Saturday, June 10, 2023

Don't go fishing without a license this summer

Staff Writer | May 20, 2023 1:00 AM

As the summer season quickly approaches in North Idaho, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials say it’s important to remember to recreate responsibly.

With 122 lakes in Bonner County, fishing options abound in the area — as do the places where people can obtain a fishing license. However, IDFG officials have already cited dozens of individuals on charges of fishing without a license.

“Anyone 14 years and older is required to have an Idaho fishing license and failing to have one will likely lead in a citation,” Roger Phillips, IDFG public information officer, said.

While some may be frustrated with the licensing laws for fishing, Phillips said that much of the money earned from license purchases goes toward maintaining the fish population in the lakes in Bonner County.

“Fishing license money supports fisheries’ management throughout the state, and it also pays for most of the fish stocking that takes place in Idaho,” he said. “Idaho Fish and Game raises and releases about 30 million fish annually, which includes young salmon and steelhead bound for the ocean to later return as adults. Fishing license money also pays for access programs throughout the state, including boat ramps and shore and river access areas.”

Though the fees may seem unnecessary to some, they help guarantee the quality of fishing for generations to come. An annual adult fishing license costs $30.50 in Idaho — a small price to pay for the support of decades of plentiful fishing; much smaller than the $190 fine meted out if someone is found fishing without a license.

Luckily for Idaho residents, getting a fishing license is now easier than in previous years.

“[Licenses] are available at most Fish and Game offices, dozens of vendors around the state and people can also buy licenses online at or through the 'Go Outdoors Idaho' mobile app,” Phillips said. “They can start fishing immediately after buying a license online.”

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