HookedinFishing » Do You Need a Fishing License on Private Property

Do You Need a Fishing License on Private Property

Fishing license laws vary state to state. There are 40 states that don’t require a license when fishing on private property. Only 10 states require you have a license when fishing on private property.

Private Property Fishing License Requirements for All 50 States

StatePrivate Property License Requirements
AlabamaIn Alabama you don't need a license to fish on private property
AlaskaIn Alaska you need to have a license to fish on private property
ArizonaIn Arizona you don't need a license to fish on private property
ArkansasIn Arkansas you need to have a license to fish on private property
CaliforniaIn California you need to have a license to fish on private property
ColoradoIn Colorado you need to have a license to fish on private property
ConnecticutIn Connecticut you need to have a license to fish on private property
DelawareIn Delaware you don't need a license to fish on private property
FloridaIn Florida you don't need a license to fish on private property
GeorgiaIn Georgia you don't need a license to fish on private property
HawaiiIn Hawaii you need to have a license to fish on private property
IdahoIn Idaho you don't need a license to fish on private property
IllinoisIn Illinois you don't need a license to fish on private property
IndianaIn Indiana you don't need a license to fish on private property
IowaIn Iowa you don't need a license to fish on private property
KansasIn Kansas you don't need a license to fish on private property
KentuckyIn Kentucky you don't need a license to fish on private property
LouisianaIn Louisiana you don't need a license to fish on private property
MaineIn Maine you don't need a license to fish on private property
MarylandIn Maryland you don't need a license to fish on private property
MassachusettsIn Massachusetts you don't need a license to fish on private property
MichiganIn Michigan you don't need a license to fish on private property
MinnesotaIn Minnesota you need to have a license to fish on private property
MississippiIn Mississippi you don't need a license to fish on private property
MissouriIn Missouri you don't need a license to fish on private property
MontanaIn Montana you don't need a license to fish on private property
NebraskaIn Nebraska you don't need a license to fish on private property
NevadaIn Nevada you need to have a license to fish on private property
New HampshireIn New Hampshire you need to have a license to fish on private property
New JerseyIn New Jersey you don't need a license to fish on private property
New MexicoIn New Mexico you don't need a license to fish on private property
New YorkIn New York you don't need a license to fish on private property
North CarolinaIn North Carolina you don't need a license to fish on private property
North DakotaIn North Dakota you need to have a license to fish on private property
OhioIn Ohio you don't need a license to fish on private property
OklahomaIn Oklahoma you don't need a license to fish on private property
OregonIn Oregon you don't need a license to fish on private property
PennsylvaniaIn Pennsylvania you don't need a license to fish on private property
Rhode IslandIn Rhode Island you don't need a license to fish on private property
South CarolinaIn South Carolina you don't need a license to fish on private property
South DakotaIn South Dakota you don't need a license to fish on private property
TennesseeIn Tennessee you don't need a license to fish on private property
TexasIn Texas you don't need a license to fish on private property
UtahIn Utah you don't need a license to fish on private property
VermontIn Vermont you don't need a license to fish on private property
VirginiaIn Virginia you don't need a license to fish on private property
WashingtonIn Washington you don't need a license to fish on private property
West VirginiaIn West Virginia you don't need a license to fish on private property
WisconsinIn Wisconsin you don't need a license to fish on private property
WyomingIn Wyoming you don't need a license to fish on private property

What is Considered Private Water

Most states consider water private if it’s surrender by private land and does not have any connecting streams. This is in place to protect public fish from entering or escaping private water. Some states have even more specific requirements on what is private water.

In Delaware, you don’t need a license to fish a private pond if the private property is at least 20 acres in size. Any ponds on land smaller than 20 acres still require a license.

In Arkansas, you need a license unless you fish private property unless it is a “pay-to-fish” lake.

South Carolina doesn’t require a license on private ponds unless it is a “pay-to-fish” lake.

Washington requires land owners get their private ponds approved for fish stocking before the owners or guest can fish without a license

Private Property on Public Waters

In most states private property ends at public waters and you need a fishing license to fish on pubic water. There are a few states that have exceptions to this.

Oregon and South Dakota residents fishing from their property don’t need a fishing license, even if the water body is not privately owned. Oregon does require a license though if you’re fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut. 

Maine doesn’t require residents have a fishing license when fishing public water from their property only if the property is used for agricultural purposes.

Learn more about when you need a fishing license.

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, ballot initiatives, rulings in courts, and other means. While we strive to provide the most up to date information available, please consult a lawyer or verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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