Idaho Fishing License 2023: Types, Costs and How To Buy

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Idaho Fly Fishing License Feature Image

Idaho is a trout anglers paradise. Fly fishing for a wide range of trout and salmon species is superb.

But there are a variety of licensing requirements and rules that are important for anglers living in Idaho or visiting the state to understand.

We’ve summarized the different license types, how to buy them and how much they cost in this one handy article.

Fishing in Idaho

Before we explain all about Idaho fishing licenses, just a brief word on fishing in the beautiful state of Idaho.

Idaho has 26,000 miles of streams and rivers, more than 3,000 natural lakes, and a 250,000 acres of ponds and reservoirs. 

The state is home to more than game fish species, from giant white sturgeon to wild trout, catfish to kokanee, and smallmouth bass to salmon and steelhead.

Visit the wide open spaces of Idaho and you are sure to find some great fishing.

Who Needs a Fishing License In Idaho?

To fish in Idaho any person 14 years of age or older must have a valid fishing license.

Special fishing permits are needed for some activities for both residents and nonresidents:

  • Fishing for salmon and steelhead
  • Fishing with two poles

Who is Exempt from Needing a Fishing License in Idaho?

Anglers younger than 14 do not need a license, but there is a small difference between resident and nonresident youth.

  • A resident child under 14 has their own separate fishing limit. 
  • A nonresident child under 14 must be with someone who has a valid fishing license and their fish are included in the license holders fishing limit. However, a nonresident child may purchase their own license and have their own limit.

Fishing License Types in Idaho

To fish in Idaho you will need a license, and you may need a tag or permit, as well. 

Cost: How Much is a Fishing License in Idaho?

See also:

Resident Fishing Licenses

For the purposes of fishing or hunting in Idaho, you become a resident if you keep a home in Idaho for the entire tax year and spend more than 270 days of the year there; or if you are domiciled in Idaho for the entire tax year.

Idaho residents who maintained an annual license since 2017, or purchased any 3-year license, will maintain the “locked” 2017 prices due to the “Price Lock” program.

Resident Fishing License Type CostLocked
Combination – Adult Hunting and Fishing$ 38.75$ 33.50
Combination – Adult Hunting and Fishing – 3 Year$ 97.00$ 97.00
Combination – Junior Hunting and Fishing (14-17 yrs)$ 19.00$ 17.50
Combination – Junior Hunting and Fishing (14-17 yrs) – 3 Year$ 49.00$ 49.00
Combination – Senior Hunting and Fishing (65+ yrs)$ 13.75$ 11.75
Combination – Senior Hunting and Fishing (65+ yrs) – 3 Year$ 33.50$ 31.75
Combination – Sportsman’s Package$ 144.60$ 124.25
Disabled American Veterans – Fishing$ 5.75$ 5.00
Disabled American Veterans – Combination Hunting and Fishing$ 5.75$ 5.00
Disabled Persons – Fishing$ 5.75$ 5.00
Disabled Persons – Combination Hunting and Fishing$ 5.75$ 5.00
Disabled Persons – Combination Hunting and Fishing – 3 Year$ 11.50$ 11.50
Fishing – Adult$ 30.50$ 25.75
Fishing – Adult – 3 Year$ 73.75$ 73.75
Fishing – Daily (first day)$ 13.50$ 11.50
Fishing – Junior (14-17 yrs)$ 16.00$ 13.75
Fishing – Junior (14-17 yrs) – 3 Year$ 37.75$ 37.75
Military Furlough – Combination Hunting and Fishing$ 20.50$ 17.50
Military Furlough – Fishing$ 20.50$ 17.50

Non Resident Fishing Licenses

A “nonresident individual” is defined in the law in the negative; that is, as an individual other than a resident individual or a part-year resident individual. You are a Nonresident of Idaho if you maintained a permanent home outside of Idaho for the entire year.

Non-Resident Fishing License Type Cost
Combination – Adult Hunting and Fishing$ 264.00
Combination – Adult Hunting and Fishing – 3 Year$ 788.50
Fishing – Adult$ 108.00
Fishing – Adult – 3 Year$ 320.50
Fishing – Daily (first day)$ 22.75
Fishing – Junior (14-17 yrs)$ 23.75
Fishing – Junior (14-17 yrs) – 3 Year$ 67.75

Who Can Purchase Discounted Idaho Fishing Licenses?

Idaho residents age 65 or older are eligible for the reduced-fee Senior Hunting and Fishing License (see here for seniors discounts on fishing licenses in all other states).

Special Fishing Licenses in Idaho

Idaho fly fishing henrys fork river
Anglers fly fishing in the famous Henry’s Fork river

Angler Incentive Programs

This program help Idaho Fish and Game remove fish that pose risks to fisheries and you can also earn cash! Programs currently in place are for Lake Pend Oreille and portions of the Snake River. Read more about Angler Incentive Programs here

Where Can I Buy An Idaho Fishing Licence?

Idaho fly fishing
An angler wet wading during an Idaho summer – hopper fishing time

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Fishing licenses can be purchased from license vendors, at regional offices of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 

Online or By phone

One may purchase online at Go Outdoors Idaho, or by phone at 1-800-554-8685. There is a processing fee for licenses purchased online or by phone.

At a Vendor

You can buy from an authorized vendors who sell Idaho licenses, tags, and permits. Locate a vendor here. Of course buying your license at Walmart is a quick and easy option.

What Happens with Idaho Fishing License Fees?

The license fees are intended to help maintain healthy fish populations and keep the rivers, lakes, and streams pristine. Buying a fishing license is one of the ways through which anglers contribute to these efforts. 

Does Idaho Have Reciprocal License arrangements with neighboring states?

Yes. Idaho has entered into a reciprocal agreement with its neighboring states – Idaho, Oregon, Washington Boundary Waters – Snake River. Read more about the agreement here.

Does Idaho offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?

Yes. Adults, children, and seniors are all eligible for lifetime licenses in Idaho. These licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder and are available to all residents of the state of Idaho and can only be purchased at IDFG offices.


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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.