Arizona is a state rich in lakes, streams, rivers and other aquatic resources where both professional and recreational anglers can fish with the appropriate AZ fishing license and enjoy their favorite past time. However, all anglers must buy a fishing license before they head to their preferred fishing destination. Residents who are novice fishermen can take advantage of several fishing education classes, as well as learn the fishing basics. Additionally, to learn about fishing first-hand from experienced fishermen, join one of Arizona's fishing organizations and clubs that offer fishing activities, conservation efforts, tournaments and more.
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In Arizona, anglers must buy a fishing license to protect and enhance the state’s aquatic resources. The rules apply to both residents and non-residents alike.
All fees collected from the licenses contribute to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s efforts to conserve the state’s diverse wildlife resources for future generations. Feel free to learn more about the AZGFD mission here: https://www.azgfd.com/agency/overview/
Residents must have a license to fish in Arizona if they’re 10 and older. There are some exceptions, however. The following individuals are exempt from paying for a license but still must obtain one:
You’re considered an Arizona resident if you are:
For non-residents, everyone 10 and older must have a license.
Recreational fishing licenses in Arizona are issued to any resident and non-resident angler who plans to fish in public state waters. To obtain a license to fish, anglers must be at least 10 years of age. In addition to the regular license, eligible anglers can apply for the following complimentary combination licenses, free of charge:
Regular AZ fishing licenses can be purchased either online or in person. To buy a fishing license online, use the license sales system on the official AZ Game and Fish Department website. You must print your license after purchasing, as the department will not mail one to you. If you decide to purchase your license in person, visit one of the state's authorized license dealers. Regular fishing licenses have different fees depending on their purpose:
These fees may change without notice.
Nonresidents can buy fishing licenses in Arizona by filling out a non-resident license mail order form. Listed below are the costs for non resident fishing licenses:
If you fish for profit, you must get a commercial fishing license, which in AZ is the aquatic wildlife stocking permit. With this permit, you are able to purchase, stock, transport, import and possess any fish species stated on the permit at all authorized locations. The live aquatic fish catch must be obtained from a private fish pond or licensed fish farm, and all facilities must be free of diseases printed on the permit. Obtaining aquatic wildlife species from places other than designated private or commercial sources must be regulated with the AZ Fish and Game Department.
To apply for an aquatic stocking permit, fill out the 2710-A application form and submit it to any regional department office for approval. Once the department issues the permit, you must meet the following requirements:
|License Type||Resident Cost||Non-Resident Cost|
|Combo Fishing & Hunting||$57.00||$160.00|
|Combo Fishing & Hunting – Youth||$5.00||$5.00|
|Combo Fishing & Hunting – Short||$15.00/day||$20.00/day|
|Boy/Girl Scout High Achievement||$24.00||$24.00|
|Lifetime General Fishing (Age 0-13)||$629.00||N/A|
|Lifetime General Fishing (Age 14-29)||$666.00||N/A|
|Lifetime General Fishing (Age 30-44)||$592.00||N/A|
|Lifetime General Fishing (Age 45-61)||$555.00||N/A|
|Lifetime General Fishing (Age 62+)||$296.00||N/A|
|Lifetime Combo General Hunt/Fish/Trout (Age 0-13)||$969.00||N/A|
|Lifetime Combo General Hunt/Fish/Trout (Age 14-29)||$1,029.00||N/A|
|Lifetime Combo General Hunt/Fish/Trout (Age 30-44)||$912.00||N/A|
|Lifetime Combo General Hunt/Fish/Trout (Age 45-61)||$855.00||N/A|
|Lifetime Combo General Hunt/Fish/Trout (Age 62+)||$456.00||N/A|
|Lifetime Wildlife Benefactor||$1,500.00||N/A|
To buy fishing licenses in AZ, visit the Arizona online fishing license purchasing system:https://license.azgfd.gov/. You can pay with a debit or credit card and immediately print your license. Make sure to have the following information on hand:
You can also purchase your fishing license in person at these locations:
Note: All Recreational fishing licenses expire on August 31 annually
Amateur anglers who would like to improve their fishing skills and learn new tips and tricks can enroll in fishing classes. In Arizona, the Sport Fishing Education Program is the most extensive fishing training intended for new fishermen learning the sport basics. It encompasses fishing in state waters such as urban and rural lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs and provides practical experience and quality learning environment for beginning anglers. The program is open to the public and is conducted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Alternatively, there are specific educational groups for senior citizens, schools, girl and boy scouts, and communities. To perform these activities, the department relies on the services of volunteer instructors, fishing contractors and department personnel. The department also provides all education and fishing materials such as rods, baits and reels. The fishing classes and programs are free for all participants and the fishing rules regularly applicable to anglers are waived specifically for the program. To see the schedule for fishing education classes, visit the official Arizona Game and Fish Department website.
Depending on the type of fishing you would like to engage in and the fish species you intend to catch, there are many fishing organizations throughout Arizona for all beginner and experienced anglers. Explore a few of the most popular ones:
The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation (as a part of the National B.A.S.S. Nation) is an organization uniting all bass anglers in communities and clubs, with the main purpose of fish conservation, organization of tournaments and youth programs. The AZ branch enables passionate anglers to prepare for the annual tournaments, as well as to take part in state conservation efforts and children's educational activities, such as the BASSMASTER CastingKids Program.
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation in AZ is a nonprofit organization with the main purpose of developing, promoting and encouraging recreational fishing in the state. The organization aims to educate the public about the importance of protection and conservation of the state's natural resources. The RBFF is also focused on presenting fishing as a recreational sport to all residents, regardless of age, culture and gender.
The Trout Unlimited is an organization for fishery restoration consisting of conservation professionals such as scientists, lawyers and policy experts who make the functioning of TU possible on all levels. The organization’s main goal is to use the most relevant information and tools to assess the behavior and health of coldwater fish species. The long-term vision is to increase the number of coldwater fish in North America, including Arizona, by protecting the trout in its natural habitat, as well as by restoring waters where the number of trout and salmon species has been reduced.