How Much Does California Fishing License Cost

When you hear the word California, the first things that come to mind are, Universal Studios, Hollywood, Golden Gate Bridge, and of course, the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. Pretty hardcore, isn’t it? But do not be too overwhelmed. California also has fishing spots if you prefer a pretty laid back adventure.

But is the CA fishing license price expensive as it may seem considering the prestigious tourist attractions that surround it? Let’s find out.

Average Cost of California Fishing License

The California fishing license cost ranges from $6.95 to $846.75 depending on several factors like the effectivity period and on whether you are a resident or not, among others.

The following are the CA fishing license price per category:

Average Cost of California Fishing LicenseAnnual

  • Resident sport fishing for 16 years or older – $47.01
  • Nonresident sport fishing for 16 years or older – $126.62
  • Reduced-fee sports fishing license for disabled veteran – $6.95 at CDFW office, $7.30 from license agent
  • Reduced-fee sport fishing license for recovering member of the US military – $6.95
  • Reduced-fee sport fishing license for low-income senior California residents 65 years of age and older – $6.95

Short-term

  • One-day sport fishing license that allows resident and nonresident to fish for a day – $15.12
  • Two-day sport fishing license that allows resident and nonresident to fish for two consecutive days – $23.50
  • Ten-day sport fishing license for nonresident to fish for 10 consecutive days – $47.01
  • Lifetime resident fishing licenses for ages 0-9 – $518.25
  • Lifetime resident fishing licenses for ages 10-39 – $846.75
  • Lifetime resident fishing licenses for ages 40-61 – $763
  • Lifetime resident fishing licenses for ages 62 and above – $518.25
  • Fishing privilege package that includes a lifetime Second-Rod Stamp, Ocean Enhancement Stamp, North Coast Salmon Report Card and Steelhead report Card – $350.75

Additional Costs

  • Duplicate sport fishing license to replace the lost and stolen ones – $10.54
  • Licenses that are purchased from license agents include 5% license agent handling fee.
  • Licenses that are purchased from license agents and CDFW offices include 3% nonrefundable application fee. $7.50 maximum per item.
  • Validation and Reports Cards are required for any person fishing special fish species and some special areas or bodies of water. Costs range from $5.14 to $22.42.

Factors Affecting California Fishing License Cost

  • Residency – residents and non-residents have different fishing license rate as residents are given priority, thus are charged a lower rate.
  • Age – different rates are charged based on age.
  • Income – how much you earn will make a difference in the CA fishing license price when you are a senior resident.
  • Effectivity – rates also depend on how long is the effectivity of the license. You may purchase one-day, two-day, 10-day, annual, or lifetime fishing license.
  • Race – Native Americans or lineal descendants are given free fishing license
  • Capacity – special rates are given to disabled veterans while the fishing license is given for free for severely incapacitated, blind and developmentally disabled.

Free Sport Fishing Licenses

Sport fishing licenses are issued for free to the following persons:

  • Any blind person or considered legally blind.
  • Any person who is severely incapacitated and permanently unable to move from place to place without the aid of a mobility-related device such as wheelchairs, crutches, etc.
  • Any person who is developmentally disabled.
  • Any resident of California who is a Native American or lineal descendant and whose total annual income does not exceed $11,770 for the head of household plus $4,070 for each additional family member living with them.

Where to Get California Fishing License

You may apply for California fishing license through the following:

Important Facts

Factors Affecting California Fishing License Cost

  • The annual sport fishing license is valid from January 1 up to December 31. Any license purchased after January 1 will only be valid for the remainder of the year, regardless that the one year cycle has not been completed.
  • The reduced fee sport fishing license for recovering service member and Low-income seniors are only available at CDFW License Sales Offices.
  • The reduced fee sport fishing license for low-income California senior residents is only applicable to those whose total monthly income does not exceed $889.40 for single persons or $1,496.20 combined income for married persons.
  • One-day and two-day fishing license are exempt from Ocean Enhancement Validation requirement.
  • An annual sport fishing license is given each year for life to those who availed of the lifetime fishing license.
  • Certification from an optometrist or ophthalmologist is required for a free license to be issued to blind or legally blind persons.
  • Verification by a licensed physician or a copy of the previous year’s free fishing license is required for a free license to be issued to severely incapacitated persons.
  • Certification from a licensed physician or the director of a State regional center is required for a free license to be issued to developmentally disabled persons.
  • Certification from Bureau of Indian Affairs or any proof of being on a tribal registry is required for a free license to be issued to Native Americans or lineal descendants. Also, verification of income is required every year.
  • Income verification from the Social Security office is required every year for the reduced fee sport fishing license for low-income senior residents.
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