Why You Need to Get a Fishing License

You might be thinking why you need to get a fishing license.

The answer is simple: it protects the industry. A license to fish is the government of America’s method to regulate, shelter, and help the fishing industry of the country to thrive. It also controls and limits anglers from fishing a species of fish as well as to identify poachers.

Aside from that, those who purchase fishing passes are subject to several benefits depending on the type of permit. Hence, as a responsible human being, it is essential to have a fishing license first.

3 Types of Fishing Passes

Why You Need to Get a Fishing License

Why You Need to Get a Fishing License

Various government agencies issue angling permit and they vary depending on the state. Each state’s license differs as well depending on multiple factors including the species of fish and the angler’s goal and the reason for fishing.

To better understand, below are the three types of fishing passes:

  1. Saltwaters vs. Freshwater Fishing Licenses. All states provide permits that are dependent on the species of fish the person intends to capture, which are saltwater and freshwater angling passes. While most state only has either inland or coastal waters, there are countries with both inland and coastal waters. That said, make sure what class of fish you plan to capture before purchasing permit.
  2. Resident vs. Non-resident Fishing Licenses. Another type of angling pass is the resident and non-resident. This one, as what the name suggests, are offered to locals and non-locals. If you plan to go fishing in your state, provide proof of residency and identity to prove your eligibility. However, those who prefer to fish in different places should have a non-resident fishing pass. The only downside of this is that non-locals are subject to pay a higher payment compared to the locals.
  3. Recreational vs. Commercial Fishing Licenses. All states issue licenses depending on the angler’s purpose as well. Generally, there are only two types: recreational and commercial. As such, hobbyists whose intention is for entertainment purpose only may only obtain a recreational fishing permit. However, those who plan to sell the fish are required to get a commercial fishing license. This way, the government can control, limit and protect the industry.

Why Do You Need to Have a Fishing License?

Angling passes are not free, and individuals need to pay for about $10 to $40 depending on the type of permit. Is it wrong? No. The government intended to do it for excellent reasons. Here are some:

  1. It regulates the fishing population. One of the primary and most vital reasons the government issued a license to fish is to control the population. Typically, it limits the number of fish as well as the species an angler can capture in a day. And as a result, it helps all fishers in the form of abundant fishing.
  2. It helps to identify poachers. Angling licenses also allow all states as well as wildlife agencies to recognize poachers. Issuing licenses that require legal documents create fear to those who want to fish illegally. The fishing passes’ fee is affordable as well (10$ – 40$), so it is quite suspicious not to get one.
  3. It helps fund wildlife and natural resources department. Some of the money collected from purchasing licenses goes to different wildlife agencies. These departments are responsible for understanding the fish’s mating pattern, migration, and other behaviors to further help biologists in protecting the marine life. For instance, an agency can limit the number of fishes, size, and angling season according to the data they gathered. Thus, it helps the marine life to thrive.
  4. Helps in conserving marine life. The collected money funds the government’s effort to preserve the marine life as well. They allocate it to different wildlife and natural resources agencies to maintain and protect fisheries and fish breeding grounds. Apart from that, it also helps preserve endangered species of fish.


By following the government’s rules and regulations concerning fishing licenses, the marine life, as well as the industry, will continue to thrive. It provides protection which in turn benefits enthusiasts through productive fishing. Apart from that, getting one is straightforward. Hence, as a responsible fisher, it is crucial to take heed to all state’s law regarding angling.

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