West Virginia Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
You must have a fishing license to legally cast bait in West Virginia and you can purchase one from a licensed fish and game licensing agent in West Virginia. All you have to do is go to a fishing shop or outdoor sports store to get one. However, if you don\’t have the time to get a fishing license in person, you can purchase yours from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website. Once you\’ve paid for your license, print it out and you can start fishing for muscle lung, pike, rainbow trout or black bass from any freshwater body of water in West Virginia.
Since there are different fishing licenses for residents and non-residents, make sure you know which one you prefer. A lifetime fishing license is more practical for avid anglers.ç
West Virginia Fishing License
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources employs fish and game agents to ensure that WV fishing regulations and laws are enforced. If not, the likelihood of depleted fish populations is increased and could ultimately be endangered. Every angler needs to be responsible enough to know the current fishing laws before going on a fishing trip.
The preservation and preservation of fish stocks and waterways is everyone\’s responsibility. We must all work together to ensure that fish populations remain healthy. As? One way is to practice proper catch and release technique to ensure that released fish thrive. Anglers need to ensure that they are using the correct equipment (tackle and hook) to land a fish quickly. Make sure to keep the fish level with wet hands if you intend to photograph a caught fish before releasing it.
Got a fishing license for West Virginia
There are several ways to get a West Virginia fishing license.
- Personally: One person can visit any of the 180 retail license agents across the state. There is an additional $ 3 issuing fee for a person\’s first purchase and an additional $ 1 issuing fee for all subsequent purchases. For information on license agent locations, which are segregated by county in West Virginia, see the website: http://www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/license_agents.asp
- On-line: A person can visit the official West Virginia Department of Natural Resources to obtain a license. There is a $ 2 entry fee for online purchases.
- Phone: A person can call the Hunting and Fishing Licenses Department at 304-558-2758. For phone purchases, a $ 2 issuing fee is added to the total order.
If you have additional questions about obtaining a fishing license, you can contact the Hunting and Fishing Licensing Department of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
E-mail: WVDNR 324 Fourth Avenue South Charleston, WV 25303
West Virginia Fishing License Types and Costs
All anglers 15 years and older are required to show a fishing license and valid ID such as a government-issued ID or driver\’s license when fishing. All West Virginia permits are valid for one calendar year.
|Resident lifetime hunting, trapping and fishing licenses||$ 805|
|Combination hunting, catching & fishing-toddler||$ 402.50|
|Fishing toddler||$ 276|
|Trout fishing||$ 230|
|Trout fishing toddler||$ 115|
|Lifelong hunting and fishing for seniors||$ 25|
RESIDENT LICENSES AND STAMPS
|Fishing license||$ 19|
|Hunting / fishing / trapping by athletes aged 18 to 64||$ 35|
|Junior Sportsman hunting / fishing / trapping for 15 to 17 years||$ 16|
|Trout fisherman stamp||$ 10|
|Preservation Marks – Required for all licensed anglers||$ 5|
|Trout fisherman stamp||$ 16|
|Conservation / Law Enforcement Stamp – Required for all licensed anglers||$ 13|
|Annual fishing license||$ 37|
|One day fishing license||$ 3|
|National Forest Hunting / Trapping / Fishing – Required for National Forests||$ 2|
|Junior Sportsman hunting / fishing / trapping for 15 to 17 years||$ 16|
|Note: Any full-time student at state colleges and universities is considered a resident and eligible for state residency.|
West Virginia Fishing License Exemptions
A fishing license is not required for the following people categorized as follows:
- Residents who are legally blind and can provide evidence
- Residents who reached the age of 65 before January 1, 2012. The individual must have a West Virginia driver\’s license or photo ID
- Both non-residents and residents under 15
- Residents who are on active service with the U.S. Forces during their military leave. These individuals must provide vacation papers while fishing for evidence to the Department of Natural Resources officials.
- Developmentally disabled residents. Individuals must have a DDFL card with them.
- Residents or inpatients in a government psychiatric hospital, health facility, or charity. The person must be under appropriate supervision and carry a written statement or certificate signed by the facility or the facility manager.
- Residents who have been discharged from the U.S. Forces in receipt of permanent disability benefits or ex-prisoners of war designated by the Veterans Administration.
