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License Requirements

Fishing Regulations Georgia Freshwater Fishing

Buying Licenses

You can purchase a Georgia fishing license:

  • Online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.gofishgeorgia.com or www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.
  • In person at license dealers statewide including most WRD/CRD regional offices; state parks; marinas; major retailers; and sporting goods, bait and tackle, and hardware stores. A complete list of license agents can be found at gofishgeorgia.com.
  • By telephone at 800-366-2661, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. M–F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. S–S.

Notes: Social Security Number is required for the purchase of all licenses to meet requirements for Georgia Code 19-11-9.1(a.).

Who Needs a Fishing License

Anglers age 16 and older must have a current Georgia fishing license in their possession while fishing in fresh or salt water in Georgia. Additionally, a free SIP is required to fish in saltwater. A temporary authorization number obtained by telephone or internet sale may be used for seven days until the paper copy is received or printed. Conservation Rangers may require photo identification when checking fishing licenses. Exception: A fishing license is not required to fish in private ponds (does not include ponds owned by governments—city, county, state, or federal) nor by a resident and their immediate family when fishing on their land. See definition of immediate family on 2016 Definitions.

Residents

  • Proof of residence, such as a Georgia driver’s license, is required to purchase a resident fishing license.
  • For purposes of buying a fishing license, residents are persons domiciled in Georgia (declared Georgia only state of legal residence) for a least three months and includes out-of-state college students living in Georgia. Students may use a current Georgia student I.D. as documentation. Residents also include full-time, active duty military personnel and their dependents for purposes other than lifetime licenses.
  • A free hunting and fishing license may be issued once for Georgia resident military veterans discharged from active duty on or after July 1, 2005 who were on ordered Federal duty for a period of 90 days or longer. Valid for 12 months from date of issue. More details may be found under Freshwater and Trout License Requirements at
    www.gofishgeorgia.com.
  • Residents 65 years of age or older may fish with the Senior (65+) Lifetime License. This license can be obtained free online at gofishgeorgia.com or from license dealers by furnishing proof of age (driver’s lic., birth certificate, etc.) and residency (driver’s license).
  • Permanently and totally disabled: Residents may obtain a Disability Honorary Combination Hunting and Fishing License by applying to the License Unit (800-366-2661). Proof of disability must accompany the application. Proof of disability may come from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Admin., Railroad Retirement System or other government agency. Applications are online at www.gofishgeorgia.com.
  • Any resident who is totally blind may apply for a Lifetime Honorary Fishing License and must provide a Physician’s Certification of Blindness with the application.

Nonresidents

  • Nonresidents 16 or older, regardless of physical condition, must have a valid nonresident Georgia fishing license to fish in Georgia freshwater and saltwater, except in private ponds. See also Agreements for Bordering States on Agreements With Bordering States.
  • Nonresidents under 16 do not require a fishing license or trout license.

Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP)

Any person, age 16–64, entering any designated fee area on state-managed WMAs and PFAs must possess a valid GORP. Persons who possess a valid 3-day hunting & fishing, WMA, Lifetime, Sportsman’s, or Honorary license are exempt from this requirement. Designated fee areas are marked with the posting of a sign at the site or area entrance. For a complete list of GORP properties and additional information please go to www.gofishgeorgia.com

Reciprocal Agreements for Bordering States

Georgia DNR has Agreements with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina allowing holders of Georgia fishing licenses to fish in the waters covered without obtaining a fishing license from the bordering state. See Agreements with Bordering States on pages Agreements With Bordering States.

Mountain Trout Licenses

  • All resident anglers ages 16 and older must have a trout license and Georgia fishing license to fish in designated trout waters and to fish for or to possess trout. A WMA or GORP License is required to fish for trout in Dawson Forest (North of GA Hwy 53), & Rich Mountain (Cartecay Tract). See Trout Fishing for Waters Creek special regulations. For a full list of properties requiring a GORP please visit www.gofishgeorgia.com.
  • Resident Senior (65+) Lifetime, Lifetime Sportman’s, Sportman’s and honorary license holders include the trout fishing privilege.
  • Landowners and their immediate families may fish on their premises without a trout license.
  • All nonresident anglers, 16 or older, regardless of physical condition, must possess a nonresident fishing license and nonresident trout license to fish for or possess trout or to fish in designated trout waters.
  • State park visitors are not required to have a trout license to fish in the impounded waters of the Park. However, those visitors wishing to harvest trout will need to have a trout license in their possession.
  • See Public Fishing Areas on Public Fishing Areas.

Want to Save Money?

Lifetime License – Buy it young and get the ultimate in savings! $500 lifetime license gets you $2420 worth of privileges

Early Renewal – Save $2.75 if you renew before your license expires

Multi Year License – purchase a 2 year license term and save $2-3 dollars

Combo Licenses – purchase your hunting and fishing license together and save $2

Stacking Licenses – You can stack several years of privileges in one purchase and save the transaction fee

Discover Fishing on Georgia’s Free Fishing Days!

June 4, 2016; June 11, 2016; Sept, 24, 2016

  • No fishing or trout license required
  • All waters of the state
  • Must be a Georgia resident
  • Does not include fees at private lakes
  • No WMA license required to fish on a Public Fishing Area or Waters Creek trophy trout stream
  • All other Fishing Regulations apply