Are you planning a fishing adventure in the scenic waters of Idaho in 2024? Before you cast your line, it’s crucial to obtain a valid fishing license. Idaho offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, from trout-filled streams to large reservoirs teeming with bass and panfish. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of getting your Idaho fishing license, including who needs one, the types of licenses available, costs, and where to purchase them.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Idaho?

In Idaho, anyone 14 years of age or older must have a valid fishing license to fish in the state’s waters. However, there are some exceptions:

Resident Children Under 14
Idaho resident children under the age of 14 can fish without a license and have their own separate bag limit.

Non-Resident Children Under 14
Non-resident children under 14 must be accompanied by a license-holding adult. The child’s catch is included in the license holder’s bag limit unless the child purchases their own license.

It’s important to note that even if you’re not required to have a license, you must still follow all fishing regulations, including bag limits, size restrictions, and season dates.

Types of Idaho Fishing Licenses

Idaho offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to the needs of both resident and non-resident anglers:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Adult License: $30.50 ($25.75 with Price Lock)
  • Annual Junior License (14-17 years old): $16.00 ($13.75 with Price Lock)
  • Senior License (65+ years old): $13.75 ($11.75 with Price Lock)
  • Disabled Persons License: $5.75 ($5.00 with Price Lock)
  • Military Furlough License: $20.50 ($17.50 with Price Lock)
  • Daily Fishing License: $13.50 ($11.50 with Price Lock)

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Adult License: $108.00
  • Annual Junior License (14-17 years old): $23.75
  • Daily Fishing License: $22.75
  • 3-Day Salmon/Steelhead License: $44.75

In addition to these standard licenses, Idaho also offers combination hunting and fishing licenses, as well as lifetime licenses for infants, adults, and seniors.

How Much Does an Idaho Fishing License Cost?

The cost of an Idaho fishing license varies depending on the type of license, residency status, and duration. Here’s a breakdown of the most common license fees for the 2024 season:

License TypeResident FeeNon-Resident Fee
Annual Adult$30.50$108.00
Annual Junior (14-17 years old)$16.00$23.75
Daily Fishing$13.50$22.75
3-Day Salmon/SteelheadN/A$44.75

Keep in mind that prices are subject to change, and additional fees may apply for certain permits or tags.

Where to Buy an Idaho Fishing License

You have several options for purchasing your Idaho fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s official licensing website at to buy your license online.
  2. Mobile App: Download the “Go Outdoors Idaho” mobile app for iOS or Android devices to purchase licenses, tags, and permits directly from your smartphone.
  3. By Phone: Call the Idaho Fish and Game’s licensing hotline at 1-800-554-8685 to buy your license over the phone.
  4. In Person: Visit a local Idaho Fish and Game regional office or any authorized license vendor, such as sporting goods stores, to purchase your license in person.

When buying your license, make sure to have your personal information ready, including your full name, date of birth, address, and a valid form of payment. If you’re purchasing a license online or through the mobile app, you can print your license immediately or save a digital copy on your device.

Special Permits and Tags

In addition to a standard fishing license, you may need special permits or tags for certain activities:

  • Two-Pole Permit: If you want to fish with two poles, you’ll need to purchase a two-pole permit in addition to your fishing license.
  • Salmon and Steelhead Permit: If you plan on fishing for salmon or steelhead, you must purchase a separate permit along with your fishing license.
  • Sturgeon Fishing: Sturgeon fishing in Idaho is catch-and-release only. If you catch a sturgeon, you must release it immediately without removing it from the water.

Be sure to check the current Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules booklet for any additional permits or tags required for your specific fishing plans.

Idaho Fishing Regulations

Before heading out on your fishing adventure, familiarize yourself with Idaho’s fishing seasons, rules, and regulations. These guidelines help protect fish populations and ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all anglers. Some key points to keep in mind:

  • Seasons: Fishing seasons vary by species and location. Check the Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules booklet for specific dates and any seasonal closures.
  • Bag Limits: Each species has a daily bag limit, which is the number of fish you can keep in a single day. Be sure to follow these limits to avoid penalties.
  • Size Restrictions: Some fish species have size restrictions in place, meaning you can only keep fish within a certain length range. Measure your catch carefully to ensure compliance.
  • Catch-and-Release: When practicing catch-and-release, handle fish gently and minimize their time out of the water to increase their chances of survival.

Remember, it’s your responsibility as an angler to know and follow all fishing regulations. Violations can result in fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.

Proof of Residency for Idaho Residents

To purchase a resident fishing license in Idaho, you must provide proof of residency. As of 2021, a valid Idaho driver’s license or state identification card is required when buying resident licenses, tags, and permits from a vendor. Non-drivers under 18 must have a parent or guardian provide proof of residency.

Idaho defines a resident as someone who has been domiciled in the state with the intent to make it their permanent home for at least six months immediately before applying for any license, tag, or permit. Senior residents (65+) must have lived in Idaho for at least six months before applying for a senior license or tag.

Military personnel and their dependents stationed in Idaho can purchase resident licenses after 30 days of continuous residency by presenting a current Military Status and Residency Affidavit signed by their commanding officer.


Obtaining your Idaho fishing license is a simple process that grants you access to some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying informed about the state’s fishing regulations, you’ll be well on your way to a memorable and legal fishing experience in Idaho. So, get your license, grab your gear, and head out to explore the state’s diverse and abundant waters.

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