Arizona Fishing License: Cost, How to Buy & Who Needs One

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Arizona Fishing License: Cost, How to Buy & Who Needs One

Tackle Village is reader supported. If you buy a product through links on the site we may make a small commission

Updated on:

Arizona has a real diversity of fishing with many lakes and rivers and state parks where anglers can enjoy great sport.

You can expect to have the chance to catch trout, walleye, pike, bass and catfish if you get to spend some time fishing in Arizona.

It is important to make sure you get the right license for the type of fishing you will be doing.

We’ve put together what we think is the most complete and easy-to-navigate guide to fishing licenses in Arizona.

Fishing in Arizona

Before we get into the detail of the Arizona fishing license system, it is worth briefly mentioning some of the great quality fishing on offer.

At higher altitudes, Arizona has some great trout fishing (it is home to the fabled Apache trout, the state fish of Arizona) as well as rainbow trout and other trout species.

High altitude lakes in Arizona are also home to pike and walleye.

Once you descend a bit lower and the water temperatures increase, you can find some of the best largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing in the country in the reservoirs and lakes of Arizona.

And the state has plenty of panfish such as bluegill and crappie on offer!

Who needs a fishing license in Arizona?

In broad terms, a valid Arizona fishing license is required for Arizona resident and non-resident anglers 10 years of age or older fishing any public accessible water in Arizona. 

Who is Exempt from Needing a Fishing License in Arizona?

  • Youth under the age of 10
  • Disabled resident veterans who can show a valid certification from the Veteran’s Administration confirming permanent 100% service-connected disability and over one consecutive year as a bona fide Arizona resident
  • Anglers aged 70 or older (plus 25 consecutive years as a bona fide resident) are also eligible for a complimentary Arizona license. 
  • Blind residents do not need to purchase a state fishing license to fish in Arizona.
  • Check out these links for our guides to exemptions for veterans, seniors and the disabled in all states.
Arizona has some great bass fishing in lower altitude lakes

Fishing License Types and Costs in Arizona

There are five basic types of Arizona fishing licenses anglers can obtain. 

1.General Fishing License

A general fishing license is required for all anglers, regardless of their residency status, allowing you to fish for all species throughout the state. 

Resident Licences

These are available to bona fide resident who is domiciled (claims the state of Arizona as their true, fixed and permanent home and principal residence) in this state for six months immediately preceding the date of application for a license, permit, tag, or stamp and does not claim residency for any purpose in another state or jurisdiction. Or is a member of the armed forces of the United States who is on active duty and stationed in this state for either permanent or temporary duty; or is a member of the armed forces of the United States on active duty stationed in another state or country but who lists this state as their home of record at the time of applying for a license, permit, tag, or stamp. 

Non Resident (foreign) Fishing Licenses

These licenses are applicable to all visitors to Arizona who want to fish from other states or countries. Non resident licenses are typically more expensive than resident licenses and some of the discounts and exemptions that apply to veterans, the disabled and seniors don’t usually apply to non resident license holders.

General Fishing License Costs in Arizona

These are the current prices for a fishing license in Arizona drawn from the Arizona Game and Fish Department figures.

Fishing License TypeResident AnnualNon resident annualLifetimeBlind
(not available for non residents)
Disabled Veterans
(not available for non residents)
Senior (70+)
(not available for non residents)
Cost $37$55Age 0-13: $629.00
Age 14-29: $666.00
Age 30-34: $592.00
Age 45-61: $555.00
Age 62+: $296.00
ExemptExemptExempt

Source: https://www.azgfd.com/license/

2. Combo Hunt and Fish

If you love to fish and hunt, there’s a combination type available for both residents and visitors. 

Combo Hunt and Fish License Costs in Arizona

These are the current prices for Combo Hunt and Fish fishing licences in Arizona.

Fishing License TypeResident AnnualNon resident annualLifetimeBlind
(not available
for non resident)
Veterans (disabled)Senior (70+)
Cost$57$160Age 0-13: $969.00
Age 14-29: $1029.00
Age 30-34: $912.00
Age 45-61: $855.00
Age 62+: $456.00
ExemptExemptExempt
Source: https://www.azgfd.com/license/



3. Youth Combo Hunt and Fish

Younger anglers aged 10-17 can purchase a youth license that allows them to fish and hunt in Arizona. This license costs $5 for both resident anglers and non resident.

