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Colorado Fishing License: How To Get One in 2024

Colorado Fishing License: How To Get One in 2024

Few states rival Colorado in having such excellent freshwater fishing locations. With 30 bodies of water crisscrossing and dotting the state, novice and fishing enthusiasts alike have a plethora of options to choose from. Taking a fishing trip to one of these locations is a must, and is encouraged by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Foundation. State park fishing is the most popular form, as all the bodies of water in Colorado are protected by stringent conservation laws. Nonetheless, you can charter fishing trips through privately owned fishing waters for a more isolated experience.

Regardless of the type of waterway or fishing excursion chosen, your first step is to buy a fishing license. There are two types: resident fishing licenses and non resident fishing licenses. The differences are explained in the sections within. Different types of fishing licenses are also offered to the military, elderly or disabled, which have different fees. If you are an avid fisherman, take the time to learn about renewing fishing licenses and consider advice for planning the best Colorado fishing vacation.

New Colorado Fishing License

Colorado is made up of freshwater sites only. From roaring rivers to placid lakes, fishermen of all types will find there is no limit to excellent places to fish in for freshwater catches like trout or yellow perch. To get a fishing license in Colorado, locals and visitors alike can find assistance from several avenues. The most popular fishing permit offices are the Colorado Parks and Wildlife centers. Not only are they located near the majority of major places to fish in, the attendant on hand is knowledgeable about the surrounding area and gives excellent advice. Other places to buy fishing licenses in are third-party licensing offices like Walmart and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) kiosks. You can search for one near you by visiting the CPW website.

If you are a local and live in the state for at least six months, then you are eligible to buy the resident fishing license. As a visitor or temporary resident, you have the option of getting a non resident fishing license. For Coloradoans with disabilities from birth or that are military related, take a look at the lifetime fishing license passage. There is a high probability that you are eligible to receive this unique Colorado fishing permit.

Both residents and nonresidents who enjoy the sport of fishing can apply for a license to fish in Colorado. Various licenses, such as lifetime licenses and annual licenses, are available – but the terms and fees for each may vary. Military members and seniors may also be eligible to receive discounts, and a fishing license replacement can easily be obtained at a CO Wildlife and Parks location. Read on to learn more about how you can get a fishing license.

Colorado Resident Fishing License

Whether you would like to fish or take fish, the state of CO makes it mandatory to carry a fishing license if you are 16 years of age of older. The good news is that if you are a resident of Colorado (must live in the state for at least six months), you can buy a fishing license for half the cost of a nonresident license. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife allows interested applicants to obtain a resident fishing license by simply presenting a few essential items that include the below:

  • Proof of Colorado residency such as a utility bill
  • Proof of your Social Security Number
  • An up-to-date photo ID, such as your state driving license
  • Payment for a Habitat Stamp (which is required for all individuals between the ages of 18 to 64)
  • Payment for a resident fishing license
  • CO fishing licenses can be purchased online, at a Parks and Wildlife office, through a licensed agent or by phone.

Colorado Nonresident Fishing License

If Colorado is not where you reside, you can still fish or take fish in the state, as long as you apply for the appropriate non resident fishing license. The process is similar to obtaining a resident license, although it has one notable difference: You are not required to present proof of residency. Keep in mind that you will need to show a current photo ID, proof of your Social Security Number and payment for a Habitat Stamp, in addition to the regular licensing fees.

Renew a Fishing License

In the state of CO, fishing licenses are good for a 12-month period, specifically between April 1 to March 31. Once your licensing expires, you will need to purchase another annual license if you would like to continue fishing in Colorado waters.

Colorado Replacement Fishing License

If your license to fish is currently lost or damaged, you can easily apply for a fishing license replacement by completing a specific affidavit, and setting aside payment for any necessary fees. Learn more about replacing your Colorado fishing license in the “How to Become a Licensed Fisherman eBook.”

Colorado Senior Fishing License

Residents who are 64 years of age or older can obtain a fishing license in Colorado for one single dollar: 25 cents goes toward the search and rescue fee, while the remaining 75 cents is the Wildlife Management Education Fund surcharge. However, if you are a senior with low income who would like to get a lifetime fishing license, you can do so at no cost to you.

Colorado Military Fishing License

Colorado allows military members to enjoy a wide range of fishing benefits, including the option to purchase a fishing license at a resident fee, and the freedom to fish in the state without a license – as long as they are on temporary leave. For the latter, you must have your leave papers on hand when fishing. Take note that military family members can also apply for a CO license to fish at the resident rate.

Colorado Lifetime Fishing License

As previously mentioned, first-time applicants between the ages of 18 to 64 are required to purchase a Habitat Stamp. If you would like to purchase a lifetime fishing license instead, you will also need to buy a lifetime stamp to carry on your person. The only exception to this is if you obtained a free lifetime license to fish, per meeting the low income requirements. Take note that lifetime licenses are not available for purchase online or over the phone. To complete this process, make a visit to your local Colorado Wildlife and Parks office or have an in-person meeting with a licensing agent.

