Are you planning to go fishing in the beautiful waters of West Virginia? Before casting your line, make sure you have a valid fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about West Virginia fishing license fees and requirements for 2024.

Resident Fishing License Fees in West Virginia

For West Virginia residents, several fishing license options are available depending on your age and fishing preferences:

Annual Fishing License ($19): This basic license allows residents to fish in all public waters within the state for one calendar year.

5-Day Fishing License ($8): A short-term option for residents who only need a license for a few days.

Sportsman License ($35 for ages 18-64): This combo license covers hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges.

Junior Sportsman License ($16 for ages 15-17): Youth can get hunting, fishing, and trapping with this discounted license.

Trout Stamp ($10): Required in addition to your fishing license if you plan to fish for trout.

Conservation Stamp ($5): All licensed resident anglers must purchase this stamp, except for some combo licenses.

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

For non-residents visiting West Virginia, here are the main fishing license options:

Annual Fishing License ($37): Allows non-residents to fish in public waters for the full calendar year.

1-Day Fishing License ($3): Perfect for a short fishing trip, this permit is valid for one day only.

Trout Stamp ($16): Non-resident anglers targeting trout must have this stamp.

Conservation Stamp ($13): This stamp is required for all non-resident licensed anglers.

National Forest Stamp ($2): If fishing in national forests, this stamp is needed along with your regular license.

Lifetime Licenses for West Virginia Residents

West Virginia also offers lifetime fishing licenses for residents looking for a long-term option:

Lifetime Fishing License ($552 / $276 for infants under 1): No more annual fees after this one-time purchase.

Lifetime Trout Stamp ($230 / $115 for infants): Add this for lifetime trout fishing privileges.

Lifetime Sportsman License ($805): This covers hunting, fishing and trapping for life.

In 2024, West Virginia introduced discounted lifetime license fees for children under 15, with bigger discounts for younger ages.

Where to Buy Your West Virginia Fishing License

You can conveniently purchase your West Virginia fishing license:

  • Online at
  • From any authorized retail license agent statewide
  • By phone at 304-558-2758
  • At West Virginia DNR district offices

Don’t forget to review the current WV fishing regulations on creel limits, size requirements, gear restrictions and more before your trip. With a valid fishing license in hand, you’re ready to explore West Virginia’s abundant waters and world-class fishing opportunities!

Can I fish without a license in West Virginia?

No, unless you fall under one of the exemptions mentioned earlier, you must have a valid fishing license to fish in West Virginia’s public waters.

Do I need a separate license for each type of fishing?

In most cases, your regular fishing license covers all types of fishing. However, if you plan to fish for trout, you’ll need to purchase an additional trout stamp.

Can I use my West Virginia fishing license in other states?

No, a West Virginia fishing license is only valid within the state’s boundaries. If you plan to fish in another state, you’ll need to obtain a license from that state’s fish and wildlife agency.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you lose your license, you can easily replace it online at or by visiting a license agent. A small fee may apply for the replacement.

How long is my fishing license valid?

The validity of your license depends on the type you purchase. Annual licenses are valid for one calendar year, while lifetime licenses are valid for the holder’s lifetime. Be sure to check the expiration date on your license to ensure it’s current.

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