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Florida Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Fishing Regulations Florida Freshwater Fishing

Fishing license requirements and fees

License, permit, and issuance fees and exemptions are established by the Legislature. In addition to the cost of licenses and permits specified in this section, license agents currently charge a 50-cent issuance fee for selling licenses or permits.

Licensing requirements follow the species of fish you are fishing for, regardless of where you are fishing. For example, anglers fishing for and possessing largemouth bass in brackish water need a freshwater license; anglers fishing for saltwater species in fresh water (e.g., spotted sea trout, red drum, snook, or American shad) need a saltwater license to possess these species. An exception is that when fishing in fresh water with a freshwater license (or legal exemption) you may take mullet without a saltwater license (seasons and sizes follow the saltwater fishing rules). See license exemptions, but remember, anyone can buy a license to contribute to conservation.

Resident Freshwater Fishing Licenses

For purposes of fishing in Florida, a “resident” is defined as any person who has declared Florida as his or her only state of residence as evidenced by a valid Florida driver license or identification card with both a Florida address and a Florida residency verified by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV). If the person does not have a Florida driver license or identification card on record with HSMV, a Florida voter information card, declaration of domicile, or homestead exemption may be used as proof of Florida residency. Active military personnel stationed in Florida, including their spouses and dependent children residing in the household, are considered residents when purchasing fishing licenses.
Freshwater Fishing (valid 12 months from specified start date)

$17.00

Youth Freshwater Fishing (optional for children under the age of 16 and valid until 17th birthday—a fishing license is not required until age 16)

$17.00

5-Year Freshwater Fishing
(valid 5 years from specified start date)

$79.00

Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Combo (valid 12 months from specified start date)

$32.50

Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combo (valid 12 months from specified start date)

$32.50

Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing/Hunting Combo (valid 12 months from specified start date)

$48.00

Resident 64+ Silver Sportsman’s License includes Freshwater Fishing and Hunting licenses; and Wildlife Management Area, Archery,
Muzzleloading Gun, Crossbow, Deer, Turkey and Florida Waterfowl permits

(valid 12 months from specified start date)

$13.50

Sportsman’s License includes Freshwater Fishing and Hunting licenses; and Wildlife Management Area, Archery, Muzzleloading Gun, Crossbow, Deer, Turkey and Florida Waterfowl permits

(valid 12 months from specified start date)

$80.50

Gold Sportsman’s License includes Hunting, Saltwater Fishing and Freshwater Fishing licenses; and Wildlife Management Area, Archery,
Muzzleloading Gun, Crossbow, Deer, Turkey, Florida Waterfowl, Snook and Lobster permits

(valid 12 months from specified start date)

$100.00

Youth Gold Sportsman’s License

(optional for children under the age of 16 and valid until 17th birthday—a fishing license is not required until age 16—hunter safety certificate required—
includes same licenses and permits as Gold Sportsman’s License)

$100.00

Military Gold Sportsman’s License

(sold only at tax collector’s office—includes same licenses and permits as Gold Sportsman’s License)
(valid 12 months from specified start date)

$20.00

5-Year Gold Sportsman’s License

(includes Freshwater Fishing, Hunting and Saltwater Fishing licenses; and Wildlife Management Area, Archery, Muzzleloading Gun, Crossbow, Deer, Turkey, Florida Waterfowl, Snook and Lobster permits)

$494.00

Nonresident Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Freshwater Fishing (valid 12 months from specified start date)

$47.00

3-Day Freshwater Fishing (valid 3 consecutive days from specified start date)

$17.00

7-Day Freshwater Fishing (valid 7 consecutive days from specified start date)

$30.00

Lifetime Licenses (For Florida Residents Only)

Lifetime licenses are available to Florida residents only. Funds generated from sales of these licenses are invested, creating an endowment to support long-term conservation of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources. Costs of lifetime licenses are less than what would be spent on annual licenses, permits and fees, and are valid in Florida even if you move out of state.

Lifetime Sportsman’s License
(includes Hunting, Freshwater Fishing and Saltwater Fishing licenses; Deer, Wildlife Management Area,
Archery, Turkey, Muzzleloading Gun, Crossbow, Florida Waterfowl, Snook and Lobster permits)

4 years or younger

$401.50

5-12 years

$701.50

13 years and older

$1,001.50

Lifetime Freshwater Fishing License

4 years or younger

$126.50

5-12 years

$226.50

13 years or older

$301.50

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration — A legacy of success

How often do you see people or businesses wanting to be taxed and happy about it?

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. This Act has been key to implementing the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (see MyFWC.com). Between 1941 and 1950, sport-fishing businesses paid a federal excise tax that was deposited in the general treasury of the United States but did not directly benefit manufacturers or anglers. In 1950, sportsmen and businesses teamed with conservation-minded policy makers to redirect these existing federal excise taxes to the Restoration Program (aka: SFR, Dingell-Johnson or Wallop-Breaux).

The concept was to restore sportfish populations and improve public access, so more people can enjoy fishing and so fishing sales would increase. SFR came about as a result of anglers wanting to see more money directed toward restoring the nation’s recreational fisheries, and ensuring better fishing opportunities for themselves and future generations. It has been the best thing for anglers since fishing reels were invented.

Today, SFR uses a small excise tax on fishing reels and other fishing tackle, as well as a motor boat fuel tax, to fund sport fish restoration and boating access programs. It is working. There are now at least 77 percent more anglers than in 1950. Purchases of tax-related items by anglers have increased by nearly 200 percent in dollars (adjusted for the consumer-price index) since 1955.

Anglers and fishing businesses want to know the benefits they receive in return. To help answer this, Andrew Loftus Consulting and Southwick Associates analyzed data on excise taxes invested, fishing participation, and angler purchases of excise-tax related products for a 2011 report to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The report found that excise-tax related return-on-investment ranged from 1,585 percent in 1970 to 2,643 percent in 1980.

In Florida alone, SFR provided $11 million in 2014, of which 15 percent ($1.8 million) went to boating access. Freshwater fisheries conservation received $4.5 million (down from $5 million in recent years). The rest went to saltwater fisheries. In freshwater, the FWC uses this money to improve fisheries habitat, stock fish, conduct research and manage fish populations. We also conduct aquatic education programs and provide valuable fishing and conservation tips to anglers.