How Much is a Fishing License in West Virginia: A Complete Guide

A fishing permit is required to fish in West Virginia legally, and getting one from a fishing license West Virginia fish and game license agent is easy.

You only need to walk into the tackle shop or an outdoor sports store to obtain a fishing license. How much is a fishing license in West Virginia?

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But, if you don’t take the time to get your fishing permit then you can get one on the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources site.

Once you’ve purchased the west virginia fishing license, you can download it and you’re able to start fishing for muskellunge or rainbow trout, northern pike, or smallmouth bass on any freshwater bodies of water.

There are a variety of permits for fishing available to residents as well as non-residents, you need to make sure you are aware of the type you’d like.

The resident lifetime fishing license is more suitable for avid anglers.

It is the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources that employs game and fish agents who ensure that fishing regulations in West Virginia as well as regulations are in place.

In the absence of enforcement, the risk of depleting fish populations increases and could eventually become at risk.

Everyone who fishes must be accountable enough to be aware of the current laws regarding fishing before heading out to fish.

Conserving and preserving the waters and fish populations is the collective responsibility of all. Everyone must be involved to ensure that the population of fish is in good health.

How? The best way to do this is to try using the right catch and release method so that the released fish are successful.

Anglers need to ensure they are using the correct gear (tackle as well as hook) for quickly catch the fish.

If you are planning to snap a picture of the fish you have caught before releasing it, ensure that you keep the fish in a horizontal position using moist hands.

Does West Virginia Have Free Fishing?

There is a possibility that West Virginia does have an open fishing weekend.

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Free fishing days generally fall between the second weekend of June, which is between Saturday and Sunday in June each year. In 2024, the weekend of free fishing trip is scheduled for the 12th and 13th of June.

On this weekend, all are permitted to take part in various water activities, like fishing trip without a fishing license. However, you must be sure to follow stringent rules of fishing and regulations.

Can Non-Residents Fish for Free on Free Fishing Day?

Like every one of the American states offering open fishing days, Almost Heaven state’s waters are accessible to all, even those who are not residents during this weekend.

This is an opportunity for you to test the state’s stunning waters before purchasing a fishing license.

Getting a West Virginia Fishing License

There are many options to apply for a West Virginia Fishing License.

  • In-person: A person may go to any one of the 180 retail licensing agents in the state. The additional fee is 3 dollars for issuing a purchaser’s initial purchase. There will be a fee of $1 for all future purchases that follow. For licensing agent locations separated by county in West Virginia,
  • Online: A person may go to the official website of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources for a permit. A cost of $2 will be paid for online purchases.
  • Telephone: A person may contact the Hunting and Lifetime Fishing License Unit at 304-558-278. If you purchase a fishing license by phone that requires a $2 charge for issuing the purchase total.

If you have any questions regarding getting a hunting trapping fishing, permit You can contact for more information with the Hunting and Lifetime Fishing License Unit within the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Types of Fishing License in West Virginia

West Virginia is home to one of the best fishing spots.

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The state is doing everything it can to protect the populations of fish in West Virginia. The state government has established a set of fishing rules including fishing licenses.

The department for fishing has issued permits for every person based on their age, disabilities, and the length of time they are fishing.

There are many short-term licensing options as well as annual ones that are available to both residents as well as non-residents in West Virginia.

For help in selecting which one is right for you Here are a few of the most popular West Virginia licenses include:

Resident Licenses

Outdoor fishing licenses are divided into various classes, with annual fishing licenses being classified under class B.

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However, if you are looking for a fishing, trapping, or hunting fishing licenses it is possible to choose the Class X license, which is for individuals aged between 18 and 64.

Youth between 15-17 years old are granted the Class XJ fishing licenses which allows them to fish, trap and hunt throughout the year.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Non-residents can apply for a hunting fishing license. West Virginia has an annual fishing permit that allows only fish under Class F.

