January is the perfect month to purchase a 2016 sport fishing license. Purchasing a license now allows anglers to take advantage of a full year of access to great fishing found up and down the state.
In addition, sport fishing licenses make great gifts for family and friends. Gift vouchers may be purchased online and printed immediately.
With more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,172 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers, freshwater fishing opportunities abound in California. The Golden State also features more than 1,100 miles of coastline that is home to hundreds of native fish and shellfish species. Here are just a few examples of the diverse fishing opportunities found here:
- Trout fishing in the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) raises and plants millions of trout each year for the enjoyment of anglers. You’ll find some of the finest scenery anywhere while pursuing trout in the streams and lakes of California’s mountains. To view trout planting schedules, visit the fish planting website at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/fishplants/.
- Chinook salmon fishing in the ocean and rivers: Chinook salmon offer hard-fighting and excellent eating.
- Bass fishing for largemouth bass in Clear Lake, the California Delta and the trophy black bass lakes of Southern California: The next world-record bass could very easily come from California
- Steelhead fishing in coastal streams in northern California: These fish are challenging to catch and are found in beautiful coastal settings. Once hooked, they often put on a show, leaping wildly while peeling line from the angler’s reel.
- Lingcod, rock fish and halibut from a charter boat: Lingcod and rock fish are two of the best tasting fish anywhere.
- Spiny lobster: Hoop-net this delicacy in the ocean waters of Southern California.
- Striped bass and sturgeon in the California Delta: Catch and release a giant white sturgeon that is bigger than some anglers, or take a striped bass home for dinner.
- Fishing in the City: CDFW has a program that plants trout in urban ponds and lakes, so if you live in the city, chances are you can catch rainbow trout close to home. For more information on this program, visit the Fishing in the City web page at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing-in-the-city.
California sport fishing licenses may be purchased from any license agent or online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales, 24 hours a day. To locate a license agent, visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/outletsearch/findoutlet.
Fishing license sales provide a dedicated source of funding for management and protection of California’s fisheries and for fish hatchery operation. Purchasing a sport fishing license also helps support California’s long-standing fishing heritage for today and future generations.
More information on fishing in California is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing.