Do You Need a Fishing License on Your Own Property

A fishing license is not required for fishing on your private property or to fish in ponds fully contained on private property. Fishing in a body of water such as a lake or river with public access requires a fishing license, whether on your private property or not. Fishing license requirements differ in every state, for example, California, Colorado, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

All these states require a fishing license on private property, and other states like New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, and Texas do not require any fishing license on private property.

What is a Fishing License?

Do You Need a Fishing License on Your Own Property

Fishing is a legal procedure employed by local governments to control fishing. It is commonly used in Western countries and may require commercial and recreational fishing. A fishing license is a legal document with permission given to any party meeting fishing requirements. 

Do You Need a Fishing License on Your Property?

During the great frontier days, a fishing license was not needed. A fishing license on your property is not required. An individual is free to fish on his property.

Why do you need a Fishing License?

Fishing was and still is a means of earning bread and butter for many and a hobby for some. But it’s not encouraged anymore as compared to when fishing was considered a common activity with no regulations or laws during the great frontier days.

What are the rules for having a fishing license on your property?

What are the rules for having a fishing license on your property?
  • First, the property should be your legal property where you want to go fishing.
  • During fishing, place the fish food in the trap and do not throw or submerge it directly into the water as it can cause water contamination.
  • Avoid too much fishing not to affect marine life drastically.
  • Get your license by legal way.
  • Try not to throw trash in the water.

How to Get a Fishing License for your Property? 

Every state has different rules when we talk about getting a fishing license. Some states combine all kinds of fishing into one license. Some states have different licenses for different people. For example, licenses for minors (under the age of 19) are given at a discounted rate or sometimes free. Seniors, the disabled, and the other groups might as well be able to get discounted or free licenses.

Almost every state has an online system for buying licenses. They can also be purchased at government institutions, where the officials usually ask for photo ID and proof of residency.

Find the nearest DNR office.

DNR stands for Department of Natural Resources. The DNR offices sell hunting and fishing licenses. You must find you’re nearest DNR office if you want your fishing license. Once you have found the office, you can approach the people there. They will help you in getting your license. 

Get your property surveyed.

Almost all states have a society specific to land surveyors. Besides, you can check for professional surveyors online. For instance, the National For example Society of professional surveyors is a website designed to serve this purpose primarily. Before buying a new house, a survey may be needed to determine the property’s boundaries. There are several types of a property surveys;

  • A boundary survey.
  • An elevation or floodplain survey.
  • A topographic survey.

Apply for your fishing license

At commercial fishing lakes, also called trout lakes, you can also try fishing under the supervision of the owner or guide. Just get your fishing license by following legal rules.

Get your license and card.

After passing through the procedure for the license, you will get the required license.

Keep the license with you when fishing.

After getting your fishing license, always keep the license with you while you are on a fishing venture to protect yourself from any mishap.

Is it necessary to have a fishing license just because you live on your property?

Having a fishing license while living on your property is important; it is ethically a good decision to have a license corresponding to your work. A legal procedure for your hobby is acceptable for a healthy society and environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a fishing license on my property in the UK?

Yes, a fishing license in the UK is important; fishing illegally can carry a penalty. Getting caught without a license could land a fine in the form of a penalty of approximately £2,500. Besides, the individuals caught fishing illegally or without a license can get their equipment or accessories seized and may also face a ban from fishing for good. 

Can you fish on private property in Ontario?

Yes, it is rendered illegal in Ontario to fish on privately owned.

Can you do fishing on private property without a license in PA?

No person 16 years or older shall fish in the water of Pennsylvania without getting a license. The public has the right to fish in an unobstructed or open stream passing through privately owned properties.

At the same time, it does not mean that the public or any random individual has the right to trespass privately owned property or posted land to get to the water passage or stream.

Do you need a fishing license to fish on private property in NY?

Yes, fishing anywhere requires a different license for every state of America. One must have a license while utilizing or deploying any prerogatives associated with that license. Individuals up for fishing must also show or present their license to the officer in charge of the fishing site or owner of the property. 

How much is the fine for fishing without a license in NY?

A violation offence under New York State’s fishing or hunting laws carries a penalty from $0 to $250 and up to 15 days in jail.

How much is a lifetime fishing license in New York?

License Name: 

  • Lifetime (Hunting and fishing) Resident fee and age: $380 for the age of 5, $535 for the age of 5 to 11, $765 for age 12 to 69, $65 for age 70+
  • Fishing (fee and age): $460 age 0 to 69, $65 age 70+

What day is free fishing in New York State?

New York allows free fishing for four days, which varies yearly, and prevailing economic, political, and law and order situation.

What size fish can you keep in New York?

Specie name 

  • [Bass, Largemouth (20inches)],
  • [Bass, Smallmouth (18inches)],
  • [Bass, Stripped (36inches)],
  • [Bluegill (10inches)]

How much is a fishing license at Walmart in NY?

It is possible to purchase a fishing license at a Walmart store in the United States.


So that’s all about having a license or not while fishing on your private land. In short, 

  • Permission of the property owner for this fun activity is important.
  • A legal document or a license for fishing is a must if you own the property, land, pond, or water body.
  • A license is also important for fishing on your private property if that property has a waterfront or land that connects with a public water body. Illegal fishing is a crime for which you will be punished and charged with a heavy penalty. Fishing is a good hobby for children and adults, and fish is the most common and favourite food in all the countries. Although fishing is legal with a license, one cannot avoid the depopulation factor. It is important for survival because it contains nutrients like phosphorous, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. So, how can one not spare nature with all these amazing health benefits?

Personal Opinion

Fishing is common in most countries worldwide, and fish and fishery products constitute the most highly traded food commodity internationally. Seafood markets have expanded from strictly regional to truly global markets. For fishing on your property, I think there should be a license so you can freely do this job without any problem.

If you are fishing on someone’s property, you must get permission from the owner who owns that pond or lake. While fishing, you should take your license along with you in case someone asks about the permission that you have taken or not.

You can easily show your legal permission. This will save your time and unwanted conversation with one who asks or inquires about the license. You only have to show the license to the authorized person related to that particular department.


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