They don’t possess a combination hunting and fishing license for those who are not residents, which means you’ll have to purchase a separate permit.

If you’re in the state resident fishing license privileges for only a couple of days, you may choose a single-day fishing permit and the option of an extension should you require additional days.

However, if you’re keen on fly fishing, you could choose to purchase a year-long non-resident permit.

Special Fishing and Hunting License

The license allows those who have life-threatening illnesses can fish without cost.

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The license is offered to residents as well as non-residents.

There are no extra stamps or licenses to use your lifetime fishing license in West Virginia.

Lifetime Licenses

Additionally, the state offers permanent licenses for fish trapping, resident lifetime hunting, and fishing license.

The licenses are available through fishing license agents, at the DNR office, and also on the Internet. Senior residents who bought their licenses from the DNR office or through an agent can purchase the senior lifetime license on the Internet.

Students who are non-residents and full-time in all colleges and universities located in West Virginia can also apply for lifetime licenses.

Trout Stamps

In addition to the standard licenses to fish, you’ll also require stamps to cast your line in West Virginia.

One of the most important stamps for anglers who fish with trout is the stamp for trout.

Everyone, not just holders of lifetime licenses who turn 65 in 2011require an official trout stamp.

The people who aren’t required to have the trout stamp to be able to legally fish on the waters of West Virginia include:

  • Aged 65 and over, residents who had turned older before the end of the year 2012.
  • Residents and non-residents who are younger than 15 years are anglers.
  • Senior lifetime license owners
  • Veterans with disabilities receive an all-permanent disability linked to service.

Table of fishing license costs in West Virginia

Annual Fishing license$19.00$37.00
Conservation stamp$5.00$13.00
Sportsman fishing/hunting/trapping (18 to 64 years)$35.00N/A
Sportsman trapping/ fishing/hunting, (3 years)$105N/A
Sportsman trapping/ fishing/hunting license annual$45.00n/a
5-day fishing license$8.00N/A
Trout fishing stamp$10.00$16.00
Apprentice junior fishing/trapping/hunting license$16.00$16.00
Junior sportsman hunting/trapping/fishing license$16.00$16.00
Lifetime fishing license combination fishing, trapping, and hunting (senior)$25.00N/A
Lifetime fishing license combination fishing, trapping, and hunting (10 to 15 years)$724.50N/A
Lifetime fishing license combination fishing, trapping, and hunting (5 to 10 years)$603.75N/A
Lifetime fishing license combination fishing, trapping, and hunting (1 to 5 years)$322.00N/A

How much is a sportsman’s license in West Virginia?

West Virginia Resident Annual Sportsman Fish/Hunt/Trap License | Ages 18 – 64 – Class X$35.00
West Virginia Resident Annual Sportsman Fish/Hunt/Trap 3-Year License | Class X3: A 3-year Sportsman license$105.00
West Virginia Resident Annual Sportsman Fish/Hunt/Trap Plus License | Class XP: Annual license that also includes the trout stamp$45.00
West Virginia Resident Annual Sportsman Fish/Hunt/Trap Plus 3-Year License | Class XP3: A 3-year license that also includes the trout stamp$135.00
West Virginia Resident Annual Jr. Sportsman Fish/Hunt/Trap License | Ages 15 – 17 – Class XJ: $16.00
West Virginia Resident Apprentice Junior Fish/Hunt/Trap License | Ages 15 – 17 – Class AHJ: Includes privileges of Class XJ$16.00

How much is a lifetime fishing license in West Virginia?

