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A fishing license was first used in the USA in 1902. New York is the first state to issue fishing licenses to anglers. The authorities of the USA provide a fishing license to control fishing activities, protect the fish population, and enhance fisheries resources.

Do you need a license for salmon fishing? Any angler aged 16 or above should purchase a fishing license to catch salmon from any state-owned ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. But underage children, some disabled people, and senior citizens fall into some exemptions in some cases.

Do You Need A License For Salmon Fishing?

It is necessary to have a fishing license for fishing any type of fish from any state of public waters. We’ve written a detailed article on fishing license requirements by state.

Generally, anglers aged 16 or above should purchase a fishing license to catch salmon from any state-owned ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

However, the minimum age to get a fishing license varies in some states.

For instance, Teenagers aged 12 or above can get a fishing license from Nevada, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Kentucky.

In fact, a 10-year-old boy or girl can get a catch-record card from Arizona State.

In contrast, states like Alaska and Indiana don’t provide any fishing licenses unless you are 18 years old.

Do You Need A License For Salmon Fishing

Who Doesn’t Need A Fishing License For Salmon Fishing?

Any regular person must own a fishing license to catch salmon fish from publicly-owned waters.

Here are a few exceptions for some people who don’t have a fishing license for salmon fishing. 

Underage Children

Kids whose age is less than the minimum age to buy a fishing license can catch salmon without a fishing license.

However, it is advisable to have a company of their parent who has a fishing license. But it is not mandatory.

Make sure to go through the state and local fishing laws, as fishing rules and regulations vary among states.

Disabled People

Most states provide discounted fishing licenses for disabled people. However, some states give exemptions for fishing for some people with certain disabilities. We have a separate article on disabled fishing license details.

For instance, Veterans from Oklahoma who are permanent residents of Oklahoma and have a disability rating of 60 percent or more don’t need any fishing license.

Likewise, people who are physically impaired or blind and can’t use fishing equipment like regular anglers are exempted from owning a fishing permit in some states.

Senior Citizens

Some states give exemptions to senior citizens whose age is more than 64 or 65 years old.

In most states, senior citizens are given special fishing licenses with a discount.

However, this is only valid for local residents. And they must carry their proof of age and local resident identification card as proof.

Particular Local Areas 

There might be some locations in your area which is neither in the possession of a government nor any person.

You can research it online and talk with other local anglers who have freely caught fish in these water spots without a fishing license.

But these are not common. Before catching fish from such spots, you must be aware of whether it is valid to catch fish from such locations without a fishing license.  

When Can You Catch Salmon Fish Without A Fishing License?

Anglers don’t need any fishing license during National Fishing and Boating Week. It is held annually during the first full week of June.

People celebrate this occasion by fishing and boating every year. The weeklong event occurs at the same time for almost all 50 states.

However, some states may celebrate the weeklong event later if there are any issues in the particular state.

You can catch salmon fish from any public waters, such as ponds, rivers, lakes, oceans, etc., during this period.

Avoid catching salmon from any privately-owned waters. You can’t also catch fish from any locations where there is any restriction to protect some fish species.

What Type Of Fishing License Is Required For Salmon Fishing?

If you want only to catch salmon-based fish, such as Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Pink salmon, Atlantic salmon, Sockeye salmon, etc., it is best to buy a Salmon Fishing License.

However, when you want to catch various types of fish species, such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, trout, walleye, etc., go for a standard fishing license.

This will help you avoid paying fines. But a standard fishing license will be a bit more expensive than a Salmon Fishing License.

Also, you have a limitation to catching a certain number of fish species daily.

One advantage of a Salmon Fishing license is catching more salmon species than Salmon Fishing License.

Fishing licenses are available in various types, such as daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annually, and annually. Choose a particular option depending on how often you fish. 

What Are The Penalties For Salmon Fishing Without A Fishing License?

Wondering about the consequences of catching salmon fish without a fishing license?

The followings are the common problems you are going to face if you catch any fish without owning a fishing permit.

01. Fine

The fine for salmon fishing without a fishing license can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000.

The rule varies from state to state. But anglers who have caught without a fishing license several times will have to pay a higher amount than the first time.

For example, an angler from California has to pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 if he/she is found without a fishing license two times.

In Arizona, the maximum fine for not carrying a fishing license while fishing is $750.

02. License Suspension

If you are found not carrying a fishing license, some states may restrict you from fishing for a certain period.

In some cases, it can be permanent suspense if you have repeatedly violated the fishing laws.

Generally, the consequence for violating the fishing rules and regulations will vary depending on the state rules and regulations as well as the severity of the violation.

03. Legal Proceedings

Some states are too strict on fishing laws. You may have to appear in court and follow complicated legal proceedings.

This is common when you heavily harm the water resources and surrounding environment.

 If you are found guilty, you may have to bear criminal charges and associated penalties in certain cases.

04. Confiscation of Equipment

If you are engaged in any illegal fishing activities, the local authority may confiscate your fishing equipment, such as fishing gear, boat, etc.

Plus, any fish you catch without a fishing license might be seized and confiscated. You don’t have the right to catch any fish without buying a fishing license.

How To Get A Fishing License For Salmon Fishing?

Getting a fishing license for salmon fishing is pretty straightforward. You can obtain a fishing license from the Department of Environmental Conservation of your state.

An angler can get a catch record card physically from the office or apply online. It may take around 7-15 days to get a fishing license.

When applying online, make sure to cross the information to provide accurate information.

If you want to get it within a short period, buy it from a certified retail seller, such as Walmart.

They generally take 30-60 minutes to make ready a fishing license. You just need to provide a driving license or birth certificate to get one.

Carefully select what type of license you prefer, such as daily, seasonal, annual, etc. Also, you need to mention whether you are a resident or non-resident of the particular state. 

Final Verdict

A conscious citizen of any state will always buy and carry a fishing license regardless of where he/she fish. It is the basic fishing rule all anglers must follow.

Failing the show the fishing permit to the fisheries officer may result in penalties and fines until the person is exempted as per the fishing law.

If you love to fish various types of salmon fishes, be sure to keep a valid fishing license with you always while fishing in any public water.

Hopefully, you got a clear idea about the question, “Do you need a license for salmon fishing?” Let me know if you have any queries regarding this topic.

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