Colorado Fishing License

John Lewis

Colorado Fishing License 2023: Things You Need to Know [Buy, Fees, Procedure, Exemptions]

CO Fishing License, Colorado Fishing License

A Colorado fishing license is a must if you want to throw a line on the beautiful waterways of the Centennial State, whether you’re an experienced fisherman or not. This license is your ticket to discovering the many fishing options in Colorado’s gorgeous lakes, rivers, and streams. Getting a Colorado fishing license is the first step toward an exciting fishing journey, whether your goal is to catch trout in high mountain lakes or experience the rush of hauling in a stubborn bass in one of the state’s reservoirs. This guide will help you purchase a fishing license, explain the different types, and maximize your Colorado fishing vacation. Let’s go fishing in Colorado!

Colorado fishing Overview

Colorado fishing season begins on March 1 when annual permits go on sale. These licenses last 13 months from March 1 to March 31. They include a variety of pursuits, such as fishing, hunting and combing, small game, and Colorado duck stamps. Licenses may be purchased via sales representatives, CPW locations, internet resources, or phone.

Colorado Fishing License Requirements & Options

Eligible IndividualsResidents and non-residents who are at least 16 years old
Residency Proof (Residents)A driver's license or non-driving ID card issued by the state
License TypesAnnual, one-day, and lifetime permits are also available.
Discounted LicensesOpen to handicapped fishermen and disabled former service members
Additional License RequirementsSpecific restrictions and costs may apply to some licenses, such as those for the Wildlife Heritage License and the Spearfishing License.
License Acquisition Methods• The myColorado app, which is the state of Colorado's official mobile app.
• online at the website of Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
• Visit a CPW office near by.
Cost VariationCost varies according on elements including resident status, kind of license, and length.
Adhering to RegulationsWhile fishing in Colorado, it's crucial to abide by all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Fishing OpportunitiesWith a fishing license, explore the many streams, lakes, and reservoirs in Colorado.
Carrying LicenseTo comply with state requirements, have your fishing license on you at all times.
Additional InformationVisit the official Colorado Parks and Wildlife website or get in touch with a local CPW office for further information and particular criteria.

Habitat Stamp

License TypesNoteResidentNonresident
Annual Habitat StampIf needed, Habitat Stamps will be added to yearly licenses for 18-64-year-olds.IncludedIncluded
One-day or Additional-day License ExemptionThe first two one-day or additional-day permits are Habitat Stamp-free. Third licenses incur the cost.ExemptExempt
Disability ExemptionDisabled people may not require Habitat Stamps. Disability info.​ExemptExempt

Note: A $10.59 Habitat Stamp is required when purchasing a hunting or fishing license for the first time.

Colorado Fishing Licenses Fees

CO Fishing License TypesResidentNonresidentNote
Annual Habitat Stamp$11.50 $11.50 Ages 18 to 64, just one needed per person per year when purchasing or applying for a license.
Lifetime Habitat Stamp$345.36 $345.36
Annual Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Stamp$25.00 $50.00 Required for Motorboat and sailboats
Annual (18-64)$39.71 $111.03
Senior Annual (65+)$10.95 N/AColorado residents only
Youth (16-17)$10.95 N/AThe second-rod charge continues to be valid. See the Fishing Brochure if you are under 16 years old.
Small Game & Fishing Combination$56.97 N/A
Senior Annual Small Game & Fishing Combination$33.54 N/AColorado residents only
Centennial Senior Lifetime Fishing (64+)$10.71 N/AIncome-eligible Colorado residents only
Annual Small Game Upgrade for Senior Lifetime$24.34 N/AColorado seniors with Centennial (income-eligible) Senior Lifetime Fishing Licenses or Columbine Lifetime Fishing Licenses
One-day*$15.55 $19.01
Additional-day$7.50 $7.50
2nd Rod Stamp$12.10 $12.10 Available to fishing license holders and under-16s.

How to buy a Colorado fishing license?

A Colorado fishing license and Habitat Stamp may be purchased via several practical channels:

Buy Online

To buy your license and Habitat Stamp online, visit and proceed.

Via Phone

To purchase your fishing license and Habitat Stamp over the phone, call the toll-free number 1-800-244-5613 and talk with a representative.

Buy locally 

Visit an authorized sales representative or Colorado Parks and Wildlife office in person. A list of places is available on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. Provide the required data to complete your transaction.

Make a Purchase at a Store

Visit one of the several shops that sell fishing licenses. These agents may be listed on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. Make your purchase at the neighborhood store.

Remember, you must have a fishing license and Habitat Stamp when fishing in Colorado. Select the most convenient approach for you, and ensure you have the required paperwork so you may enjoy your fishing trip in the beautiful state of Colorado.

CO Fishing Seasons and Limits

CO Fish SpeciesPossession LimitDaily LimitNote
KOKANEE SALMON1010angling, snagging, or archery
WALLEYE, SAUGEYE, SAUGER55statewide, in aggregate*
On Arkansas and South Fork of Republican River drainages1010in aggregate*
BASS: WHITE, STRIPED, WIPER1010statewide, in aggregate* On Arkansas and South Fork of Republican River drainages
Trout84Includes brook, brown, cutbow, cutthroat, golden, lake, rainbow, splake, and tiger trout
BROOK TROUT10108 inches long or less (in addition to trout limit above)
CRAPPIE: WHITE, BLACK2020in aggregate*
TIGER MUSKIE11at least 36 inches long
SPECKLED DACE, SCULPIN2020West of Continental Divide in aggregate* / unlimited East of Continental Divide
AQUATIC TIGER SALAMANDER LARVAE5050gilled and less than 5 inches long
BASS: LARGEMOUTH, SMALLMOUTH, SPOTTEDunlimited5in aggregate* West of Continental Divide for smallmouth only
YELLOW PERCHunlimitedunlimitedWest of Continental Divide / 20 East of Continental Divide
NORTHERN PIKE, BULLHEADunlimitedunlimited

Nongame Species (Threatened & Endangered)

Threatened, Endangered & Nongame Species
Arkansas darter
Bluehead sucker
Bonytail chub
Boreal toad
Brassy minnow
Colorado pikeminnow
Common shiner
Flannelmouth sucker
Flathead chub
Greenback cutthroat trout
Humpback chub
Iowa darter
Lake chub
Mountain sucker
Northern leopard frog
Northern redbelly dace
Plains leopard frog
Plains minnow
Plains topminnow
Plains orangethroat darter
Razorback sucker
Rio Grande chub
Rio Grande sucker
River shiner
Roundtail chub
Southern redbelly dace
Suckermouth minnow
Wood frog
Woodhouse's toad

CO Free Fishing Days

Anglers in Colorado are allowed to fish without a license the first weekend of every June. Free Fishing Days are a unique occasion that enables people to enjoy fishing in Colorado’s waterways without needing a fishing license. 

Fishing regulations in Colorado  

  • The initial hunting or fishing license must include a $10.59 Habitat Stamp. This stamp protects the habitat. Colorado’s rivers allow fishing year-round, except where the Fishing Regulations Brochure applies. Fish, amphibians, mollusks, and crabs are caught day and night. CPW offices and sales reps around the state sell the pamphlet.
  • Most Colorado state parks provide fishing. Visit the CPW Park Finder at for park-specific entrance costs and restrictions.
  • National parks provide fishing across the state, although bag limits vary. Rocky Mountain National Park requires a CPW fishing license and has limitations.
  • Over 270 national wildlife refuges, 29 national fish hatcheries, and many US Fish & Wildlife Service locations and rivers allow fishing. Some refuges have special rules. Online refuge research can help you prepare.
  • The daily limit of fish you may catch and keep. Your daily bag or possession restriction includes fish you capture and place on a stringer, in a container, or live well. Released fish are not counted.
  • The most fish you can carry in the field, in transportation, at home, or in storage. Live fish must be transported legally. Canned, frozen, smoked, or otherwise preserved fish counts against the possession limit until consumed.
  • The map depicts the principal sites of the South Platte and North Republican drainages (yellow), South Arkansas and South Republican River (green), and Wiper/White Bass and Walleye/Saugeye Bag Limits. Fishing for wiper, white bass, walleye, or saugeye at the two locations on the map has a different daily bag and possession limits. Statewide Limits chart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I purchase a Colorado fishing license and Habitat Stamp?

Through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, you may purchase a fishing license and a Habitat Stamp for Colorado. You may also buy them in person at CPW offices, accredited sales representatives, or certain retail outlets mentioned on the CPW website. To order them over the phone, use the toll-free number 1-800-244-5613.

When does the fishing season in Colorado start and end?

Colorado’s fishing season begins on March 1 and finishes on March 31 of the following year. It lasts for 13 months. Your yearly fishing license is valid during this period for various pursuits, including fishing, fishing and hunting, small game hunting, and waterfowl hunting.

Are there any free fishing days in Colorado?

In Colorado, you may fish without a license during free fishing days. Every year, the Free Fishing Days are the first entire weekend in June. However, it’s crucial to remember that all other fishing restrictions and laws remain in effect during this period.

What is the purpose of the Habitat Stamp?

The season’s first hunting or fishing license must be acquired together with the $10.59 Habitat Stamp. The money from stamp sales goes toward Colorado’s efforts to conserve habitat.

Are there any restrictions on fishing in Colorado?

Most of Colorado’s waterways are available for fishing all year long so that you may catch fish, amphibians, mollusks, and crabs day and night. The Fishing Restricts Brochure, which may be acquired through CPW Offices and sales representatives, contains particular restrictions that must be understood. Catch limits, species-specific laws, and unique limitations in specific locations are a few examples of these regulations.

What sorts of fishing licenses are available in Colorado?

Annual, one-day, five-day, and senior fishing licenses are all available in Colorado. The yearly license has a 13-month validity period, whereas the other choices have shorter terms for specific uses. The CPW website lists the costs and specifics of each license category.

Do I need an additional license for each type of fishing?

No, Colorado provides a variety of licenses that may be used for many different activities. For instance, the yearly fishing license also permits waterfowl and small game hunting.

Where can I buy a fishing license?

The CPW website, CPW offices, authorized sales agents, over the phone at 1-800-244-5613, and CPW offices are all places where fishing licenses may be obtained.

Are there any additional stamps or permits required?

Yes, fishermen may need extra stamps or permits in addition to their fishing license, such as the Habitat Stamp, which is necessary when buying the season’s first hunting or fishing license.

Are there any free fishing days in Colorado?

Yes, Colorado provides free fishing days when non-licensed anglers may fish. Every year, the free fishing weekend is the first entire weekend in June. All other fishing laws and bag restrictions nevertheless continue to be valid.

John Lewis
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