West Virginia Resident Lifetime Fishing License – Class B-L: Class BG (Big Game) and CS (Conservation Stamp) not required.
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Under age 1 – Class B-L: Class BG (Big Game) and CS (Conservation Stamp) not required.$220.80
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 1 to 4 – Class B-L: Class BG (Big Game) and CS (Conservation Stamp) not required.$303.60
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 5 to 9 – Class B-L: Class BG (Big Game) and CS (Conservation Stamp) not required.$414.00
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 10 to 14 – Class B-L: Class BG (Big Game) and CS (Conservation Stamp) not required.$496.80
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Trout Fishing License | Under age 1 – Class O-L: Valid only when accompanied by a Class B, AB-L, AB-L-I, B-L, B-L-I, X, or XJ license.$92.00
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Trout Fishing License – Class O-L: Valid only when accompanied by a Class B, AB-L, AB-L-I, B-L, B-L-I, X, or XJ license.$230.00
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Trout Fishing License | Ages 1 to 4 – Class O-L: Valid only when accompanied by a Class B, AB-L, AB-L-I, B-L, B-L-I, X, or XJ license.$126.50
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Trout Fishing License | Ages 5 to 9 – Class O-L: Valid only when accompanied by a Class B, AB-L, AB-L-I, B-L, B-L-I, X, or XJ license.$172.50
West Virginia Resident Lifetime Trout Fishing License | Ages 10 to 14 – Class O-L: Valid only when accompanied by a Class B, AB-L, AB-L-I, B-L, B-L-I, X, or XJ license.$207.00 

Fishing License Not Required for

  • Blind residents are those who live in a blind area. The physician’s note or the certificate must be accompanied by a photo ID when fishing. A trout stamp will not be necessary to be used for fishing for trout.
  • People who were 65 years older before 1/1/12. The West Virginia driver’s license of WV or a photo ID card from WV that is issued through the Division of Motor Vehicles shall be worn while fishing.
  • Residents who are not residents or nonresidents less than 15 years old.
  • Active duty personnel within the U. S. armed forces on leave for the military. Leave numbers must be carried during fishing.
  • Residents who own land or the property, their children, West Virginia their parents who reside there, and bona fide tenants of the land can catch fish from their land in the open season, in compliance with the regulations and laws applicable to this type of fishing.
  • Honorably discharged members of the U. S. armed forces who receive total service-connected disabilities or ex-prisoners of war, as defined through the Veterans Administration or resident disabled veterans that qualify under West Virginia Code 17A-10-8 and are not required to pay any registration fees associated with motor vehicles from the commissioner of Motor Vehicles. These individuals must have cards issued by the DNR.
  • Patients or residents of any state-run mental health facility, or other benevolent facility. These individuals need to be monitored and must carry a signed declaration or certificate that is which is signed by the administrator of the facility or institution.
  • People with developmental disabilities. The DDFL certificate issued by the DNR is required to be worn during fishing. A trout stamp isn’t necessary to catch trout.

Where can i bui a fishing license in West Virginia?

Generally, there are three ways you can get your lifetime fishing license in West Virginia.

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You can purchase it online at the DNR offices or the many authorized licensing agents.

Fortunately, the DNR does have a list of all their authorized dealers on their official website.

You can even call them and find out if they’re open before leaving your home.

You can also visit the local DNR offices and purchase your license there.

If you already have an account, you can log in and go to the tile labeled purchase a permit, tag or license. Go through the available list and add the ones you need to the cart by clicking the “ADD” icon.

After selecting your products, you can check out and pay using MasterCard or Visa.

After making your payment, you can see the list of your licenses on the checkout page with a button labeled “Print Active License .” Ensure you print your licenses since you’ll need to present them when fishing.

West Virginia Fishing License Renewal

For renewal of a license, every person must buy the license again.

As the license expires following an entire calendar year and you can purchase a new license when it runs out.

The best time to purchase one is on the first day of every calendar year.

Fishing Violations 

Within West Virginia, individuals will respect the rules of fishing set in the State.

If a person submits fraudulent applications for a fishing license is subject to having their fishing rights removed for one year.

Also, the state operates on a points system to penalize those who break the rules.

If a violation leads to ten or more points, their fishing license class one is revoked for two years.

Points will be removed when the two years are over or when their license is restored after they have been wrongfully found guilty.

