Idaho Fishing License

Idaho

Idaho is famous for its shimmering lakes, first-rate trout fishing streams, and vast reservoirs that entice avid anglers with the possibility of diverse fishing experience. The bodies of water of Idaho are famous for the abundant population of fish species such as brown trout, rainbow trout, Chinook salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and pike or walleye. Come spring, summer, and fall, the much-covered king salmon (steelhead) thrives on several Idaho rivers. Anglers are advised to check the Snake River or any of the waterways one intends to visit for current fishing regulations.

It is easy enough to procure an Idaho fishing license as this can be done through the website of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. For those who prefer to buy their fishing license personally, they can do so at authorized fishing license vendors and the regional office of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

All fishing rules and regulations across the lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water in the United States were established to protect the fish population. Snake River fishing regulations adhere to the same rules to maintain a healthy fish population that will thrive for generations. In connection, there are state regulations in place for each fish species for further protection.

Anglers are encouraged to contribute not only to the protection and conservation of Idaho's waterways but also in the clean-up and other related activities spearheaded by conservations groups and local clubs. A true angler knows the importance of preserving natural resources, even looking for ways and means to contribute to the cause.

Obtaining an Idaho Fishing License

There are several ways for Idaho anglers to purchase their fishing licenses. 

  • At a Vendor - Below is a list of vendors to choose from

River 1 

201 Hillside Dr

Challis, Idaho 83226

United States

(208) 774-2270

Gateway Mini Mart

610 Hwy 93 N.

Challis, Idaho 83226

United States

(208) 819-1246

The Village Square True Value

600 Hwy 93 S.

Challis, Idaho 83226

United States

(208) 879-2338

Bent Rod Outdoors

1303 E. Hwy 93

Challis, Idaho 83226

United States

(208) 879-2500

Jerry's Country Store

Hwy 75 Lower Stanley

Stanley, Idaho 83278

United States

(208) 774-3566

Smiley Creek Lodge

16546 N Hwy 75

Stanley, Idaho 83278

United States

(208) 774-3547

Ridleys

411 Deinhard Lane

Mccall, Idaho 83638

United States

(208) 634-8719

Stanley Fly Shop

166 Niece Ave

Stanley, Idaho 83864

United States

(208) 721-7151

Mountain Village Resort

Hwy 21/275 Eva Falls

Stanley, Idaho 83278

United States

(208) 774-3500

Albertson's Mccall

132 E. Lake St.

Mccall, Idaho 83638

United States

(208) 634-8166

Corner Store

410 Courthouse Dr

Salmon, Idaho 83467

United States

(208) 756-2113

Salmon River Fly

402 Main St.

Salmon, Idaho 83467

United States

(208) 756-1939

93 Outdoor Sports

517 S. Challis

Salmon, Idaho 83467

United States

(208) 756-3002

Murdoch's Ranch

520 Shoup St.

Salmon, Idaho 83467

United States

(208) 756-1537

Stinker Stores 78

119 W Roseberry Rd

Donnelly, Idaho 83615

United States

(208) 325-8501

  • By Phone - call the number 1-800-554-8685 to purchase your license.
  • Visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game official website to purchase your license. Once you've made your purchase, you may print your licenses right away. https://idfg.huntfishidaho.net/login.
  • Visit a Fish and Game regional office. Below is a list of the nine offices. 

Panhandle Region

2885 W. Kathleen Ave.

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

P: (208) 769-1414

F: (208) 769-1418

Clearwater Region

3316 16th St.

Lewiston, ID 83501

P: (208) 799-5010

F: (208) 799-5012

Southwest Region North McCall

555 Deinhard Lane

McCall, ID 83638

P: (208) 634-8137

F: (208) 634-1683

Southwest Region South - Nampa

15950 N. Gate Blvd

Nampa, ID 83687

P:(208) 465-8465

F: (208) 465-8467

Magic Valley Region

324 South 417 East - Suite 1

Jerome, ID 83338

P: (208) 324-4359

F: (208) 324-1160

Southeast Region

1345 Barton Road

Pocatello, ID 83204

P: (208) 232-4703

F: (208) 233-6430

Upper Snake Region

4279 Commerce Circle

Idaho Falls, ID 83401

P: (208) 525-7290

F: (208) 523-7604

Salmon Region

99 Hwy. 93 N.

Salmon, ID 83467

P: (208) 756-2271

F: (208) 756-6274

Headquarters Office 

Mailing: P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707

Street: 600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID 83712

P: (208) 334-3700

F: (208) 334-2114

Who needs an Idaho Fishing License? 

