Exploring Arizona’s Fish Limits: Your Guide to Legal Catch & Release Restrictions

What are the Fish Limits in Arizona?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity enjoyed by many people in Arizona. Whether you’re an avid angler or just starting out, it’s important to understand the fish limits set by the state. These limits ensure sustainable fishing practices and protect fish populations for future generations. In this blog post, we will explore the fish limits in Arizona and provide useful information to enhance your fishing experience.

Understanding Fish Limits

Fish limits refer to the number of fish an individual can legally catch and keep within a designated time frame. These regulations aim to maintain healthy populations of different species while allowing anglers to enjoy their favorite pastime responsibly.

Limitations Based on Species

In Arizona, each species of fish has its own set of specific limitations outlined by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these guidelines before heading out on your fishing trip.


Largemouth bass have a catch limit of six per day at most lakes and reservoirs across Arizona. However, certain water bodies may have special regulations that differ from this standard limit due to factors such as unique conservation needs or size management strategies implemented by AZGFD.


Catfish enthusiasts can rejoice because there are usually no daily bag or possession limits for catfish in Arizona! This means you can catch as many catfish as you like whenever they’re actively biting without any legal restrictions.

However, remember that even though there might not be specific limits, practicing ethical angling is still crucial. Release any excess catches if you don’t intend to consume them or share them with others – it helps maintain population health.


In Arizona, trout fishing regulations vary depending on the specific water body where you plan to fish. Some lakes have a six-trout limit per day, while others may have different limits or even special catch-and-release rules.

It’s worth mentioning that the AZGFD stocks rainbow trout in many lakes throughout Arizona during designated stocking seasons. These stocked trout provide excellent angling opportunities and contribute to a thriving fishing community.

License Requirements

To legally fish in Arizona, anglers aged 10 years and older must possess a valid fishing license. The license can be obtained online through the official website of AZGFD or from authorized retailers across the state. Licenses are typically available for various durations, including one-day, five-day, annual licenses as well as combination hunting and fishing licenses.

Special Regulations

A few popular spots for sportfishing in Arizona have unique regulations beyond general statewide limits. For example:

Colorado River and its Tributaries

If you’re planning to fish along the Colorado River or its tributaries within Arizona’s boundaries, be aware that additional special regulations exist. These include specific size restrictions on some species like striped bass.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell has separate daily bag limits due to its unique ecosystem shared between Utah and Arizona. Anglers should consult local guidelines when visiting this iconic reservoir.

Familiarize Yourself with Local Regulations

While this blog post aims to provide an overview of fishing limitations in Arizona, it is essential always to check for any updates or changes before each angling trip. Fish limits may evolve based on scientific research or environmental conditions affecting certain bodies of water.

To ensure compliance with all applicable laws and best practices for responsible angling, consider consulting official resources provided by AZGFD, such as their website and fishing regulations booklet.

By respecting fish limits and practicing ethical angling, you can contribute to the preservation of Arizona’s diverse aquatic habitats and enjoy a fantastic fishing experience at the same time. Happy fishing!