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Idaho Fishing Licenses

Getting an Idaho fishing license is mandatory for resident and visiting anglers. Though Idaho is an inland state, it still offers a number of fishing license options to both residents and nonresidents. Fishing credentials have radically different purposes in Idaho as they do in many other states. Whereas a standard license to fish is designated for recreational angling in state waters, a special type of ID fishing permit is necessary for fishermen who would like to sell caught fish. The differences between the two types of licenses are various. Anglers who fish solely for the sake of selling off their catch are subject to more stringent regulations on the types of fish they can catch. Note that stiff penalties and fines are handed down to anglers engaging in fishing for monetary purposes without a license or with the wrong type of fishing license. Given their difference in purpose, these two fishing documents have varying fishing license application processes, as well as prices. Commercial fishermen pay a premium to be allowed to take fish for profit. Additionally, non resident fishing license fees are significantly higher than those applied to residents. To learn more about the differences that you will find between these two types of licenses, take a look at the sections presented below. Each section contains information to assist you with your decision about which permit to fish is right for you. The first decision to make as a prospective fisherman is between the following credentials:

  • Standard Idaho fishing licenses
  • Commercial fishing licenses


Idaho New Fishing Licenses

Idaho fishing licenses are available for purchase through the appropriate state department. Whether you are a long-time resident of the state or a short-term visitor, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game gives you access to plenty of locations where you can cast your line. Familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements and application methods available for getting fishing licenses in ID below.

Rules regulated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are as follows:

  • If you are at least 14 years of age and you plan to fish in Idaho, you must buy a fishing license from the state.
  • If you are a resident and are younger than 14 years of age, you do not need a resident fishing license in Idaho in order to take fish, though you will have your own fishing limit.
  • If you are a nonresident who is younger than 14 years of age and does not have a nonresident fishing license in Idaho, you need to be with a licensed fisherman. Every fish caught by this child will be included in the licensed holder’s fishing limits.

As for the licenses available in the state, you can purchase adult annual licenses, three-year recreational fishing licenses, combination fishing/hunting licenses, permits for disabled persons, permits for disabled veterans and more. Download your application online and fill it out in its entirety before submitting the forms to the ID Department of Fish and Game.

Idaho Commercial Fishing Licenses

Idaho commercial fishing licenses are required if you plan to exchange, sell, transport or even barter fish that you have taken from the waters of Idaho. The state does not allow anglers without fishing licenses to operate in their waters, and this is especially important as it relates to commercial matters, as the state’s government carries the responsibility of maintaining the fish species native to their region. When buying a commercial fishing license, note that only select species may be used for selling purposes. Certain fish species that may be taken for commercial purposes include:

  • Longnose dace.
  • Tui chub.
  • Common carp.
  • Lake whitefish.
  • Chiselmouth.

Unless you learn how to get a commercial fishing license in Idaho, and you submit the necessary payment to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, you will be unable to catch commercial fish for any of the purposes listed above. Depending on the commercial fish or crustaceans that you would like to catch in your business, a different set fees will apply.

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

Oftentimes you can buy a fishing license through your state’s fishing department website. You will most likely need to create an account on the webpage and have a printer nearby to finalize your transaction. Make sure to also have a valid credit card on hand, as no other form of payment is accepted by state departments online. Take note that, as proof of your residency, you may be required to enter your driver’s license number.
In a general sense, a good number of states offer the following types of fishing licenses: a regular fishing license and a commercial fishing license. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to get a saltwater license to fish, if you are by coastal waters. In addition to these permits, you may be required to buy a fishing stamp, depending on the specific type of fish species you intend to catch.
A regular fishing permit is often valid for the period of a full year. However, you may also have the option to obtain a license to fish that is good for 24 hours or 72 hours, for example. In some instances, a weekly fishing license or a lifetime license may also be available. Lifetime licenses to fish are the most suitable option for those anglers who intend to fish for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that if you would like to continue fishing after the expiration date of your current licensure, you will be required to get a new permit to fish.
The fees related to a state fishing license may vary, depending on a few factors. But senior residents and military veterans can usually get a fishing license that is free of charge, as long as they can present official documentation that supports their residency or military service. Resident licenses to fish are often more affordable than nonresident licenses. The most costly licenses are for those who would like to get lifetime credentials.
In the event that you have lost your fishing license or it was stolen, the most common way to obtain a duplicate is through your state’s fishing department. You may be required to make an in-person visit to a nearby office or to contact a licensed agent directly. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to order a fishing permit replacement online. But, to be sure, it is important that you double check with your state department first, as you may also need to bring in certain documentation, such as your driver’s license or ID card.
This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.