Unveiling the Cost: How Much Does a Fishing License in Virginia Really Cost?

The Cost of a Fishing License in Virginia


Whether you’re an avid angler or just looking to try your hand at fishing, understanding the cost of a fishing license is essential. In Virginia, obtaining a fishing license allows you to explore the state’s diverse waterways and enjoy its abundant fish species. This blog post will provide detailed information about the different types of licenses available and their corresponding costs.

Fishing License Types

Virginia offers various fishing licenses to cater to individual preferences. Here are some of the most common options:

1. Freshwater Fishing License

A freshwater fishing license permits individuals to fish in inland lakes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and other freshwater bodies within Virginia.

2. Saltwater Fishing License

For those who prefer casting their lines along the coast or out on the open waters of Chesapeake Bay, a saltwater fishing license is required.

3. Combination License

If you enjoy both freshwater and saltwater fishing activities, opting for a combination license proves more economical than purchasing separate licenses for each.

Fishing License Costs in Virginia

Determining how much a fishing license costs depends on several factors such as residency status and duration validity:

a) Resident Fishing Licenses:

Residents aged 16-64 can choose from multiple licensing options:

  • Annual Resident Freshwater Fishing License: Priced at $23 (as of 2021), this permit covers all freshwater bodies within Virginia for one year.
  • Lifetime Resident Freshwater Fishing Lice nse: For lifelong anglers committed to pursuing their passion indefinitely, this option costs $265.
  • Saltwater Recreational Fishing License: Available at a cost of $17 (annually), this license allows residents to fish along the coastlines.

b) Non-Resident Fishing Licenses:

Non-residents can also enjoy fishing in Virginia, albeit at slightly higher costs:

  • Annual Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License: Priced at $47, this license enables non-residents to fish in freshwater bodies for one year.
  • Saltwater Recreational Fishing License (Non-Resident): For non-residents interested in saltwater fishing, an annual permit is available for $30.

Purchasing a Fishing License

Acquiring your fishing license is convenient and straightforward. Here are three common methods:

a) Online Purchase:

Visit the official website of Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and follow their step-by-step instructions to purchase your desired fishing license online.

b) In-Person Purchase:

Head over to any authorized licensing agent across the state, such as bait shops or outdoor stores. Provide relevant information and pay the required fee to obtain your fishing license instantly.

c) Telephone Purchase:

Contact the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources’ customer service line and complete your transaction by phone with a representative who will guide you through each step.

Fishing Regulations and Seasons

While purchasing a fishing license grants you access to various water bodies in Virginia, it’s crucial to stay informed about specific regulations that ensure sustainable fisheries management. Be mindful of bag limits, size restrictions on certain species, closed seasons for particular areas or species, and other rules designed to protect aquatic ecosystems.

For up-to-date information on these regulations and seasonal changes affecting recreational anglers in Virginia, consult the official website of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources or their printed fishing regulations guide.


In conclusion, obtaining a fishing license is an important step for any angler in Virginia. The cost varies depending on residency status and the type of license you choose. By adhering to fishing regulations and seasons, we can contribute to preserving our natural resources while enjoying the thrill of this rewarding outdoor activity. So, grab your gear and get ready to cast your line into Virginia’s bountiful waters!