California Fishing License

Fishing Convict Lake California Fishing Convict Lake California
Getting a California Fishing License can be done on line or through authorized outlets. The process is managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, their home page being: California Department of Fish and Wildlife California offers some of the widest varieties of fishing experiences of any state in the USA - freshwater lake, reservoir, river and stream; plus many options for saltwater off shore, and some in shore areas. The scenery is out out this world. Did you know each year CDF&W issues more than 2 million fishing licenses?

California - Known For...

Beverly Hills Welcome to Beverly Hills

Maybe you are not from California, and the most common thing you see or hear about the state is Beverly Hills and Hollywood.  Do you wonder about what kind of fishery you will find in California and where you can purchase a California Fishing License? This map shows how California is criss crossed by rivers and full of lakes.  Keep reading about opportunities to fish in California and when ready click the online link to order your California Fishing License ...   

California Rivers and Lakes Map
California Rivers and Lakes Map
This great map resource and many others are available for your review from Click on this link to see California Maps and Contours

Did You Know?

  • California is home to over 1,000 miles of Pacific Coastline and 220,000 square miles of ocean waters.
  • California is home to 4,172 lakes and reservoirs - including the amazing Castaic Lake - home to the state record over 21 lb large mouth bass.
  • California is also home to over 29,600 miles of streams and rivers - which offer a wide variety of species of native as well as stocked trout.
  • In addition, you can find 1,800 miles of bay and delta waters - providing more waters to wet your line than in any other state in the union.
  • California fish and wildlife manages 21 hatcheries - 8 of which grow salmon, and the remaining trout. Click on this following link to read more about these hatcheries. California Fish Hatcheries
and you will need a California Fishing License to fish in these waters.
Northern California River Northern California River

Review the fee structure below if not certain the type of license you will need. Fee Structures are subject to change, these posted fees are a couple of years old, but will give you a directional idea about fees. If you already know which license you need, then click on the following link to order your license online:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Online License Service.

Resident / Non
Consecutive Days
16 Yrs and older
16 yrs and older
One Day License
One Day
16 yrs and older
2 Day License
2 consecutive days
16 yrs and older
10 Day License
10 consecutive days
16 yrs and older
Lifetime License
Annual License Received for Life
9 yrs and younger
Lifetime License
Annual License Received for Life
Persons 10 to 39 yrs
Lifetime License
Annual License Received for Life
Persons 40 to 61 yrs
Lifetime License
Annual License Received for Life
Persons 62 yrs and older
Additional validations and report cards are required for certain species and areas. A Two-day sport California Fishing fishing license is exempt from the Ocean Enhancement Validation requirement, when uncertain please check the website. Special reduced rate California Fishing licenses may be available for Resident Native Americans, certain Disabled Persons, Disabled Veterans and Low Income Seniors - those licenses may be obtained only thru department of Fish and Wildlife offices and not online. Please refer to Reduced Rate Licenses Specifications for specific required information to be eligible for one of these.

California Trophy Fish Records

California Species
California Record
Blue Catfish
113 lbs - 2008
San Vicente
Blue Gill
3 lbs 14 oz 2008
Rancho Murieta
Channel Catfish
53 lbs 8 oz 2008
San Joaquin River
Black Crappie
4 lbs 1 oz 1975
New Hogan Lake
Flathead Catfish
72 lbs 14 ozs
Colorado River
Largemouth Bass
21 lbs 12 oz 1991
Castaic lake
Small Mouth Bass 9 lbs 13 oz 2007
Pardee Reservoir
Striped Bass
67 lbs 8 oz 1992
O'Neill Forebay
52 lbs 0 oz (1968)
Lake Nacimiento
White Bass
5 lbs 5 oz 1972
Ferguson Lake
All weights are subject to change and have been updated recently. Click on the following link for a complete and most up to date listing of freshwater inland records: Freshwater Inland Records and this link for up to date Saltwater Records: Saltwater Records Explore these exciting facts and much more at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Home Page: Fishing Home Page

California Trout Fishing

Heritage Trout Challenge

There are eleven different species of native trout in California. In fact, California F&W Department offers a challenge to anglers who are able to catch six different species of these eleven in one calendar year. Some of these species are considered endangered so much care and management regulations have been put into place to insure this angling opportunity can be sustained for the future. In addition there are at least 8 hatcheries that are designated Trout hatcheries.
There are two species of native trout, the Cutthroat and the Rainbow Trout. There are three subspecies of Cutthroat that can be found in California: Coastal Cutthroat, Lahontan Cutthroat and Paiute Cutthroat Trout. There are 8 subspecies of Rainbow trout found in California: Coastal Rainbow, Eagle Lake Rainbow, McCloud River Redband, Warner Redband, Kern River Rainbow, California Golden, and Little Kern Golden Trout. Pictures of each of these species as well as locations where they can be caught along with regulations are found at: Heritage Challenge Qualifying Trout

Take the challenge!   Upon completion by catching six different native trout, submitting their pictures with date and location, you will receive a colorful, personalized certificate featuring the art of renowned fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri.  This certificate will include six full color pictures of the trout you caught with the dates and locations as well.  Its size is designed to fit in a 16" x 20" frame. 

Other California Fishing Options

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Charter Sport Ocean Fishing, Dock Fishing, Shore Fishing and Lake fishing - no matter where - it is time to jump in - and yes you will need a California Fishing License to fish these waters.
California Fishing Dock California Fishing Dock
California Fishing Dock California Shore Fishing Dusk
California Mammouth Lakes California Mammouth Lakes

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