Utah requires all anglers to get a fishing license prior to taking advantage of the state’s fishing opportunities. The state provides some of the best places to fish in the country, largely because of the regulations set in place by the UT Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife Resources. Anglers in the state can apply for either recreational fishing licenses or commercial fishing licenses depending on their intentions. Recreational fishing licenses are available to anglers who plan to fish in Utah waters for sport, while commercial fishing licenses are available to anglers engaging in fishing activities for profit. Before completing the fishing license application process, anglers must first establish their residency with the Utah Department of Natural Resources. Utah residents are given a discounted rate on fishing license fees in comparison with nonresident fishing license applicants. To establish residency with the Department of Natural Resources, applicants must have been living in Utah for at least six months. Proof of residency can be established by providing wildlife officials with a valid state driver’s license or state-issued photo ID. UT recreational fishing permits are issued based on the age of the applicant and the period of time you would like to have the fishing license for before it expires. Commercial fishing licenses in Utah are only issued on an annual basis and must be renewed yearly. Fees vary depending on the length of your fishing license’s validity period, as well as your residency status. Children younger than 12 years of age can fish in state waters without a fishing license, but must apply for a license the moment they are of-age. The Utah Department of Natural Resources also offers a Free Fishing Day every year in June. To find out more about getting a fishing permit in Utah, read the sections below:
- Recreational fishing licenses
- Commercial fishing licenses
Recreational Fishing Licenses
Though there are no saltwater fishing opportunities in Utah, a recreational fishing license gives anglers the opportunity to catch freshwater fish in the many bodies of water located throughout the state. To fish legally in UT, you must get a fishing license with the Utah Department of Natural Resources. However, before you get your fishing license you will need to choose exactly which type of license you would like and are eligible for. UT fishing licenses are issued based on the applicant’s age and the length of time they are valid for before they expire. License to fish options include one-year recreational fishing licenses, multi-year recreational fishing licenses (minimum one year, maximum five years), three-day fishing licenses and seven-day fishing licenses. All fishing licenses are available to both residents and non residents, though residents can purchase licenses at a discounted rate.
The fees for annual recreational fishing licenses vary for both residents and non-residents, depending on their age group. Age groups are broken down as follows:
- Ages 12 and 13
- Ages 14 through 17
- Ages 18 and older
Utah anglers who plan to fish regularly for the rest of their time in Utah, also have the options of purchasing lifetime fishing licenses. Lifetime fishing licenses allow you to fish and hunt without getting a new UT fishing license each year. You can also obtain a combination hunting and fishing license if you plan on doing both in your free time. Additional recreational fishing license options are available at reduced rates for disabled military veterans with proof of service and disability.
To apply for a Utah recreational fishing license online, visit the state’s DNR website and click on the link for Purchase Hunting and Fishing Licenses. Alternatively, you can also visit a DNR-authorized licensing agent (list of agents available on the DNR website) or call 1-800-221-0659 to purchase your recreational fishing permit over the phone.
Commercial Fishing Licenses
While many people use recreational fishing licenses to fish in Utah’s waters for sport and keep their own catches, there are other residents who like to fish for profit. To fish commercially in Utah, you must be properly licensed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, as opposed to the Department of Natural Resources. Due to the difference in departmental handling for Utah commercial fishing licenses, applicants must complete a slightly different process than they would when getting a recreational fishing license. To get commercial fishing licenses in Utah, visit the department’s website and download the Application for Certificate of Registration through the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Fish Health Program. On this application, indicate whether you need an aquaculture facility license or a for-fee fishing facility license. Regardless of which commercial fishing license you purchase, you will need to renew it annually. For more information on the Utah commercial license to fish, visit the Department of Agriculture and Food’s website.