Fishing in Ohio offers a diverse and rewarding experience, with opportunities ranging from the vast waters of Lake Erie to the serene Ohio River. To ensure you are ready for your angling adventure in 2024, it is essential to understand the requirements and options for obtaining an Ohio fishing license. This guide will provide comprehensive information on the types of licenses available, costs, purchasing methods, and regulations.

Who Needs an Ohio Fishing License?

In Ohio, anyone aged 16 or older must have a fishing license to fish in public waters. This requirement applies to both residents and non-residents, regardless of whether you are fishing with a guide or charter. Specific exemptions include:

  • Children under 16 years of age.
  • Resident military personnel on leave from active duty.
  • Individuals assisting an angler with a mobility-impaired license, provided they use only one rod.
  • Participants in Ohio’s Free Fishing Days, which occur annually.

Types of Ohio Fishing Licenses

Ohio offers a variety of fishing licenses to cater to different needs and durations. These include options for both residents and non-residents:

Resident Licenses

  • 1-Day License: $14.00
  • 1-Year License: $25.00
  • 3-Year License: $72.11
  • 5-Year License: $120.18
  • 10-Year License: $240.36
  • Lifetime License: $599.04
  • Senior 1-Year License: $10.00
  • Senior 3-Year License: $27.04
  • Senior 5-Year License: $45.07
  • Senior Lifetime License: $84.24
  • Youth Lifetime License: $430.56 (for residents under 16).

Non-Resident Licenses

  • 1-Day License: $14.00
  • 3-Day License: $25.00
  • 1-Year License: $50.96
  • 1-Year Upgrade from 1-Day License: $37.44.

Special Permits

  • Lake Erie Fishing Permit: Required for non-residents from January 1 to April 30 annually, costing $11.00.

Purchasing an Ohio Fishing License


You can purchase your fishing license online through the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s website, After completing the transaction, the license will be emailed to you, and you can display it on your mobile device if requested.

In Person

Licenses are available at authorized sales agents, including sporting goods stores, bait shops, and some gas stations. You can also purchase them at Division of Wildlife offices.

By Phone

For operator-assisted purchases, call 1-866-703-1928 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. A $5.50 fee will be added to the cost of the license.

By Mail

You can request a Mail Order Application Form by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) and submit it along with the required documents.

License Requirements and Regulations

General Requirements

  • A fishing license is required to take fish, frogs, or turtles from public and private property.
  • Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs open to public fishing through an agreement with the Ohio Division of Wildlife must have a fishing license.
  • Licenses must be in possession while fishing and shown upon request. They can be displayed using a mobile device.


  • Persons under 16 years of age.
  • Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs where fish do not migrate.
  • Individuals assisting an angler with a mobility-impaired license.
  • Fishing on land and water owned by the angler or their parents, except state parks or state-owned lakes.
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty while on leave or furlough.

Conservation Efforts

Fishing license fees support various conservation initiatives, including habitat restoration and public access to fishing opportunities. By purchasing a license, anglers contribute to the sustainable management of Ohio’s fish resources, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the state’s rich fishing heritage.


Obtaining an Ohio fishing license is a straightforward process that ensures you are compliant with state regulations while contributing to conservation efforts. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, Ohio offers a range of license options to suit your fishing needs. Plan your next fishing trip with confidence, knowing you have the necessary permits to enjoy Ohio’s diverse and abundant fishing opportunities.

For more detailed information and to purchase your license, visit the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s website at

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