Point System:

  • Ten points for the usage of poisons or explosives when catching the fish.
  • Six points are awarded for illegal possession or selling of wildlife.
  • Four points for other offenses.

Where Can i Get the Fishing Regulations in West Virginia?

Although you may have a license and the correct stamps you must still adhere to the regulations and rules set in place by the state.

Be aware that breaking the rules could result in a substantial penalty or even prison time at the very worst.

The regulations and rules can help you know when one most popular fishing spots is available for public access. Additionally, you’ll be informed about legal techniques for fishing and the kinds of bait.

What is The Fishing License Age Requirement For West Virginia?

Anyone over the age of 15 (residents as well as non-residents) is required to have a license to fish in West Virginia.

Children between the ages of 15 and 17 years of age may apply for the junior sportsman hunting fishing trapping Adults aged between 18 to 64 can buy the sportsman hunting fishing trapping.

When Do West Virginia Fishing Licenses Expire?

The licenses and permits issued for fishing infant West Virginia are valid for all of the calendar year. So, annual fishing licenses expire on the midnight date of December 31 each year. However, the short-term licenses have an expiration date. In the case of a 5-day permit expires at midnight on the fifth day.

Can You Fish on Private Property Without a License in West Virginia?

Landowners who are residents, their children, and tenants may fish on private property without the need for a license. They must, however, adhere to the regulations and rules enacted by state law. However, if you are operating on land that is designated as a wildlife refuge or preserve. If so you’ll need an operating license even on private property.

What Is The Fine For Fishing Without A License in West Virginia? 

Fishing without a permit can be an offense that is considered to be a misdemeanor. if you’re found guilty, you’ll be fined between $100 and $500. There is also the possibility of 10 and 100 days of prison time. In the event of a worst-case scenario, it is possible to be fined and even imprisoned.

What Is The Fishing Season In West Virginia?

General fishing is available all the time to residents as well as non-residents. Thus, it’s always possible to locate a fishing spot within West Virginia, even in the evening or even in the winter months. In the end, if roads are easily accessible, you’re set. If you want to hire canoes or kayaks Find a gorgeous off-shore fishing area or throw your line.

The fishing season for certain species isn’t available all the time. In addition, you can only catch and release certain species. The species that are included are:

Catfish Fishing Season

Catfish can be found throughout The Ohio River and the Kanawha River. In the Kanawha River, one can catch fish right from the mouth of this river until the confluence of Gauley or New Rivers. Therefore, if you enjoy hand-fishing, then you should try it out between the 15th of June through the 31st of August. The technique of hand fishing isn’t permitted in all water bodies managed by the state. lakes, except for Cheat, Mt. Storm, Hawks, Nest Stonecoal, and American Army Corps of Engineer lakes.

Trout Fishing Season

Trout fishing is available throughout West Virginia all year round; however, it is not possible to try catch-and-release fishing during the latter half of the time. If you want to take your catch and release it later, there is a chance to go fishing in West Virginia any time of the season. However, if you wish to take a handful of fish trout, then you must go to the lakes for trout between the 1st of June and the 30th of September.

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Keep in mind that authorities stock between February through May. However, the trout harvesting process is delayed. This is possible in the Guyandotte River’s clean fork, as well as at it’s Middle Wheeling Creek. The fishing for trout at Middle Wheeling Creek in Ohio County runs from November 1 through May 15. The Guyandotte clear fork of the river that runs through Wyoming County Wyoming is only open for the release and catch of trout.

Black Bass Fishing Season

The black bass, including smallmouth, spotted, and largemouth bass is available all through the year.

Protected Species

There are a variety of endangered species that are protected in West Virginia, the common species being the diamond darter the paddlefish, the sturgeon, and the mussel species. This is why you must let them go as soon as you have caught the fish. The possession of the species of mussel is considered to be illegal in the state.

