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Wyoming Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

Wyoming Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

Ready to fish in Wyoming’s waters? You’ll need a Wyoming fishing license. This article simplifies the process for you, detailing how to obtain your license, understanding the costs involved, and the various types available for residents and nonresidents. Dive in to ensure your line is cast legally in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Wyoming requires a fishing license for anyone 14 and older, with a flexibility of 12-month validity from the purchase date, while children under 14 must follow adult creel limits or be accompanied by a licensed adult if nonresident.
  • Various license types are available for residents and nonresidents, including annual, daily, and five-day licenses, with additional requirements like the Conservation Stamp and specific permits for fishing on Tribal Lands.
  • Important to compliance, Wyoming fishing regulations establish specific creel limits and conservation efforts, and fishing license fees support habitat development and native species conservation.

Understanding Wyoming Fishing License Requirements

Wyoming Fishing License
Wyoming Fishing License

The first step towards embarking on your fishing journey involves comprehending the licensing prerequisites. In Wyoming, anyone aged 14 and above needs to obtain a fishing license and a conservation stamp to fish legally in the state’s waters. But what if you’re under 14? Well, children under 14 can fish without a license but must adhere to the same creel limits as licensed anglers. Nonresident children under 14, however, must be accompanied by an adult holding a valid Wyoming fishing license.

A significant change worth highlighting involves the validity period of Wyoming fishing licenses. Earlier, licenses expired on December 31, regardless of the purchase date. Now, they have a 12-month validity period from the date of purchase. This flexibility allows you to enjoy a full year of fishing, regardless of when you buy your license.

Types of Fishing Licenses Available

Equipped with knowledge about the basic requirements, we can now explore the various fishing license types Wyoming offers. The state offers a variety of licenses, including resident and nonresident annual licenses, daily licenses, and youth licenses.

Nonresidents can choose from the following fishing licenses in Utah:

  • Annual license
  • Daily license
  • Five consecutive day license
  • Special youth annual license (before their 18th birthday)

Along with these licenses, a Conservation Stamp must be purchased, except for those with a Special Limited Fishing Permit. For reciprocal fishing rights on Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Wyoming offers a special stamp to holders of a valid Utah resident fishing license.

As for residents, they can avail both daily and annual fishing licenses, with a 5-day license option for nonresidents looking for shorter durations of fishing.

Eligibility Criteria for Residents and Non-Residents

After discussing the different licenses, we will next examine the eligibility criteria for both residents and nonresidents, following the complete Wyoming regulations. In Wyoming, a resident is any U.S. citizen or legal alien who has been domiciled in the state for at least one full year immediately preceding the application for a license without claiming residency elsewhere.

If you’ve been living in Wyoming continuously for ten years, you can apply for a resident lifetime fishing license. There are also free lifetime license options for the permanently and totally disabled, or seniors qualifying for the pioneer license (65 years of age with 30 years of residency). Nonresident seniors, however, don’t have specific license prices and must pay the same fees as other nonresident adults.

To fish on Wind River Tribal Lands, located within the Wind River Indian Reservation, both Wyoming residents and nonresidents must acquire a Wind River Tribal Fishing Permit, which requires a minimum of twelve months of residency in Wyoming and a valid Wyoming address.

How to Purchase Your Wyoming Fishing License

Purchase Your Wyoming Fishing License
Purchase Your Wyoming Fishing License

Armed with information on the type of license you need and your eligibility, we can now discuss the process of obtaining a Wyoming fishing license. You can purchase it online, at local offices of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, or through authorized retailers such as Walmart.

Online Registration Process

If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, you can easily purchase your Wyoming fishing license on the official Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. To do so, you’ll need to create or log into your account on the website.

Next, follow these steps to purchase your fishing license:

  1. Select the type of fishing license you want.
  2. Provide your personal information, including any necessary conservation stamp details.
  3. Finalize your selection and provide the necessary information.
  4. Make the payment with a credit card.
  5. Remember to print the license, as it won’t be mailed to you.

