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Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
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2022 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.
Conservation officers can request to look at your catch at any time to check for compliance to regulations.
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.
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.
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.
*** The Resident Apprentice License was introduced in 2016. For more information please refer to the Hunting Regulations Booklet.
*** The Nonresident Apprentice License was introduced in 2016 and may not be used for deer or turkey hunting. For more information please refer to the Hunting Regulations Booklet.
Residents under sixteen (16) years of age can fish without a license, but may need to purchase a trout fee.
Nonresidents under sixteen (16) years of age can fish without a license, but may need to purchase a trout fee.
Minor pupils of the State School for the Blind and State School for the Deaf can fish without a license.
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 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.
You must show your license, certificate, permit and any required stamp upon request to:
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.
If you witness or hear of poaching activity call the TIP HOTLINE (800) 532-2020 or visit our site and report it immediately.