California offers one of the most diverse fisheries when you consider the great variety of fishing applications. From the ocean to the mountains, you can catch many species, but all anglers must have a California fishing license before wetting a line. As of 2010, there are a variety of licenses and accompanying fees for fishing in California.
California Fishing License Basics
A basic 2010 California fishing license will run $41.50. This is required for residents 16 years of age or older. The license allows for the taking of fish, mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates, amphibians or reptile in inland or ocean waters. Keep in mind, additional stamps or report cards are required for certain species and areas.
An ocean enhancement stamp will run $4.75 and allows anglers to fish in ocean waters south of Point Arguello. A second rod stamp runs $12.85 allowing anglers to fish with two rods. A Colorado River stamp runs $3 and enables anglers to fish from a boat or floating device on the Colorado or adjacent waters forming the California-Arizona border.
Additional Report Cards
Abalone report cards cost $19.95 and are required for taking abalone from ocean waters north of the center of the mouth of San Francisco Bay. A sturgeon fishing report card is currently free and required for all anglers taking sturgeon. Also, a north coast salmon report card is $5.50 and required for all anglers taking salmon in the Smith River System or Klamath-Trinity River System. A steelhead report card is $6.30 and required to fish for steelhead in inland waters. There is also a spiny lobster report card that costs $8.40.
One or Two Day Passes
Short term fishing licenses are available. One-day licenses cost $13.40 and two-day licenses run $20.75. No ocean enhancement stamps are required. A 10 day is also available for $41.50, but ocean enhancement stamps are still required. These short-term licenses are required for anglers 16 years or older.
Long-term Options For Licenses
Lifetime licenses are offered by the state of California. The cost runs $463.25 for anglers ages 0 to nine years, $761.25 for anglers ages 10 to 39, $685.25 for ages 40 to 61 and anglers 62 years and older can get a lifetime license for $463.75.