In-Person Purchase Locations

If you’re more of a face-to-face person, you can purchase your fishing license in person. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Headquarters Office and its eight regional offices serve as the primary locations where you can buy fishing licenses.

In addition to the official Game and Fish offices, numerous businesses throughout Wyoming are licensed to sell fishing licenses. You can locate these authorized businesses by consulting a comprehensive list available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s website, providing a convenient way to find nearby purchasing options.

Cost Breakdown of Wyoming Fishing Licenses

So, what’s the cost of a fishing license in Wyoming? The cost varies depending on the type of license, its duration, and your residency status. Do not forget that you’ll also need to account for the cost of a conservation stamp if required.

Comparison of Resident vs. Non-Resident Fees

As you might expect, resident fishing licenses are generally cheaper than nonresident licenses. For instance, a resident annual fishing license in Wyoming is priced at $27.00, significantly less than the $102.00 charged for nonresidents.

When it comes to daily licenses, residents again have the advantage, with their licenses costing $6.00 compared to the $14.00 charged for nonresidents. Nonresidents, however, have the option to purchase a five-day license for $56.00. Youth licenses show a similar cost discrepancy, with residents paying just $3.00 compared to $15.00 for nonresident youths.

Fishing Regulations and Creel Limits in Wyoming

Wyoming Fishing Regulations
Wyoming Fishing Regulations

With year-round, 24-hour fishing access, Wyoming poses as a paradise for fishing aficionados. However, each angler is allowed a maximum of two rods or poles unless otherwise specified by area regulations.

It’s important to remember that each drainage region in Wyoming has unique fishing seasons and regulations. These are designed to protect ecosystems and include specific closures and restrictions on bait and tackle. For example, during ice fishing and seasonal closures, there are rules around the number of lines allowed and access restrictions due to winter big game herds.

Special Rules for Specific Regions

Certain regions in Wyoming adhere to specific rules. For instance, in Glendo Reservoir, walleye must be a minimum of fifteen inches to be kept, and you’re required to keep walleye whole until you’ve finished fishing for the day or are no longer on the water.

The Miracle Mile segment of the North Platte River, from Kortes Dam downstream to the confluence with Sage Creek, has a creel limit of three trout per day, with only one trout allowed over sixteen inches.

On the North Platte River stretch from Gray Reef Dam to the Lusby Public Fishing Area, you can only keep one trout per day, and it must be over twenty inches as all smaller trout must be released.

Where Are You Allowed to Fish in Wyoming?

Madison River Wyoming
Madison River Wyoming

Wyoming provides a wide array of fishing possibilities across diverse public Wyoming waters, such as:

  • ponds
  • lakes
  • streams
  • rivers

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department even provides an interactive Wyoming Fishing Guide to help you locate places to fish and boat.

Fishing locales in Wyoming encompass a diverse array of natural water bodies, such as:

  • ponds
  • lakes
  • streams
  • ice
  • rivers

You can enjoy alpine and subalpine lake fishing in the higher elevations of the Medicine Bow Mountains in the Snowy Range Area and in the Bridger Wilderness within the Wind River Mountain Range.

Public vs. Private Waters

Access rules vary between public and private waters in Wyoming. Private land ownership rights, including private property, extend to stream banks, islands, and streambeds, giving landowners the authority to limit access to these areas.

While you can float on navigable waters across private properties, you’re required to remain in your boat and may not anchor or wade unless you’ve obtained permission from the landowner. Fishing on private streambanks or streambeds without explicit permission is considered trespassing.

On the other hand, public lands are open for fishing only if they’re legally reachable without trespassing on private properties.

Key Conservation Efforts Supported by Your License Fees

Purchasing a Wyoming fishing license not only grants you access to premier fishing locations but also enables you to contribute to vital conservation initiatives. Funds from fishing licenses are allocated for stream and river restoration projects, crucial for sustainable fisheries.

These conservation efforts include habitat enhancement and management practices under the Cutthroat Trout Conservation Program to maintain native trout species. Additionally, revenue from fishing licenses supports not only fisheries management but also habitat development, endangered species programs, and conservation education.

