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Iowa Fishing Licenses

Don’t get fined or penalized for fishing without a license. State law requires a permit to fish in all bodies of water. FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application with the department of wildlife. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

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FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

Fishing legally in Iowa's waters requires a valid IA fishing license issued by the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Visitors and residents of the state can buy a fishing license based on fish species, purpose and fishing areas. New anglers who would like to learn the theory and basics of fishing can look up fishing education classes as well. More experienced anglers have the opportunity to join fishing organizations and share their passion for fishing with other fellow anglers. To discover Iowa's fishing opportunities, explore the sections below:

  • Fishing licenses in Iowa
  • Fishing education in Iowa
  • Fishing organizations in Iowa

Types of Iowa Fishing Licenses

Interested anglers can apply for an IA fishing permit through the Department of Natural Resources. You must adhere to the rules and regulations of the department in order to fish in any state-approved bodies of water. Fishing licenses in Iowa are divided into a couple of categories based on your commercial or non-commercial fishing intentions:

  • Regular fishing licenses
  • Commercial fishing licenses

Regular Fishing Licenses in Iowa

Standard recreational fishing licenses in IA are issued for both state residents and visitors. Available licenses are divided into categories based on the length of the license’s validity, the applicant’s age and residency status:

  • Fishing (for residents 16 years of age or older) – $19
  • Fishing (seven-day) – $13.50
  • Fishing (one-day) – $9.50
  • Fishing (three-year angler's special) – $53
  • Outdoor combo (habitat, hunt and fish) – $47
  • Lifetime fishing (for residents 65 years of age or older) – $52.50
  • Trout fee – $13
  • Boundary water sport trotline ($22.50)
  • Bonus line fee (with every resident fishing license purchase) – $12
  • Lifetime combined (for POW or disabled military veterans) – $7

Visitor anglers can purchase the following Iowa non resident fishing licenses:

  • One-day fishing – $10.50
  • Three-day fishing – $17.50
  • Seven-day fishing – $32
  • Fishing (for individuals 16 years of age or older) – $41
  • Trout fee – $15
  • Boundary water sport trotline – $42.50
  • Bonus line fee (with every non resident fishing license purchase) – $12

Note: Resident and nonresident anglers younger than 16 years of age are not required to purchase a fishing license. However, they may be required to purchase a trout fee. Fishing costs are subject to change without notice.

Anglers may buy recreational fishing licenses in Iowa in one of two ways:

  • Online, via the DNR license and registration system
  • In person, from an authorized license retailer

Commercial Fishing Licenses in Iowa

Commercial fishing licenses in IA are available in a number of categories:

  • Aquaculture unit license
  • Bait dealer (retail and wholesale)
  • Commercial fisher
  • Commercial roe harvester

Iowa Fishing Education

Novice anglers who would like to learn the basics of their favorite hobby can enroll in fishing education classes through the IA DNR:

  • Introduction to Ice Fishing
  • Introduction to Fly-Fishing
  • Fish Iowa

The introductory ice fishing course teaches anglers about ice fishing in the winter. It entails detailed lessons about ice fishing equipment, safety, strategies and techniques for fishing trips to Iowa's frozen lakes and ponds. Interested anglers also learn at which length fish bite and how to use the right bait for different fish.

The Introduction to Fly-Fishing Course introduces anglers to fly-fishing, equipment and techniques. Students learn about fly-fishing knots, equipment care, how to cast, what constitutes a fly-fishing outfit and more.

Fish Iowa teaches spincasting basics, alongside biology, physical education, geography, health and consumer sciences. This all-inclusive program is fosuced on middle school and high school students, but scout outings and camps can also take advantage of the program materials.

Iowa Fishing Organizations

Fishing organizations in Iowa are for anglers who would like to learn new fishing skills and share their experience and knowledge with other anglers from the state. Though there are many available fishing organizations, a few standout as having the largest presence in the state:

  • Iowa Bass Anglers
  • Iowa Clear Lake Fishing Club
  • Iowa State University Fishing Club

The Iowa Bass Anglers club is a non-profit organization that promotes friendship among bass anglers, while sharing tips, information and techniques for bass fishing. The club organizes competitions, tournaments,  educational activities, conservation and recreational youth fishing events. Members of the IA Bass Anglers Club must first be members of the B.A.S.S. Federation Club on a national level.

Iowa Clear Lake Fishing Club is a non-profit organization that strives to promote fishing in North Central Iowa. Some of the events organized by the club are:

  • The Annual Clear Lake Walleye Classic (also held as a fall event)
  • The Annual $1,000 Prize Fish Contest
  • The Take-A-Kid-Fishing Event

The Iowa State University Fishing Club gathers together students interested in fishing, but who may not be familiar with fishing areas in the state. There are several events held by the club such as spring fishing tournaments, ice fishing outings and angler networking events.