A recreational fishing license in Idaho is required for taking or attempting to take fish from Idaho waters. You may apply for a freshwater fishing license from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) by the methods detailed below. The license fee depends on how long the license is valid, your state residency and if you are eligible for any of the discounts offered by the IDFG. An Idaho commercial fishing license is required for anyone who plans to fish for commercial or business purposes.

Keep reading to find out how to get a freshwater fishing permit in Idaho, obtain a commercial fishing permit and learn about Idaho license regulations. You will also learn the current freshwater fishing license cost in ID and what types of fish you can expect to catch in Idaho’s 12,000-plus rivers, lakes and streams.

Who needs a fishing license in Idaho?

A recreational fishing license is required in Idaho for all residents and non-residents age 14 and older. Resident youth younger than 14 do not need a sport fishing license to fish in Idaho, but they have their own separate fishing limit. Non-resident youth younger than 14 must fish accompanied by someone with a valid recreational fishing license, and the youth’s fish are included in the license holder’s fish limit. A non-resident child may purchase their own license to have their own limit instead of sharing the count with another person.

Do you need a fishing license for freshwater fishing in Idaho’s private ponds? A valid ID sport fishing license is required unless the private pond owner has a valid Private Pond Permit from IDFG. You must always carry your recreational freshwater fishing license in Idaho while fishing and produce it upon request of an IDFG agent.

Idaho Fishing License Requirements

There are few requirements to get a non-resident freshwater fishing license in Idaho. You must complete the ID Nonresident Freshwater Fishing License application, which requires entering your name, mailing address, Social Security Number, date of birth and phone number. Your recreational freshwater fishing license application also requires entering personal identification information, such as height, weight, eye color and hair color.

Applying for a resident freshwater fishing license follows a similar process, but you must provide proof of Idaho residency for at least the six months prior to your license request. Usually, your Idaho driver’s license provides sufficient proof of residency for sport fishing license purposes, but non-drivers may show two documents printed with your Idaho address instead. Rent receipts, mortgage statements or utility bills for the prior six months will usually suffice. You cannot get a resident freshwater fishing license if you only own property in Idaho; you must physically inhabit the property to qualify.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Idaho

IDFG issues several recreational and commercial fishing permits to meet the needs of everyone who wants to fish in the state’s waterways. Freshwater fishing license types include resident and non-resident versions of the following:

  • Annual Sportsman’s Package (residents only)
  • Youth and Senior Sportsman’s Licenses
  • Combination Hunting and Game Fishing License
  • Daily, Annual and 3-Year Sport Fishing License
  • Commercial Fishing Permits

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

Your Idaho recreational fishing license allows you to fish for a wide variety of game fish. Common Idaho game fish species you can catch with your freshwater fishing permit include the following:

    • Cisco
    • Crappie
    • Perch
    • Bass
    • Trout (brown, bull, brook, cutthroat, golden, lake, rainbow, steelhead, splake and Sunapee)
    • Catfish
    • Bullhead
    • Sunfish
    • Sturgeon
    • Northern pike
    • Grayling
    • Salmon (Chinook, coho, kokanee, Atlantic)
  • Whitefish
  • Tiger muskie
  • Sauger
  • Burbot
  • Walleye
  • Yellow perch
  • Bullfrogs
  • Crayfish

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

Your sport fishing license in Idaho will require a special freshwater fishing permit or tag if you wish to catch salmon or steelhead. Always check local fishing regulations for updates on special freshwater fishing permit types or tags before casting your line into the water, as IDFG updates them annually.

How long is a fishing license valid in Idaho?

Most Idaho recreational fishing license types are annual licenses that expire one year from the date of purchase. Certain sport fishing license types are issued for a lifetime, while others are short-term fishing licenses valid from a few days to several years.

How much does an Idaho fishing license cost?

How much is a freshwater fishing license in Idaho? Your commercial, trip or annual freshwater fishing license cost varies according to residency,and whether you took advantage of IDFG’s Price Lock option. Contact IDFG for information on price lock and how it affects the following fees:

Resident Fishing License Fees

  • Combination Adult Hunting/Fishing: $38.50
  • Combination Adult Hunting/Fishing 3-Year: $97
  • Combination Junior (14-17 years) Hunting/Fishing: $19
  • Combination Junior (14-17 years) Hunting/Fishing 3-Year: $49
  • Combination Senior (65+ years) Hunting/Fishing: $13.75
  • Combination Senior (65+ years) Hunting/Fishing 3-Year: $33.50
  • Combination Sportsman’s Package: $144.60
  • Adult Recreational Fishing License: $30.50
  • Adult Recreational Fishing License 3-Year: $73.75
  • Daily Fishing: $13.50 plus $6 for each additional day
  • Junior (14-17 years) Fishing License: $13.75
  • Junior (14-17 years) Fishing License 3-Year: $37.75
  • Two-Pole Fishing: $15
  • Salmon or Steelhead Tag: $15.25

Non-resident Fishing License Fees

  • Combination Adult Hunting/Fishing: $240
  • Combination Adult Hunting/Fishing 3-Year: $716.50
  • Adult Recreational Fishing License: $98.25
  • Adult Recreational Fishing License 3-Year: $291.25
  • Daily Fishing: $15 plus $7 for each additional day
  • Junior (14-17 years) Fishing License: $21.75
  • Junior (14-17 years) Fishing License 3-Year: $61.75
  • Two-Pole Fishing: $15.50
  • Salmon or Steelhead Tag: $25.75

Related Guides

Are fishing license discounts available in Idaho?

IDFG will issue their lower-cost resident freshwater fishing license to military personnel and their family members who are stationed in Idaho at least 30 days prior to applying for a fishing license, or who are stationed elsewhere but maintain records of permanent Idaho residency. Others eligible for a deeply-discounted or no-fee Idaho recreational fishing license include disabled persons, disabled veterans, senior citizens and residents of long-term care facilities.

Where can I get a fishing license in Idaho?

Obtain a recreational freshwater fishing license and other types of fishing licenses from any IDFG office or licensing agent. You may also buy a sport fishing license from IDFG online.

How can I replace my Idaho fishing license?

You can replace your lost or damaged Idaho recreational fishing license or tags for a fee at any license dealer. A resident freshwater fishing license replacement costs $7.25 while a non-resident freshwater fishing license replacement costs $8.25.