Renewing Your Wyoming Fishing License

The expiration of your license doesn’t signify the end of your fishing adventures. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has made it easy to renew your fishing license online. You just need to use your username and password to access your sportsperson account on the department’s website. Then, head to the ‘Purchase Licenses’ section to renew your licenses along with other items such as bird/small game licenses and conservation stamps.

Remember, fishing licenses, including game bird, small game, and furbearer/trapping licenses, are now valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.

Penalties for Fishing Without a License in Wyoming

Despite the thrilling experience of fishing in Wyoming, bear in mind that fishing without a legitimate license is deemed a misdemeanor offense. Offenders typically need to appear in court, and the violation may result in imprisonment or fines.

Violators can face a fine of up to $10,000 for high misdemeanor fishing violations or around $1,000 for lower cases. There are also mandatory restitution fees based on the type and number of fish illegally taken. More severe penalties may apply for illegally transferring a fishing license to someone else or trespassing while fishing.

Making the Most of Your Fishing Experience in Wyoming

Wyoming Fishing Experience
Wyoming Fishing Experience

Fishing in Wyoming involves more than merely procuring a license and adhering to regulations. It’s about making the most of your experience in the state’s diverse waters. From knowing the best seasons to fish to using ethical angling practices, there’s much you can do to enhance your fishing experience.

Seasonal Fishing Tips

Understanding the appropriate time to fish is as crucial as knowing the ideal locations. In winter, fishing in Wyoming can be surprisingly pleasant during sunny days if temperatures are around 30 degrees or more due to the ‘dry cold’ climate.

Spring offers a prime time for fishing enthusiasts, as February sees mature rainbow trout actively feeding and migrating to spawn at the Upper Grey Reef’s habitat. Summer brings mature fish leaving their spawning beds and dispersing throughout the river, allowing anglers to apply various fishing techniques successfully at numerous fishing spots.

Fall presents an opportunity for anglers to float fish on the North Platte River below Casper, which features clear and low water conditions ideal for targeting large fish.

Gear Recommendations

Equipping yourself with the appropriate fishing gear can significantly enhance your fishing experience. For wade fishing in Wyoming’s low and clear water conditions during winter, suitable gear is advised. Spring fishing during flushing flows may call for strong nymphing setups to handle dislodged food and active feeding trout.

During summer, dry flies and streamers are recommended as they usually target fish near the banks. In the fall, gear capable of handling larger fish, like heavier rods and stronger leaders, is necessary due to low water conditions and targeting large brown trout. Don’t forget to bring along essential tools such as nippers and hemos for managing lines and hooks, along with comfortable fishing boots or wading sandals for navigating river terrain.


Fishing in Wyoming provides an unparalleled experience, surrounded by nature’s grandeur. Understanding the licensing requirements, abiding by the regulations, and respecting the conservation efforts are all part of being a responsible angler. With this comprehensive guide, you now have all the information you need to fish legally and ethically in Wyoming. So, get your gear, obtain your license, and embark on an unforgettable fishing adventure in Wyoming’s pristine waters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a fishing license in Wyoming?

A fishing license in Wyoming costs $24 for residents and $92 for nonresidents.

Can you buy a Wyoming fishing license at Walmart?

Yes, you can buy a Wyoming fishing license at Walmart.

How old do you have to be to get a lifetime fishing license in Wyoming?

You need to be 65 years old and have at least 30 years of residence in Wyoming to be eligible for a lifetime fishing license, also known as a pioneer fishing license. The years prior to your 10th birthday don’t count towards the 30-year residence requirement.

Who is considered a resident for obtaining a Wyoming fishing license?

If you are a U.S. citizen or legal alien who has been living in Wyoming for at least one year without claiming residency elsewhere, you are considered a resident for obtaining a Wyoming fishing license.

Can children fish without a license in Wyoming?

Yes, children under 14 can fish without a license in Wyoming, as long as they adhere to creel limits and are accompanied by an adult with a valid fishing license. Enjoy your fishing trip!