A West Virginia fishing license is required for all anglers who plan to fish in state waters. WV licenses to fish are issued by the state’s Division of Natural Resources (DNR). Novice anglers are encouraged to take advantage of numerous educational programs supported by the department. Additionally, experienced fishing enthusiasts can connect with other anglers through the various fishing organizations established throughout the state. Before you complete the fishing license application process, learn more about how to buy fishing licenses and other related topics below:
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The Division of Natural Resources offers a variety of WV fishing licenses for residents and visitors looking to fish in state waters. Each license to fish is categorized based on the applicant’s age, residency status and the length of time the license is valid for. Two main categories of fishing licenses in West Virginia are available:
Additionally, the state department offers lifetime fishing licenses as well. Three methods are available for purchasing licenses from the Division of Natural Resources:
Certain state residents are exempt from West Virginia fishing license requirements:
Residential fishing licenses are available to persons living in West Virginia who meet the residency requirements. A WV resident is considered an individual who has resided in the state for at least 30 consecutive days prior to submitting his or her fishing licenses application. Active-duty military members and full-time students attending a state university are also considered residents for fishing license purposes. Applicants can explore the below fishing licenses available to state residents:
The Division of Natural Resources also offers lifetime fishing licenses to both residents and non residents:
Note: Residential fishing license fees are subject to change without notice.
Visitors to West Virginia are not eligible to purchase residential fishing licenses unless they have resided in the state for at least 30 consecutive days prior to completing a fishing license application. Out of state fishing license options are available for all visitors to the state:
Note: Non resident fishing license fees are subject to change without notice.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has a number of fishery management programs that focus most of their resources on aquatic education. The DNR also holds several youth and family-oriented fishing excursions throughout the state, including National Fishing and Boating Week events. Each year in June, the DNR hosts WV Free Fishing Days, during which residents can fish for a day without paying a fee.
In addition to events, the DNR promotes educational programs such as the Becoming an Outdoorswoman program and the Youth in the Outdoors program. With a focus on enlightening residents in fishing tactics and wildlife conservation, many educational opportunities are available for both novice and experienced anglers throughout the state.
Experienced anglers in West Virginia can gain social support by joining one of the many fishing organizations present throughout the state. Popular fishing organizations range from specialized to generalized types of fishing:
The B.A.S.S. Nation of West Virginia hopes to educate the public about the intricacies of bass fishing in the state. In conjunction with the Division of Natural Resources, the B.A.S.S. Nation promotes wildlife conservation and proper fishing tactics while bringing together a community of bass anglers.
The Cyclone Trophy Club’s main focuses are the 10 annual fishing tournaments held throughout the state each year. To participate in the fishing tournaments, you must be a Cyclone Trophy Club member. Winners and participants can enjoy cash prizes and other incentives provided by the club. Cyclone Trophy Club also promotes fishing awareness in WV.
The Mountain State Kayak Anglers is a non-profit social organization aimed at bringing together kayak anglers throughout West Virginia. Affiliated with the larger Kayak Bass Fishing organization, Mountain State Kayak Anglers promotes kayak fishing awareness through a number of events and tournaments.