How Much Is A Fishing License In Georgia?

If you’re planning to go fishing in the abundant freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, or along the 100-mile coastline of Georgia, one of the first questions you likely have is, “How much is a fishing license in Georgia?” The answer depends on a few factors, such as your residency status, age, and the type of license you need.

Fishing License Prices for Georgia Residents

For Georgia residents age 16 and older, here are the costs of the various fishing licenses available:

  • Annual Fishing License: $15
  • 1-Day Fishing License: $5
  • Additional Days Fishing License: $1 per day (up to 10 additional days)
  • Annual Trout License: $10 (required in addition to a fishing license for trout fishing)
  • Annual Saltwater Information Permit: Free (required in addition to a fishing license for saltwater fishing)

Georgia residents who are 65 years or older can purchase a discounted Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License for $70, which includes hunting and fishing privileges. Residents with qualifying disabilities can also get a discounted Disability License for $3 per year or $9 for 3 years.

Fishing License Fees for Non-Residents

If you’re visiting Georgia from out of state and want to fish, you’ll need to purchase a non-resident license. Here are the costs:

  • Annual Fishing License: $50
  • 1-Day Fishing License: $10
  • Additional Days Fishing License: $3.50 per day (up to 10 additional days)
  • Annual Trout License: $25
  • Annual Saltwater Information Permit: Free

All fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, except for short-term licenses which are valid for the specified number of days.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Georgia?

In general, all anglers ages 16 and older must have a valid fishing license to fish in Georgia’s public waters, including freshwater and saltwater. This applies to both residents and non-residents.

There are a few exceptions where a license is not required:

  • Children under age 16
  • Fishing on private ponds not owned by the local, state, or federal government
  • Fishing on land owned by the angler’s immediate family (spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings)

Even with a fishing license, additional permits may be needed for certain activities like trout fishing, saltwater fishing, or hunting migratory birds.

Where to Buy a Georgia Fishing License

You have several convenient options for purchasing a fishing license in Georgia:

  • Online: Visit GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com to buy a license 24/7. You can print out a temporary license to use immediately.
  • By Phone: Call 1-800-366-2661 Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM or Saturday-Sunday 9AM-5PM. A temporary authorization number will be provided for immediate use.
  • In Person: Visit a license agent location such as bait & tackle shops, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, or DNR regional offices. You’ll receive a printed license on the spot.
  • Mobile App: Download the official FishSmartGeorgia app to purchase and store licenses on your phone.

When buying a license in person, accepted payment methods include cash, check, money order, and credit cards. For online and phone sales, credit cards are accepted.

Reciprocal Fishing License Agreements

Georgia has reciprocal fishing license agreements with some bordering states, meaning a Georgia fishing license is valid for fishing in designated waters of those states without needing an additional non-resident license. These agreements include:

  • Alabama: Georgia license valid for fishing in the Chattahoochee River and its impoundments
  • Florida: Georgia license valid for fishing in St. Mary’s River and Suwannee River
  • North Carolina: Georgia license valid for fishing in Chatuge Lake
  • South Carolina: Georgia license valid for fishing in Hartwell Lake, Russell Lake, Clarks Hill Lake, and the Savannah River

Even with reciprocity, anglers must still follow the fishing regulations of the state where they are fishing.

Penalties for Fishing without a License

It’s important that anglers age 16 and up have a proper fishing license in their possession when fishing, as the penalties for fishing without one can be severe:

  • First offense: Up to $200 fine and 6-12 month suspension of fishing privileges
  • Second offense: $500-$1,000 fine and 1-3 year suspension
  • Third offense: $1,000-$2,000 fine and minimum 3 year suspension

Fishing licenses are affordable and easy to obtain, so it’s not worth the risk of fines and losing fishing privileges. Plus, license fees go toward conservation and improving fishing opportunities in Georgia.

Final Thoughts on Georgia Fishing License Costs

To sum up how much a fishing license costs in Georgia:

  • GA residents: $15 annual license, $5 1-day license, $1-3.50 per additional day, $10 trout permit
  • Non-residents: $50 annual license, $10 1-day license, $3.50 per additional day, $25 trout permit
  • Saltwater Permit: Free but required for saltwater fishing
  • Discounts: Available for GA seniors age 65+ and disabled residents
  • Exemptions: No license needed for anglers under 16 or fishing private ponds/family land

Whether you’re a Georgia resident or visitor, the cost of a fishing license is a small price to pay to legally access the state’s diverse and abundant fishing opportunities. By purchasing a license, you’re also supporting conservation efforts to maintain and enhance Georgia’s fisheries for generations to come.

So before heading out on your next fishing trip, make sure you know the license requirements and costs for your situation. Then you can focus on the important part – enjoying your time on the water and reeling in some memorable catches!

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