Fishing license renewal in West Virginia
To renew a license, everyone must purchase a new one. Since the license expires after a calendar year, you can purchase another license after the license has expired. It is best to buy at the beginning of each calendar year.
In West Virginia, individuals will comply with state-issued fishing regulations. Anyone who makes a false application for a fishing license will have their fishing rights suspended for one year. The state also works on a points system for people who break their rules. If an offender scores ten or more points, their license will be revoked for two years. The points will be removed after the two years have elapsed or if a wrongfully convicted person has their license restored.
- Ten points for using explosives or poisonous materials in fishing.
- Six points for illegally owning or selling wild animals.
- Four points for all other violations.
West Virginia fish size and limits:
|SPECIES||DAILY CREEL LIMIT||MINIMUM SIZE||OWNING LIMIT|
(Smallmouth, Trout Mouth & Spotted)
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Jennings Randolph Lake: 12 \’\’ Minimum Limit, Daily Creel Limit 5, and Ball Possession Limit 10.|
(Rainbow, golden, brook, brown)
6 or 4
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Only 4 out of 6 trout are allowed to be taken from damming trout and their tributaries, designated warm water streams and the Edwards Run. 6 can be taken from Lakes Stephens, Stonecoal and US Army Corps of Engineers.|
|Tiger musk||2||28 inches||4th|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Jennings Randolph Lake: 36 ”Minimum Size Limit, Day Gate Limit 1, and Ball Possession Limit 1 for Muscle Lungs in Aggregate with Tiger Musky. See special area regulations for additional restrictions.|
|Northern pike||2||28 inches||4th|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Jennings Randolph Lake: 30-inch minimum size limit, day gate limit 2, and possession limit 2.|
|Hybrid strip bass||4th||15 inches||8th|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Bluestone Lake and all rivers: The daily gate limit of 4 and ball possession limit of 8 apply to fish 15 inches or more with striped and white perch. No restrictions on these fish under 15 inches.
Mt. Storm, Beech Fork, East Lynn, and RD Bailey: Minimum size 15 inches.
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Bluestone Lake and all rivers: The daily gate limit of 4 and possession limit of 8 apply to fish 15 inches or larger along with hybrid striped, striped, and white bass. No restrictions on these fish under 15 inches.|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Bluestone Lake and all rivers: The daily gate limit of 4 and ball possession limit of 8 apply to fish 15 inches or larger with hybrid stripes, stripes, and white perch. No restrictions on these fish under 15 inches.|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: ALL ROWFISH MUST BE RETURNED INTO THE WATER IMMEDIATELY.|
|Shovel nose sturgeon||0||0||0|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: ALL SHOVELNOSE DISTURBANTS MUST BE RETURNED INTO THE WATER IMMEDIATELY.|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: ALL FISH MUST BE RETURNED INTO THE WATER IMMEDIATELY.|
|Sucker, suction eye & pikeperch||Lakes-8||None||Lakes-16|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Jennings Randolph Lake: 15-inch minimum size limit, day gate limit 5, and possession limit 5 for pikeperch.|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: In government-administered seizures: Daily gate limit 4, ownership limit 16. Does not apply to Mt. Storm, Stonecoal and US Army Corps of Engineers lakes.|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: Jennings Randolph Lake: Minimum size of 14 inches, day gate limit 5 and possession limit 5 for chain pickers.|
|SPECIAL PROVISIONS: season: 9:00 p.m. DST, June 18 to July 31 at midnight.Big Sandy and Tug Fork Rivers on the Kentucky Season border: Noon, May 20th to midnight, October 31st.|
|CERTAIN HOT WATER FLOWS|
Best Places to Fish in West Virginia
When it comes to fishing in the beautiful state of West Virginia, there are dozen of renowned fishing spots. The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers are famous for their abundance of tiger muskie, largemouth bass, and pikeperch. These rivers are also known for fly fishing.
For those more experienced, we recommend heading to Jennings Randolph Lake in Mineral County\’s for great, trophy-sized pikeperch spots. This lake is a 952 acre lake with many amazing hotspots. For those new to fishing, Cheat Lake can be a great option. This lake extends over 1730 hectares and is known for its largemouth bass, black bass, crappie, yellow perch, white perch, catfish and pikeperch.