Fishing License Fees

Fees for fishing licenses in Colorado may vary, depending on whether you are getting a resident license to fish or a non resident license to fish, among other factors. The cost for a fishing license also fluctuates for an annual license and a lifetime license.

Commercial Fishing License

If out-of-state fishermen are interested in getting commercial fishing licenses in Colorado, it’s important to know the Colorado commercial fishing laws and regulations beforehand. If you are from out of state, you may be surprised to learn that a commercial fishing license is not intended for individuals or commercial fishing ventures. Unlike the majority of other fishing states, Colorado does not allow the sale of any wildlife, even from privately-owned bodies of water. Instead, fishing in Colorado water is simply intended for recreational and sporting enjoyment.

The CO Department of Natural Resources establishes laws prohibiting the sale of fish to reinforce the conservation of wildlife. Commercial fishing licenses are intended to be used by owners of bodies of water. To buy commercial fishing licenses in Colorado, the owner or head of an entity may apply for one at a Parks and Wildlife office. Once a commercial fishing permit is in hand, the property owner has authority to then charge local and visiting fishermen to fish in the water site. Without a commercial license to fish, local and visiting fisherman may not be charged for accessing the private grounds. Because the water is located on private property, the owner does maintain the authority to grant or refuse access. However, there are also cases when applicants can purchase commercial licensure from the CPW itself. Learn more about these instances and how to get a commercial fishing license in Colorado in the upcoming pages.

Colorado is a state that authorizes those individuals or entities who privately own bodies of water to acquire commercial fishing licenses for commercial purposes. It is at the discretion of these commercial license holders to charge other licensed fishermen to use their sources of water for fishing. Additionally, you may also apply for a commercial license at a CO Parks and Wildlife office to use at state-approved lakes and rivers. Continue reading to learn more about the specifics of getting this type of license.

Colorado Resident Commercial Fishing License

In the state of Colorado, interested applicants have two options when applying for a commercial fishing license: You can get a commercial license to fish through the CO Parks and Wildlife office, or you can get authorization from those residents or companies who own a body of water. Only those who own these private bodies of water are allowed to charge licensed anglers to fish commercially. If you are a licensed angler who would like to buy a resident commercial fishing license, you can do so by visiting a local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office with the proper documentation (proof of residency, proof of Social Security Number and a photo ID) and payment for fees.

Colorado Nonresident Commercial Fishing License

To purchase a commercial fishing license in Colorado, you must either own a specific body of water that you intend to use for commercial purposes, or you must fill out an application through the state’s Parks and Wildlife office. Keep in mind that license holders are allowed to charge licensed fishermen to use their water source for commercial fishing. When applying for a nonresident fishing license, you must be ready to show proof of identity, along with any standard payment for fishing fees.

Renew a Colorado Commercial Fishing License

A number of different fishing licenses are offered in Colorado, ranging from one-day licensing to annual licensing to lifetime licensing. Once your license to fish has expired, you will be required to obtain another license in order to continue legally fishing in the state. Take note that if you are a CO commercial fisherman, you must submit an annual report to Wildlife and Parks within 30 days of your license expiring.

Replace a Colorado Commercial Fishing License

A commercial fishing license can only be replaced at a Colorado Parks and Wildlife location. To request a commercial license to fish replacement, you must fill out the proper affidavit and show proof of ID, along with your Social Security Number. You may also be required to have payment on hand for commercial fishing license replacement fees.

Commercial Fishing for Military

As previously stated, private entities who own a body of water in Colorado are allowed to buy commercial fishing permits, as are those who apply directly at a CO Parks and Wildlife location. Landowners who do have commercial fishing licenses can charge licensed anglers to use their private waters as well. In addition, military members and veterans are often provided a discount on licensure, as long as they have proof of active-duty military orders or their completed time of service. Family members of those in the military are also allowed to apply for a standard permit to fish at the resident rate.

Commercial Fishing for Seniors

If you are a senior who is 64 years of age or older, you can apply for a senior fishing license in the state of CO for a very low fee. Take note that in order to fish in select bodies of water operated by commercial license holders, you must have the proper payment with you, as well as authorization from the company’s owner. For bodies of water that are not privately owned, you may apply for a commercial fishing license at a Colorado Parks and Wildlife branch near you. If you are a senior citizen with low income, you may also receive a lifetime fishing license free of charge.

Lifetime Commercial Fishing Licenses

Lifetime fishing licenses are only available to certain individuals in the state, either those who are military veterans with a disability and are older than 64, or those who are handicap. With that said, commercial fishing licenses are not available for a lifetime period. Only eligible residents can apply for this type of permanent license.

Commercial Fishing License Fees

The state of Colorado has a set fee for commercial fishing licenses, however, additional charges may also be in place.