You need a recreational fishing license in Hawaii to take or attempt to take freshwater fish from Hawaii’s inland rivers, streams and ponds. A saltwater fishing license is not required to fish in Hawaii’s marine locations, but you must note which locations allow fishing and which prohibit the sport as a few do not allow fishing. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) issues a variety of commercial fishing permits, special entry permits and special activity permits that permit taking fish from certain locations and purposes.

Review the sections below to learn how to get a freshwater game fishing license in Hawaii, obtain a commercial fishing license or learn about other HI fishing permits. Find out the current freshwater fishing license cost and how much can expect to pay for other types of fishing-related permits.

Who needs a fishing license in Hawaii?

You are required to have a freshwater game fishing license in Hawaii if you plan to do any of the following:

  • Fish for largemouth black bass, smallmouth black bass, bluegill sunfish, channel catfish, tucunare or oscar in streams and other Hawaii freshwater locations.
  • Fish for rainbow trout in the Kokee Public Fishing Area in Kauai.
  • Fish in the Wahiawa Public Fishing Area on Oahu.

You must obtain one of Hawaii’s commercial saltwater fishing licenses if you plan to participate in any form of commercial fishing or aquaculture.

Hawaii Fishing License Requirements

Hawaii’s DAR does not have a long list of freshwater game fishing license requirements for residents or visitors. When applying for your HI recreational fishing license, you must provide your name, residence address, email address and phone number. Your game fishing license application will also require personal information, such as your height, weight, gender, hair color and eye color.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Hawaii

Hawaii only requires one type of recreational fishing license to engage in the fishing activities listed above. Your Hawaii freshwater game fishing license is the only kind you should need to obtain, unless you are registering a bottom fish boat or you need a Wahiawa Public Fishing Area Entry Permit. If you plan to fish or operate a boat for commercial purposes, the state offers eight types of commercial fishing permits, as follows:

  • Aquaculture Dealer License
  • Aquaculture Facility License
  • Bait License
  • Bottomfish Fishing Vessel Registration
  • Commercial Marine License
  • Kona Crab/Lobster Closed Season Sales License
  • Special Marine Product License
  • West Hawaii Aquarium Permit

What types of fish can I catch with a fishing license in Hawaii?

Common fish you can catch with your freshwater game fishing permit include the following freshwater and saltwater species:

  • Opakapaka
  • Gindai
  • Hapu’u
  • Lehi
  • Butterflyfish
  • Tang
  • Sturgeonfish
  • Snapper
  • Triggerfish

 

 

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Hawaii?

Your freshwater game fishing license in Hawaii may or may not provide all the permits you need for every kind of fishing. If you are using your game fishing license to collect aquatic life with a fine mesh net for your aquarium, you must obtain a West Hawaii Aquarium Freshwater Fishing Permit. Always check local fishing regulations for current information on special fishing permits and tags.

How long is a fishing license valid in Hawaii?

A Hawaii game fishing license is an annual license that is valid for one full year from the date of purchase. The commercial fishing license price generally reflects validity for one year, unless otherwise specified.

How much does a Hawaii fishing license cost?

How much is a freshwater game fishing license in Hawaii? DAR states that game fishing license fees will vary and will be determined at the time of purchase. What is an average commercial fishing license price in Hawaii? These also vary, as follows:

  • Aquaculture Dealer License: No fee
  • Aquaculture Facility License: $50
  • Bait License: $50
  • Bottomfish Fishing Vessel Registration: No fee
  • Commercial Marine Saltwater Fishing License: $100
  • Kona Crab/Lobster Closed Season Sales License: $50
  • Special Marine Product License: $50
  • West Hawaii Aquarium Permit: No fee

Related Guides

Are fishing license discounts available in Hawaii?

Although many states offer recreational fishing license discounts to qualified residents who are veterans, disabled, active duty military or senior citizens, Hawaii’s limited fishing license requirements make fishing license discounts unnecessary. As in other states, Hawaii commercial fishing license fees do not include any special discount programs.

Where can I get a fishing license in Hawaii?

Obtain a recreational freshwater game fishing license and other types of fishing licenses from any licensing agent listed on the DAR website. You may also purchase your freshwater game fishing license online.

How can I replace my Hawaii fishing license?

If you lose or destroy your Hawaii recreational fishing license, you may reprint it online anytime, free of charge by using the “Retrieve My Licenses” option on the DAR website. If you need help with online commercial fishing license replacement or game fishing license replacement, call the DAR.