All individuals who are the age of 14 years old or older must have a valid general fishing license. For youth anglers, under 14, you do not need a fishing license. Here are the regulations for those who are under the age of 14. 

  • A resident child under 14 has its separate fishing limit 
  • A non-resident child under 14 is mandated to be with someone who has a valid fishing license, and the child's fish is included in the license holders' fishing limit. The non-resident child can purchase their license and have their limit. 

Special fishing permits are needed for particular activities for both residents and non-residents such as: 

  • Fishing for salmon and steelhead
  • Fishing with two poles 

Types of Idaho Fishing Licenses and Costs

We've compiled the various types of fishing licenses, tags, and permits for both residents and non-residents for your reference. 

Resident License Fees:

Items

Costs

Notes

Combination - Adult Hunting and Fishing

$38.75

--

Combination - Adult Hunting and Fishing - 3 Year

$97

--

Combination - Junior Hunting and Fishing (14-17 Years Old)

$19

--

Combination - Junior Hunting and Fishing (14-17 Years Old) - 3 Year

$49

--

Combination - Senior Hunting and Fishing (65+ Years Old)

$13.75

--

Combination - Senior Hunting and Fishing (65+ Years Old) - 3 Year

$33.50

Must be a resident of Idaho for over six months to apply 

Combination - Sportsman Package

$144.60

--

Disabled American Veterans - Fishing 

$5.75

For residents only. Must show a letter from the Veteran Affairs office indicating at least a 40% disability. 

Disabled American Veterans - Combination Hunting and Fishing

$5.75

For residents only. Must show a letter from the Veteran Affairs office indicating at least a 40% disability. 

Disabled Persons - Fishing 

$5.75

For residents only - must prove with official documents of disability. 

Disabled Persons - Combination Hunting and Fishing

$5.75

For residents only - must prove with official documents of disability. 

Disabled Persons - Combination Hunting and Fishing - 3 Year

$11.50

For residents only. Must present a vendor a letter from SSI, SSDI, or Railroad Retirement Board to prove that the individual is disabled and economically disadvantaged or has a signed and completed Certification of Permanent Disability. 

Fishing - Adult

$30.50

--

Fishing - Adult - 3 Year

$73.75

--

Fishing - Daily (first day) 

$13.50

Each additional consecutive day will add $6. 

Fishing - Junior (14-17 years old)

$13.75

--

Fishing - Junior (14-17 years old) - 3 Year 

$37.75

--

Military Furlough - Combination Hunting and Fishing

$20.50

For residents who are in the U.S. military service and maintain residency in Idaho may purchase this license when on leave. 

Resident Permit Fees: To fish with two poles, it will cost $15. 

Non-resident License Fees

Item

Cost

Notes

Combination - Adult Hunting and Fishing

$240

 

Combination - Adult Hunting and Fishing - 3 Year

$716.50

 

Fishing - Adult

$98.25

 

Fishing - Adult - 3 Year

$291.25

 

Fishing Daily (first day)

$15

Each additional consecutive day adds $7

Fishing Junior (14-17 years old)

$21.75

Any non-resident youth who wants their fishing limit must buy a junior fishing license 

Fishing Junior (14-17 years old) - 3 Years 

$61.75

Any non-resident child who wants their fishing limit must buy a junior fishing license 

Idaho Fishing License Renewal

Every angler will need to re-purchase their license once the expiration date is past due. You can log in using the same account from the initial purchase. 

Idaho Fish Size and Limits 

The bag limit or the maximum number of fish that a person can catch per day. Here are a few standard rules in the state of Idaho:

  • Brook Trout - unable able to exceed 25 per day
  • Kokanee - may not exceed 25 per day
  • Tiger muskie - 2 or less
  • Walleye - 6 or less
  • Cisco - 30 or less 
  • Bull Trout and Sturgeon must be caught and released
  • During steelhead season, the possession limit is 9; the daily harvest is 3 and 20 for the entire season 

For each region, there are specific guidelines to follow. Please follow these regional daily bag limits for each designated location in Idaho. 