4. Short-Term Combo Hunt & Fish

If you’re interested in a quick getaway or just want to fish or hunt for a few days, you can purchase a short-term fish and hunt combination license. This permit can be obtained for any day – all you need to do is select a date (or dates) at the time of purchase.

Short-Term Combo Hunt and Fish License Costs in Arizona

These are the current prices for Short-Term Combo Hunt and Fish fishing licences in Arizona.

Fishing License
Type
Resident
Daily
Non Resident
Daily
DisabledVeterans
(disabled)
Senior (70+)
Cost $15$20ExemptExemptExempt
Source: https://www.azgfd.com/license/

Special Licenses in Arizona

Honorary Scout Combination License

Arizona offers a reduced fee Honorary Scout combination license for Boy and Girl Scouts with the highest level in their organization. Girl Scouts with the Gold Award and the Boy Scouts of Scouts of America who have received the Eagle Scout are eligible for this license through the calendar year of their 20th birthday. 


Arizonans can purchase a lifetime fishing and/or combination license, with fees varying depending on the age and license type. Even if you decide to move out of Arizona, you’ll still be able to come back and use your license to hunt and fish. According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, by purchasing a lifetime license, resident anglers and hunters become long-term sponsors of the state’s Wildlife Conservation programs.



Lifetime Wildlife Benefactor License

There’s an additional type of lifetime license for Arizonans, a Lifetime Wildlife Benefactor License. This permit allows you to fish and hunt while donating to the state’s wildlife conservation, protection, and management programs. 

Source: https://www.azgfd.com/license/speciallicense/

What Fishing License Discounts Apply in Arizona?

Arizona offers complimentary licenses for disabled resident veterans who can show a valid certification from the Veteran’s Administration confirming permanent 100% service-connected disability and over one consecutive year as a bona fide Arizona resident. In addition to that, anglers aged 70 or older (plus 25 consecutive years as a bona fide resident) are also eligible for a complimentary Arizona license.

The first Saturday of Arizona National Fishing and Boating Week is a free fishing day for all anglers. 

Where can I buy an Arizona Fishing Licence?

Arizona Game and Fish Department Offices

You can purchase an Arizona fishing license at all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.

Online

Fishing licenses are available for purchase online at the Arizona Game and Fish Department site:
https://license.azgfd.com/

Walmart and Other Retail Outlets

There are more than 500 places you can buy an Arizona fishing license in person including Walmart stores, outdoor sporting goods store, tackle shops, and various government offices such as your local probate office.

Here is a full list where you can buy an Arizona fishing license in person.
Dealer Master List.

What Happens to Arizona Fishing License Fees?

All fees collected from the licenses contribute to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s efforts to conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.

What is the Arizona Wildlife Service License Fee?

Arizona also offers a Wildlife Service License that costs an initial fee of $245, and a renewal fee of $95. A wildlife service license authorizes a person or company to provide, advertise, or offer assistance in removing live wildlife involved in human-wildlife conflicts. Authorized activities include capturing, removing, transporting and relocating wildlife that has caused property damage, poses a threat to public health or safety, or if the health or well-being of the wildlife is threatened by its immediate environment.

Source: https://www.azgfd.com/license/speciallicense/wildlifeservice/

Does Arizona have reciprocal license arrangements with neighboring states?


Given the Colorado River forms the boundary between Arizona and California and part of the boundary between Arizona and Nevada, there is a lot of water that residents of these states fish. Reciprocal arrangements exist for license holders from neighbouring states to fish the Colorado River and the various reservoirs and lakes on it without having to obtain an Arizona license. These waterways include Mittry Lake and Topock Marsh and the Arizona shoreline of Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu, and Commission-designated community waters. Check out our state-by-state guides to fishing license costs, discounts for seniors and veterans and where to buy.

Source: https://tinyurl.com/arizonarciprocal

Does Arizona offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?

Lifetime licenses are available only to Arizona residents. Cost varies based on license type and age. Click here to apply for lifetime license.

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AUTHOR
Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water.