The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers two free fishing days each year, allowing people to fish without a sportfishing license.
STATEWIDE— July 3 will be a good day to get a friend or family member out on the water to try their hand at fishing. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting two free fishing days on Saturday, July 3, and Saturday, Sept. 4.
On these days, anyone can drop a line into the water anywhere in California without a sportfishing license. The free fishing days are an effort by the CDFW to provide a low-cost way for people around California to give fishing a try without committing to a full license.
All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours, and stream closures remain in effect on free fishing days. Every angler must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead, sturgeon, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems.
A full list of regulations can be viewed online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations or apps.wildlife.ca.gov/sportfishingregs/.
Outside of the free fishing days, CDFW regulations state any person who is 16 years of age or older must possess a valid sport fishing license when taking any fish, shellfish, reptile, or amphibian in California. Fishing licenses can be obtained on the CDFW website. Annual licenses are available for $52.66 for any California resident and $142.05 for any non-resident. The CDFW also offers short-term fishing licenses for one day or two days for residents and non-residents and 10 days for non-residents.