Q & A: Does California Offer Temporary Fishing Licenses?

Get outside on Free Fishing Day, July 6, 2019! (CDFW stock photo)
Photo Credit: Courtesy of CDFW

by California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Question: Are there temporary fishing licenses in California, like one-day permits? (Bill)

Answer: Yes! There are one-day, two-day and 10-day fishing licenses available in California. The one-day license (which costs $16.20) and two-day license ($25.10) are valid for both residents and non-residents. The 10-day license, which is for non-resident anglers only, costs $49.94, the same price as an annual fishing license for California residents age 16 and older. Any of these licenses can be purchased at a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) office, through an authorized license sales office or online through CDFW’s Automated License Data System.

As a quick side note, beware of unauthorized imposter sites, which may tack on extra fees! It has recently come to our attention that several websites are improperly and illegally charging customers extra fees for online fishing and hunting license purchases. Please check the URL of the site you are visiting to determine if is an official CDFW website: www.wildlife.ca.gov or www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales. Also note that Internet search engines may not always list the official CDFW website as the top result.

If you buy a short-term fishing license, our hope is that that you’ll fall in love with the sport and come back to buy an annual license to enjoy it year-round. Another thought is to pick up your rod and reel on Free Fishing Day. California has two of them, and the first one is this coming Saturday, July 6! While no license is required, please remember that all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect.

Any time you head out to fish, remember to check out our free, easy, online tools to make your experience more enjoyable. Our updated Fishing Guide can help you locate fish planting locations, historically good locations to fish, locations of Marine Protected Areas and quagga-mussel infested waters.

Looking for our current fish planting schedule? That’s online too! It’s updated in real time by CDFW hatchery staff. Fish plants are subject to change depending on roads, weather, water and other operational conditions.

If you have questions about a specific water, please feel free to reach out to your local CDFW regional office during regular business hours. The friendly staff there would be happy to assist you. Happy fishing!

Supplemental fishing regulations?

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