Utah Fishing License

Utah

East Canyon Reservoir in Utah is a great spot for catching brown trout and crappie. As a matter of fact Utah is well-known for great trout fishing in its high mountain streams and lakes. There are tiger muskie, striped bass, wipers, largemouth, smallmouth, and various varieties of bass, perch and catfish. In Utah, fishing is all-year round in most of its waterways.

A fishing license is required before you can go on a fishing trip. As soon as you have your fishing license you hop on a boat and paddle down a river to start fishing. It is easy enough to get a fishing license online but you must first determine which type - resident or non-resident, length of time. If you fish often enough, a multi-year fishing license is more practical. Part of the fees collected is used to support fish conservation programs of the state.

It is best to know the fishing laws and regulations of Utah before you cast your lure. These regulations are in place to ensure that the fish populations are at their best for the benefit of current and future anglers. These regulations may be modified from time to time so it is to your advantage to read the current Utah fishing laws and regulations to be updated on the fishing seasons, bag limits, size limits and fishing methods permitted.

If the fish populations and their habitats are not protected and conserved, there will be no more fishing, much more sports fishing, for future generations. Future anglers will not experience the pleasure and anticipation of reeling in a largemouth bass. Each one has the responsibility to keep the waterways clean and free from pollution. The fish populations, whether stocked or spawned, should be allowed to propagate. Correct catch and release methods must be practiced.


Have you heard of many anglers going wild about catching crappie or brown trout at a spot like East Canyon Reservoir? Well, there are a lot of things to be wild about Utah. With thousands of miles of coastlines and thousands of lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs, the state is no less than an excellent fishing go-to. 

Are you ready to go down to Utah and experience its marvelous waterscapes? Then obtaining a fishing license should be the first on your list. The types of permits you should buy depends on many things: how old you are, how often you want to fish, where you want to catch, and whether you’re a Utah resident. It can be confusing sometimes, but don’t worry because we have put together a quick guide so you can start planning your next weekend fishing trip to Utah.

Here’s all you need to know: 

Who needs a Utah Fishing License? 

As a general rule, everyone who wants to cast a line in any of the fishing waters in the state of Utah needs to purchase the right fishing license. However, there are some exemptions to this rule. You don’t need a Utah fishing license if you are: 

  • A child who is younger than 12 years old.
  • Fishing during the annual Free Fishing Day
  • Fishing as a group of scouts and other organizations and are 15 years and younger.
  • You have a reciprocal license from states that have a reciprocal agreement with Utah. 

On top of that, some residents also have certain privileges like a discounted license rate. Here are the criteria: 

  • Utah veterans who were disabled in the line of duty.
  • Utah seniors who are 62 years and older.

What does the Utah Fishing License Fee cover? 

The fees you are paying to purchase your license are used to protect and preserve this fantastic sport for future generations. The money goes towards fishery management, habitat development, endangered species programs, and conservation education.

What will happen if I fish without a license? 

Whenever you are caught fishing in Utah with the necessary permit and licenses, then the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources can suspend the license of anyone who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly violates wildlife laws. The agency will revoke your license if:  

  • You are convicted. 
  • You plead guilty or no contest. 
  • You enter a plea in abeyance or diversion agreement.

Where to buy a Utah Fishing License?

Buying a Utah Fishing License is very convenient as you can choose one among the five different methods of purchase that is available in the state. You can either:

  • Buy Online - You need to go to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website, enter your date of birth and follow the prompts to purchase. 
  • Buy from the state’s licensing App - Download the Utah Hunting & Fishing App to purchase and store your Utah fly fishing license in addition to a variety of other features and benefits.
  • Buy from a local vendor - the state of Utah has accredited hundreds of local vendors such as bait shops, fishing equipment stores, grocery, and other licensed agents. Please see the Utah License Agent Locator to look for the nearest agent in your area. 
  • Buy over the phone - you can call the toll-free number 1-800-221-0659 and buy your fishing license over the phone. Note, a $2 fee will apply. 
  • Buy from a guide - if you have chartered a boat and hired a guide, the licensed guides can also prepare the necessary permits for you. 

What documents are needed to purchase a fishing license in Utah? 

In order to purchase a fishing license in Utah, aside from the payment, you need to prepare the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of Residency and other residency information
  • Some personally identifiable information such as name, height, weight, hair, and eye color.

What are the different Fishing Licenses that are available in Utah?

