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Additional Fishing License Information

Fishing Regulations Virginia Freshwater Fishing

Legacy Fishing or Hunting Licenses

  • Issued only to an individual who is younger than two years of age and is valid for the lifetime of the license holder regardless of any change in that person’s status as a resident or nonresident.
  • Legacy hunting license is valid until the individual’s 12th birthday. Upon proof of completion of a hunter education course or equivalent, this license is transferable to a lifetime hunting license at no additional charge.
  • The Legacy fishing or hunting license is available by application through the Richmond office or by mail. The cost is $125.00 for resident children and $250.00 for nonresident children.

Lifetime Licenses and Special Annual Veterans Licenses

Resident and nonresident lifetime licenses and special annual resident and nonresident veterans licenses are purchased by an application and require supporting documentation of age, resi­dency, and/or disability. They are issued only through the Richmond office. Retail license agents cannot issue these licenses. Applications can be submitted in person at the Richmond office or mailed in. License applications can be found on the Department’s website at www.HuntFishVA.com/licenses/lifetime or by calling 1-866-721-6911.

Tidal Boat License

The tidal boat license is available to any boat owner, resident and nonresident. The license is a special combined sport­fishing license that gives the boat owner a license to fish in saltwater and freshwater within Virginia.The license also covers all passengers on board the owner’s boat when fishing in Virginia tidal (to river Fall Lines) waters and saltwater only when the registered boat owner is present. There are no decals issued under this license and the VMRC Fisherman Identification Program rules apply for passengers fishing in saltwater under this tidal boat license; www.mrc.virginia.gov/regulations/recfishh&l_licensing.shtm.

National Forest Permit

All persons required to have a license (exceptions: residents under 16 and over 65, and those with a lifetime license issued before 7/1/1988, and nonresidents under 12 except when fishing in designated stocked trout waters) are required to have a National Forest Permit when fishing on National Forest lands except on the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River, the James River, Skidmore Lake in Rockingham County, North Fork Pound Reservoir, Lake Moomaw, the Jackson River below Gathright Dam, and in Wilson Creek below Douthat Lake in Alleghany and Bath counties.

State Forest Use Permit

Required for those persons aged 16 or older to practice the following activities on a state forest: hunting, trapping, fishing, mountain biking, and horse riding. No motorized vehicles on gated roads/trails (open or closed). The Forest Use Permit is not required for forest visitors who practice the following activities on a state forest: walking, hiking, or boating. Sold in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Access Permit

An Access Permit is required when using any Department-owned wildlife management area or fishing lake. Such permit shall not be required for any person holding a valid hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license or a current certificate of boat registration issued by the Department or persons 16 years of age or younger. The Access Permit requirement does not apply to Department-owned boat ramps or segments of the Appalachian Trail on Department-owned land. The permit fee is $4 for a daily permit or $23 for an annual permit and may be purchased online or at any license agent.

Replacement License

If you purchased a license from a retail license agent, such as a sporting goods store, you can request a replacement at any retail license agent.

If you purchased a license online, by phone, or from the Richmond office you will need to request a replacement by calling toll-free at 1-866-721-6911 during regular business hours.