Fishing Days

A child fishes at the Field of Dreams Kids’ Fishing Day in 2016.

Anyone can try their hand at angling on July 6 – no fishing license required – during the first of two free days of fishing announced by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“Free Fishing Day is a great opportunity for seasoned anglers to introduce friends and neighbors to their love of the sport,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham.

A basic annual resident sport fishing license in California currently costs $49.94, while a one-day sport fishing license costs $16.20. The department offers two Free Fishing Days each year – usually around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend – when it’s legal to fish without either an annual or one-day license. 

The Saturday of Independence Day weekend is the first opportunity for free fishing with the second on Saturday, Aug. 31.

All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems.

Anglers can review the sport fishing regulations online at or use the department’s mobile web site to view limits and regulations specific to a body of water

The Department of Fish and Wildlife reports it has recently been made aware of customer complaints that third-party websites are offering California fishing licenses for sale at greatly inflated prices. Authorities urge customers not to provide credit card numbers, social security numbers or any other personal information to these sites. Fish and Wildlife’s website, License and Revenue Branch locations and license agents are the only state-authorized sources for California fishing licenses.

Anyone wanting to fish the rest of the year can purchase a fishing license online through California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.

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