Daily Bag Limits for the Panhandle Region:

Bass

The daily limit is 6

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25

Bull Trout

The daily limit is 0 - must catch and release

Burbot

The daily limit is 6

Chinook Salmon

The daily limit is 2; none shall be equal or greater than 20 inches 

Kokanee

The daily limit is 15

Sturgeon

Fishing for sturgeon in the Kootenai River is illegal 

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is 2; none shall be greater or equal to 40 inches 

Trout

The daily limit is 6

Whitefish

The daily limit is 25

All Other Fish Species 

No bag size or possession limit 

Daily Bag Limit for the Clearwater Region:

Bass

In rivers and streams, no bag, size or possession limits. In lakes and reservoirs, the limit is 6, both species combined

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25

Bull Trout

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Kokanee

The daily limit is 25

Salmon

Prohibited unless correctly opened for that water

Steelhead

No longer than 20 inches in Snake River

Sturgeon

The daily limit is 0 and must be caught and released.

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is two and none under 40 inches. 

Trout

In rivers and streams, the limit is two and must be under 40 inches.

Whitefish

The daily limit is 25

Protected Non-Game Fish

May not be possessed or harvested

All Other Fish Species 

No bag, size or possession limit 

Daily Bag Limit for Southwest Region:

Bass

Bass limit is 6, none under 12 inches 

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25

Bull Trout

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Kokanee

The daily limit is 6

Salmon

Prohibited unless specifically opened for that water

Steelhead

Prohibited unless specifically opened for that water

Sturgeon

The daily limit is 0, catch and release

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is 2, none under than 40 inches

Whitefish

The daily limit is 25

Protected Non-game fish

May not be harvested or possessed

Trout

The daily limit is 6

All other fish species 

No size, bag or possession limit 

Daily Bag Limit for Magic Valley Region:

Bass

Bass limit is 6, none under 12 inches 

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25, harvest allowed during open season

Bull Trout

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Kokanee

The daily limit is 6

Sturgeon

The daily limit is 0, must find and release and use barbless hooks

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is two and none under 40 inches 

Trout

The daily limit is 6, in rivers and streams only 2 of the six trout can be cutthroat trout

Walleye

The daily limit is 6

Protected Non-Game Fish

May not be harvested or possessed

All Other Fish Species 

No bag, size or possessed 

Daily Bag Limits for the Southeast Region:

Bass

The daily limit is 6, none under 14 inches 

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25

Cisco

The daily limit is 30

Kokanee

The daily limit is 6

Sturgeon

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is two and none under 40 inches 

Trout

The daily limit is 6. In rivers and streams, only 2 of the six may be Cutthroat Trout

Whitefish

The daily limit is 25

Protected Non-game fish

May not be harvested or possessed

All other fish species 

No bag, size or possession limit

Daily Bag Limits for the Upper Snake Region:

Bass

The daily limit is 6

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25

Bull Trout

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Kokanee

The daily limit is 15

Sturgeon

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release. Must use barbless hooks 

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is 2, none under 40 inches 

Trout

The daily limit is 6

Whitefish

The daily limit is 25

Protected Non-Game Fish

May not be harvested, or possessed

All other fish species 

No bag, size or possession limit

Daily Bag Limits for the Salmon Region:

Bass

No limit

Brook Trout

The daily limit is 25

Bull Trout

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Kokanee

The daily limit is 25

Salmon

Prohibited unless specified by open water

Steelhead

Must be 20 inches or longer

Sturgeon

The daily limit is 0, must catch and release

Tiger Muskie

The daily limit is 2, none under 40 inches

Trout

The daily limit is 6

Whitefish

The daily limit is 25

Protected Non-game fish

May not be possessed or harvested

All other fish species 

No bag, size or possession limit 

Steelhead spring season lasts from January to April or May. For more detailed information, please refer to the website of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at https://idfg.idaho.gov/rules/fish

Top Fishing Spots in Idaho

When it comes to the best fishing spots, there is a multitude of reservoirs, lakes, dams, rivers, and streams to choose from. One of our favorites is the Brownlee Reservoir sitting on the western borders near Oregon. The body is roughly 13,000 acres and stretches over 50 miles long. Some of the popular game fish include panfish, largemouth bass, catfish, trout, and smallmouth bass. 

If you are someone who loves an overall adventure, then Lake Cascade will be beautiful for you. It owns one of the most massive bodies of water sitting at 27,000 acres with fantastic camping opportunities as well as other recreational activities such as jet skiing and water skiing. But don't let that fool you because the fishing opportunities are even better. You can expect to find bluegills, crappies, perch, bass, salmon, and trout.