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Can you fish in Idaho without a license?


Fishing may be quite a good experience for people who try to find a fun activity to try on for the weekend. Moreover, many people turn their hobby into work. Yet, in Idaho, this fun profession requires an official permit. This means that you cannot fish in Idaho without a license. Want to know more about this permit? Let’s dive into the details. 

What is Idaho Fishing License Designed For?

To maintain Idaho’s wildlife heritage, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries along with the state developed Idaho fishing regulations. Thus, from now on, all residents and non-residents who are 14 years old and more must hold a valid Idaho Fishing License. 

These Idaho fishing regulations are important because they help not only to protect the environment but also help the authorities to fund educational programs for fishing. Moreover, all the licensees must not only hold the permit but also complete some courses on their rights and responsibilities. The main responsibilities include being aware of the following and maintaining the rules: 

  • Start and end of fishing season
  • Number of particular kinds of fish you can catch in a day
  • Fish size limits
  • Type of tackle and fishing method used for a specific species or a specific body of water

Anglers are also urged to participate in cleanup efforts and other similar programs led by conservation organizations and local clubs, as well as in the protection and conservation of Idaho's waterways.

Costs for Idaho Fishing License

As mentioned above, everybody 14 years old or older needs to have a general fishing license that is valid. Those who are under 14 do not require a license. But is the license expensive? In short, no. 

As of the recent data, adult freshwater resident license costs are $30.50, or $25.75 with Price Lock. Generally, this type of permit is valid for one or two years. For a three-year permit, you are to make a payment of $73.75.

Yet there are also short-term permits for those who want to fish for one or two days. Daily fishing licenses cost $13.50 per day or $11.50 if locked, respectively. It is possible to add more days for $6 or $5 if they are locked. 

Teenagers aged 14 to 17 can get resident junior permits for $16 or $13.75 on Price Lock. A license for three years costs $37.75. 

What if I Fish Without a License in Idaho? 

Fishing without a license is illegal. For the first time, you might only receive a warning and have any fish taken away. Later, you can receive a ticket with a heavy fine of up to $500, and if you're particularly unlucky or a repeat offender, you might even go to jail. 

Important Notes for Fishers in Idaho

As previously stated, you will need a license to begin your fishing career. However, this is not the end of the story. You must also explore Idaho's fishing world and learn where and how to fish. So, we've also touched upon the best fishing spots as well as the equipment you'll need.

Top Spots for Fishing

There are a huge amount of reservoirs, lakes, dams, rivers, and streams in Idaho to select from when it comes to the best fishing locations. The Brownlee Reservoir, which is close to Oregon on the western border, is one of our favorites. The body covers more than 50 miles and includes almost 13,000 acres. Panfish, largemouth bass, catfish, trout, and smallmouth bass are a few of the often taken game fish.

It will be wonderful for people to visit Lake Cascade if you enjoy general adventures. It is home to one of the largest bodies of water, measuring 27,000 acres, and offers wonderful camping options as well as various leisure activities like jet skiing and water skiing

Fishing Equipment 

Individuals who want to start fishing usually do not require expensive equipment. Start with a low-cost rod, reel, or bait and go to places where they are always free, such as Snake River. Maintaining your budget while enjoying your experience is now more than possible. So, let's take a look at the estimated cost of your fishing trip!

  1. Idaho fishing license costs start at $5.75  - $144.60 
  2. Gear - usually individuals go to local shops or buy gear online. Its price starts at $15
  3. Hooks, lines, and sinkers - there are thousands of types but it depends on what fish you need to catch - it starts at $6.19
  4. Live bait - $2 -$3 

So, as you see, nearly $100 is quite enough to have fun and who knows maybe gain more than spent!


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