The state of Utah has a wide array of fishing licenses that you can choose from. Residents and non-residents generally need to pay different amounts, but most of the licenses are available to both. Age also factors in the cost of the license. Please see the matrix below for the summary of all available licenses in Utah: 

License Type

3 Day

7 Day

1 Year

2 Year

3 Year

4 Year

5 Year

Resident & Nonresident Age 12-13    

$5

$5

$5

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Resident Age 14-17

$16

$16

$16

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Resident Age 18-64

$16

$20

$34

$66

$99

$132

$165

Resident Age 65+

$16

$20

$25

$50

$75

$100

$125

Resident Disabled Veteran

$12

$12

$12

$24

$36

$48

$60

Nonresident Age 14-17

$24

$25

$25

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Nonresident Age 18+

$24

$40

$75

$149

$223

$297

$371

As you can see above, the state of Utah sells different fishing licenses depending on three variables: age, validity, and residency. Resident anglers who are age 12 to 13 can purchase a 3-day, 7-day, or annual license for only $5.00. When they become 14 to 17 years old, they need to buy them for $16.00. When they turn 18 to 64, they can purchase a 3-day, 7-day, and annual license for $16.00, $20.00, $34.00, respectively. At that age, a resident angler can extend the validity of their yearly permit for up to 5 years by paying $33.00 for every additional year. 

Senior residents who are 65 years and older also get a discounted rate for their license. They only need to pay $16.00, $20.00, and $25.00 for a 3-day, 7-day, and annual license. Additional years cost them $25.00 per year. Resident Disabled Veteran, on the other hand, has more significant discounts, and they can purchase a license for $12 for a year and an additional $12.00 for the consecutive years. 

Meanwhile, non-resident youth age 14 to 17 can purchase a $3-day, $7-day, and annual license for only $24.00, $25.00, and $25.00, respectively. Older non-resident anglers start with $24.00 for the 3-day permit, $40.00 for a 7-day license, $75.00 for an annual license, and so on, and so forth. 

How do I qualify to purchase a resident license in Utah?

In the state of Utah, a resident means a person who has a domicile (fixed permanent home and principal establishment) in Utah for six consecutive months immediately preceding the purchase of a license or permit, and DOES NOT claim residency for hunting, fishing or trapping in any other state or country. 

Daily Limits and other Fishing Regulations in Utah

The limits listed below apply to most Utah fisheries, but on some waters, specific bag or size restrictions apply.

Species

Daily Limit

Bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total)

50

Bonneville cisco

30

Bullhead

24

Burbot (Anglers must not release any burbot they catch. All burbot caught must be immediately killed.)

No Limit

Channel catfish

8

Community fisheries (The limit includes fish of most species, but you must release any tiger muskellunge you catch. You are also encouraged to release all largemouth bass.

2

Crappie

50

Crayfish

No Limit

Kokanee salmon (Anglers may not possess kokanee salmon at any waterbody statewide from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30.)

4

Largemouth and smallmouth bass (a combined total)

6

Nongame species (except prohibited fish)

No Limit

Northern pike

6

Sacramento perch

10

Tiger muskellunge

1 over 40 inches

Trout, including salmon, grayling and hybrids (a combined total). Also, you can take extra brook trout at some waters in the state.

4

Walleye

10, only 1 over 24 inches

Whitefish

10

White bass

No Limit

Wiper

6

Yellow perch

50

On waters that have a specific rule, that rule takes precedence over the general rules. You may possess a legal daily limit of dead game fish or crayfish as long as you have a valid fishing or combination license. Those who are under 12 years of age may fish without a license and take a full daily limit. If you fish in multiple waters in one day, you cannot have any fish in your possession that violate the rules of the waterbody where you’re fishing. When calculating your daily limit, please remember the following rules: 

  • Any trout, salmon, or grayling not immediately released is part of your daily limit.
  • A trout, salmon, or grayling may not be released if it’s been held on a stringer or in a fish basket, livewell, or any other type of device. 
  • Any fish that doesn’t meet the size or species rules for the water you’re fishing must be returned to the water immediately.

Please download the Utah Fishing Guidebook for more information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a license if I will fish in private lands? 

The Division cannot guarantee access to any private land. Under certain circumstances, you must obtain written permission from the landowner or the landowner’s authorized representative before accessing private areas.

Q: Is there a Free Fishing Day?

Yes. An annual Free Fishing Day is usually scheduled in June. 

Q: Can I choose to present a digital copy of my license instead of a paper license? 

Yes. If a conservation officer asks to see your license, you can quickly produce the digital copy, which is just as valid as a paper license.