Exploring Utah Fishing License Exemptions: Who is Exempt from Requiring One?

Who is exempt from Utah fishing license

Fishing is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by people of all ages in Utah. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, obtaining a fishing license is generally required to participate legally. However, there are certain exemptions granted to specific individuals based on various factors established by the state authorities.

Utah Residents

If you are a resident of Utah and aged 12 years or older, you will typically need to purchase a valid fishing license before casting your line. However, some exceptions apply:

  • Persons with Disabilities: Utah residents with disabilities that substantially impair their ability to fish may be eligible for an exemption from purchasing a fishing license. Such individuals must possess proof of disability issued by an authorized healthcare professional.
  • Veterans and Active Military Personnel: Veterans who have been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed Forces and active military personnel stationed in Utah can enjoy free fishing privileges without requiring a license.
  • Social Security Recipients Over 65 Years Old: Senior citizens residing in Utah who receive Social Security benefits and are aged 65 or above can fish without obtaining a fishing license.

Juveniles (Under 12 Years)

In order to encourage young anglers-to-be and promote family bonding experiences outdoors, the State of Utah allows children under the age of 12 years to fish freely without holding any type of fishing permit or license. This exemption applies both to residents and non-residents within this age group.

Total Exemptions for Everyone

Certain circumstances provide universal exemptions from needing a fishing license for everyone; these include:

  • Free Fishing Day: Designated days, typically during National Fishing and Boating Week, when individuals can fish without a license. This is an excellent opportunity for newcomers to experience the joy of fishing.
  • Fishing on Private Waters: Anglers who are invited to fish on privately owned waters that do not receive any stocking from Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources are exempt from requiring a fishing license.
  • Fishing in Free Fishing Areas: Some specially designated areas throughout Utah offer free public access for fishing. These areas often encompass lakes, ponds, or sections of rivers where licenses are not necessary.


In general, obtaining a valid fishing license is required for most anglers in Utah. However, various exemptions exist to accommodate different circumstances and encourage participation in this beloved outdoor activity. Whether you fall under one or more exemption categories or need to purchase a license as per state regulations, always ensure compliance with the applicable rules before casting your line in the beautiful waters of Utah.

Fishing offers unique opportunities for relaxation and connection with nature while enjoying time outdoors. Understanding the exemptions available regarding fishing licenses allows individuals to make informed decisions about their legal obligations based on their specific situation.

(Note: The information provided here is intended as an overview and may be subject to change. It is always advised to consult official sources or the relevant authorities for up-to-date and accurate information regarding fishing regulations.)