FishOpening dateClosing date
General fishingJanuary 1December 31
TroutJanuary 1December 31
CatfishJune 15August 31

Best Places to Fish in West Virginia 

In the case of fishing in the stunning State of West Virginia, there are numerous prestigious spots that you can fish from. It is the Shenandoah as well as the Potomac Rivers are famed for the abundance of tiger muskies, largemouth bass, as well as walleye. They are also considered for their effectiveness in fly fishing.

If you’re more adept, we suggest heading towards Jennings Randolph Lake in Mineral County for a chance to fish for trophy-sized walleye. It is a 952-acre lake, with a variety of amazing hot spots. For people who are brand novices fishing at Cheat Lake may be an excellent option. Cheat Lake covers 1730 acres. It is famous for its bigmouth bass smallmouth bass, crappie white bass, yellow perch catfish, and walleye.

Jennings Randolph Lake

Within Mineral County, this lake is renowned for the size of trophy fish such as walleye. Jennings Randolph Lake Jennings Randolph Lake occupies approximately 952 acres. It is situated near the river’s northern branch. Walleye fishing can be quite difficult, however, if you can find the perfect area in this lake it’s guaranteed to be a blast with your family and your friends.

Potomac & Shenandoah Rivers

These rivers have been very popular with licensed anglers over the years due to their abundance of largemouth bass, walleye, and Tiger muskies. The northern tributary to Potomac offers one day fishing license of the finest fly fishing available in the United States.

Elk River

It is located in the middle of West Virginia, Elk River is a 172-mile-long section of the River Kanawha that gives anglers many possibilities. Indeed, Elk River is home to several top smallmouth bass walleye, and muskie fishing spots. What stands out in licensed anglers is the fishing for trout. The top places to fish in this river are Mill Pool, Clay Banks, and Sulphur Run.


How much does a WV fishing license cost?

The type of West Virginia fishing license and the cost.

Can you still fish in WV without a license?

License information License Information West Virgin Islands Fish licenses have validity in the calendar year currently. Most fishermen aged 16 or over need a fishing permit.

How much is a WV fishing license at Walmart?

What’s the price of an approved West Virginia fish License? There is currently a Walmart resident’s fishing license costs $9 for the year. the shorter-term license cost for five days is $8.90. Fishing permits cost $37 per year. Day permits cost just $33.

What age do you get a free fishing license in WV?

Non-residents and West Virginia residents who are under the age of 18 cannot obtain their license unless they are exempt from it.

Can I Fish at Night in West Virginia?

Fishing at night is permitted throughout West Virginia, but you should be prepared for the conditions. Be aware that it can get very cold in the evening and you should wear warm clothing for evening fishing. If you are using a fishing boat, make sure that it is well-lit for night-time boating using the right lights. Night fishing isn’t allowed in some of the most popular fishing spots throughout the state. A few of them are:
Coonskin and Anderson Lake (Kanawha County)
Edwards Run (the County of Hampshire)
Dent’s Run (Marion County)

How Many Fishing Poles Can I Have in West Virginia?

For West Virginia, you can legally utilize a maximum of two poles.

What age do you get free fishing license in WV?

In West Virginia, anyone under the age of 15 years old qualifies for a free fishing license. This applies to both resident and non-resident anglers. Adult anglers are required to purchase a valid fishing license in order to legally fish in West Virginia waters.

How much is a ticket for fishing without a license in WV?

In West Virginia, it is illegal to fish without an appropriate fishing license which can be purchased at any WV Department of Natural Resources office. Fines and penalties can range from $50 to $100 depending on the specific violation. In addition, the official may confiscate your equipment or you may face jail time if the violation is serious enough.

Does a 65 year old need a fishing license in WV?

Yes, a 65-year-old need a fishing license in WV.

I am Mcman a fish lover. I love fishing since my childhood as may father was also a fisherman. I share all of my experiences in this blog. Stay connected with me to know new findings on Fishing.

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