting a local licensing agent or visiting the state’s website for wildlife and fisheries.

Can I get a Fishing Licence Online

Can I get a Fishing Licence Online?

The only location to purchase a fishing license online is from the state’s government website, typically the fish and Wildlife Department’s website. The appropriate link to each state’s relevant department is provided in the table above.

Whether you live there or not, you can purchase a fishing license using these websites.

Numerous fraudulent websites that attempt to offer licenses to unwary fishermen have been warned about.

Most of these websites are swiftly taken down, although some occasionally reappear.

Final Words

Regardless of age, region, or the type of fishing they are doing, all people who go fishing need a fishing license.

Given the different types of fishing licenses, it is essential to know the rules and laws of the state or province where the fishing is done.

Getting a fishing license is a simple and inexpensive process for people who want to legally do this fun outdoor activity.


  1. Thanks for sharing this informative article about the requirements for legally doing catch-and-release fishing. I’ll bet that there are a lot of people who might incorrectly assume that since they aren’t keeping the fish, that they wouldn’t need to have a fishing license. Thanks for setting this straight and helping to keep people on the right side of the law!

    • Hey there! Thank you for your positive feedback and for taking the time to read the article on catch-and-release fishing.

      I completely agree with you that it’s important to understand the legal requirements for fishing, even if you’re planning to release the fish.

      It’s always better to be safe and responsible when it comes to fishing, and having the right license and following regulations can help protect our fish populations for generations to come and or course… “our” pockets…


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