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Kids Fishing
Fishing Regulations

2020 Iowa Fishing Regulations
Fishing Licenses and Fees, Seasons and Limits, Threatened and Endangered Species, Aquatic Invasive Species, Fisheries Offices Contact Information, Fishing Consumption and Advisories, Fishing Ethics, etc.

Catch Request
Conservation officers can request to look at your catch at any time to check for compliance to regulations.

Selling Game
Except as otherwise permitted, you cannot buy or sell, dead or alive, a bird, fish, or animal, or any part of which is protected.

Littering Public Waters
You cannot throw or deposit cans, bottles, garbage, rubbish, or other debris onto or in any of the waters, ice, or land of the state.

Promiscuous Fishing
The Natural Resources Commission can order the taking of fish from any area when there is imminent danger of fish loss through natural causes, and by such means they deem advisable to salvage such fish.

Stocking Public and Private Waters
You cannot stock or introduce into the waters of the state any live fish, except for hooked bait, without the permission of the director of the Iowa DNR. You can stock privately owned ponds and lakes.

Site Specific and Species Specific Regulations:
Find information regarding specific water body and species regulations on the individual water bodies and fish species sections.

Catching a Tagged Fish
What should you do if you catch a fish with a tag on it? Record the following information about the fish and send to or call the nearest fisheries station.
  • species
  • total length
  • weight
  • tag color and number
  • date and location of catch
  • if the fish was released or kept

Licenses and Permit Fees

It’s so easy to buy your fishing license. Just go to our Go Outdoors Iowa online licensing system. Or visit one of 700 local retailers and bait shops to buy your fishing license today.

100% of your license fees are invested back into local conservation, ensuring healthy fish/wildlife populations and public access to fishing opportunities in Iowa.

+ Resident Fishing Licenses
+ Nonresident Fishing Licenses
+ Resident Hunting and Trapping Licenses
+ Resident Deer Hunting Licenses
+ Resident Turkey Hunting Licenses
+ Nonresident Hunting and Trapping Licenses
+ Recreational Vehicle Permits
+ Other Licenses and Products

Residents Under 16 Years of Age

Residents under sixteen (16) years of age can fish without a license, but may need to purchase a trout fee.

Nonresidents Under 16 Years of Age

Nonresidents under sixteen (16) years of age can fish without a license, but may need to purchase a trout fee.

Licenses for the Deaf and Blind

Minor pupils of the State School for the Blind and State School for the Deaf can fish without a license.

State Institution and County Care Residents

Minor residents of other state institutions under the control of an administrator or a division of the department of human services and residents of county care facilities or a person who is receiving supplementary assistance under chapter 29 can fish without a license.

Military Personnel

Military personnel on active duty with the armed forces of the United States, on authorized leave from a duty station located outside of this state, and a legal resident of this state, may hunt or fish without a license. You must carry your leave papers and a copy of a current earnings statement showing a tax deduction for Iowa income taxes while hunting or fishing.

Who Can Request to Look at My License?

You must show your license, certificate, permit and any required stamp upon request to:

  • Conservation or law enforcement officers
  • the owner or person in legal control of the land or water you are fishing

Ready to go fishing?

Buy Your License Online

Find a License Retailer near you.

or download Iowa License Retailers

Iowa licensed anglers fished 10.5 million days in 2018.


Turn In Poachers Hotline is 800-532-2020If you witness or hear of poaching activity call the TIP HOTLINE (800) 532-2020 or visit our site and report it immediately.


Combo Licenses
Adventure Ready, more information on combo licenses below

Bonus Line License
Resident and nonresident anglers can fish with one additional line (with the purchase of the annual fishing license, which allows two lines), for $14.

Outdoor Combo License 
Annual resident hunting/fishing/habitat combo license for $55.

Angler’s Special
Three-year fishing license for $62.

Hunter’s Special
Three-year hunting license with habitat included for $101.

Residents and nonresidents can also now purchase:  
  • Resident hunting/habitat combo license for $35.
  • Resident fur harvester/habitat (age 16 and over) combo license for $39.
  • Nonresident hunting/habitat (age 18 and over) annual for $144.
  • Nonresident hunting/habitat (under age 18) annual for $45.
  • Nonresident fur harvester/habitat annual for $247.
  • Nonresident fur dealer one day, one location for $294.50.
Buy your new license today online or at your Local License Retailer.