Nevada Fishing License: The Complete Guide for 2024

May 29, 2024 | 5 minute read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Despite its reputation as the driest state in the union, Nevada is home to over 200 lakes and reservoirs, along with 600 streams and rivers. These waters span nearly 400,000 surface acres, teeming with sportfishing opportunities for seasoned pros and enthusiastic newcomers alike. But before you can explore these waters, you’ll need to obtain a Nevada fishing license.

The flag of Nevada flying from a flagpole against a background of a clear blue sky

And that’s why we’re here today. We’ll run through the ins and outs of getting your permit so that you can make the most out of your visit to the Silver State. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the memorable catches that stretch from the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe to the winding currents of the Truckee River! 

Who needs a Nevada fishing license?

Let’s dive right in. If you’re 12 years old or older, you need to have a fishing license in your possession when you’re out on Nevada’s waters. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned local or a visitor eager to explore these fantastic fishing spots—a license is a must.

Both residents and non-residents need a permit to fish in the state. There are annual licenses for those who plan to fish regularly and short-term licenses for occasional anglers. There are also special considerations based on age and specific activities, so it’s good to know what applies to you.

For young anglers between 12 and 17 years old, a youth combination license is available. This handy license covers both hunting and fishing, making it a great way to get the next generation excited about the outdoors.

Senior residents and disabled veterans are not forgotten either. If you’re 65 or older, have severe physical disabilities, or are a veteran with a service-connected disability, a reduced-fee license is available. But more on this later.

Who doesn’t need a Nevada fishing license?

Unlike most other states, there are very few exceptions to the rule when it comes to getting a license in Nevada. Obviously, kids under 12 can fish in Nevada without a license. But that’s pretty much it. You’ll, therefore, want to mark your calendar for the second Saturday in June if you want to fish for free. This Free Fishing Day allows everyone to fish without a license. Just beware that all other fishing regulations and limits still apply. 

Nevada Fishing License: General Information

A view of Lake George in Nevada on a clear summer's day, with crystal clear waters in the foreground and trees on an otherwise barren shoreline in the distance, along with an angler wading and fishing in the water

Understanding the array of Nevada fishing licenses available is crucial for anyone eager to fish in the state, as you’ll need to make sure you purchase the correct permit. There are differences in prices for residents and non-residents, with some permits only available to one group and not the other. 

To qualify as a Nevada resident, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the US or lawfully entitled to remain in the country
  • Have been domiciled in Nevada for the 6 months prior to your license application, aside from brief absences
  • Have not purchased or applied for a resident hunting or fishing license in another state, country, or province during that time

Nevada Fishing License Types

With that clarified, let’s explore the various fishing license options Nevada has to offer. If you’re planning a quick fishing trip, a one-day license might be just what you need. For non-residents who want to combine fishing with hunting upland game and waterfowl, there’s also a one-day fish/upland/waterfowl permit.

For those who fish frequently throughout the year, an annual license is perfect. And, again, if you enjoy both fishing and hunting, consider the annual hunting and fishing combo, which covers both activities for the whole year.

For specialized fishing experiences, the interstate boundary permit is tailored for fishing in the reciprocal waters of the Colorado River, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Tahoe, and Topaz Lake. This is valid for one year from the date of purchase. There’s also a dedicated license for the waters of Carson Lake and Pasture.

Special Nevada Fishing Licenses

A man in a red hat and sunglasses crouches and poses with a Cutthroat Trout caught in Nevada on a sunny day, with another man out of focus in the distance casting a line

Nevada’s Special Fishing Permit offers a unique way to bring various public and private non-profit groups to the water, ensuring accessibility for everyone. This permit is available to a range of organizations, such as:

  • Mental health facilities
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Rehabilitation centers within hospitals
  • Elder care facilities
  • Temporary foster care facilities for non-delinquent children
  • Clubs or programs that benefit children or adults with disabilities

Individuals using this permit must be accompanied by an organization member who holds a valid Nevada fishing license and is present at the event.

Nevada also offers a special combo license for residents with severe disabilities. This license caters to those whose disabilities significantly limit their employment opportunities. Disabled veterans qualify too, but they must be bona fide Nevada residents with a disability rated at 50% or more by the Veterans’ Affairs Department and must have received an honorable discharge. 

Other than that, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) provides discounted licenses for veterans and active-duty members. For only $15, Nevada veterans or active-duty members not based in Nevada can obtain a special combo hunting and fishing license. This offer extends to veterans with a 50% or greater service-connected disability. Non-resident, active-duty service members and their families stationed in Nevada can obtain resident hunting and fishing licenses without the 6-month residency requirement.

Active-duty members stationed in Nevada, along with their families, also benefit from reciprocal fishing agreements. These agreements permit them to fish in shared waters, like Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead, with their home state licenses.

And finally, Native American residents of Nevada can obtain a heavily-discounted combo hunting and fishing permit. They need to provide documentation from a tribal authority verifying their resident status. This license permits both hunting and fishing, but big game tags are still necessary.

Nevada Fishing License Cost

So you now know which Nevada fishing license you need. But how much does it cost? Let’s take a look:

TypeResident FeeNon-Resident Fee
1-day$10$19
1-day Fish/Upland/WaterfowlN/A$24
Annual$41$81
Annual Combo$76$156
Youth Combo$15$15
Consecutive Day$3$7
Interstate Boundary FishingN/A$31
Carson Lake and Pasture$61$61
Severely Disabled Combo$15N/A
Disabled Veteran Combo$15N/A
Special Fishing Permit$25$25
Native American Combo$10N/A

Please note that these prices may not include processing fees.

Where to Buy Your Nevada Fishing License

An infographic featuring the flag of Nevada above text that says "Nevada fishing licence, where to get yours," along with an illustration of a boat underneath against a blue background

Getting your Nevada fishing license is straightforward and convenient, with several ways to purchase yours. Here’s how you can get your hands on one:

  • Online through the NDOW official licensing app. Navigate to the licensing section, create an account or log in, select the type of license you need, and follow the prompts to complete the purchase and payment. Don’t forget to print your license! 
  • In-person at any NDOW office or from over 150 authorized agents, including sporting goods stores, tackle shops, and some retail locations. 
  • By phone. Call the NDOW number during business hours, follow the instructions to purchase a license, and pay using a credit or debit card. You’ll receive a confirmation number, which you can use as proof until your physical license arrives by mail.

Nevada Fishing: More than Silver Awaits!

Are you ready to dive into the thrill of fishing in the Silver State? Secure your Nevada fishing license today and gear up for your next great angling escapade. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, Nevada promises opportunities for all. Don’t sit this one out—get your license, gather your gear, and hit the water!

Hopefully, we’ve covered all your questions about getting a Nevada fishing license. Read about the Silver State in more detail in our comprehensive Nevada Fishing guide. If you’re all set, it’s time to secure your license. Once you have it, you can find a fishing charter near you and dive into the fun!

Author profile picture

Lisa traded the lecture hall for the vast expanse of the world's waters, transforming her love of teaching into an insatiable passion for angling and storytelling. She would sail through oceans, lakes, and rivers, reeling in the world’s fish stories one catch at a time.

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