Fishing Regulations in Arizona

You must protect and conserve the state’s fisheries, which is why fishing regulations are extremely important. You should always check the current set of fishing regulations before planning a fishing trip in the waters of the state of Arizona, because they can change depending on the fish populations and the time of year you are going to be out there fishing.

Obtaining a valid fishing or combination license is required if you want to fish legally in any public water in Arizona. Anglers who are older than 10 years of age, both resident and nonresident, are required to obtain a permit, whereas children under 10 years of age and blind residents are not required to do so. Keep in mind that licenses are only valid for one year from the date of purchase, and that no license can be transferred or refunded once it has been purchased. Frogs, waterdogs, crayfish, and softshell turtles can only be taken with a valid fishing or combination license.


Obtaining a fishing license is simple and can be accomplished through a variety of methods. In the state of Arizona, there are 250 license dealers where you can go to get one. A license can also be obtained by visiting one of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s offices or applying online at

Depending on your requirements, you can select from a variety of different licenses. It will cost you $37 to obtain a general fishing permit, and $57 to obtain a combination fishing and hunting permit. The most significant advantage is that the license allows you to fish for all species throughout the state, including Community Fishing waters, without restriction. Residents of Arizona can purchase a lifetime fishing license from the state’s Game and Fish offices.

The following are some important considerations to keep in mind if you want to comply with the law while fishing in Arizona’s waters:


  • Certain fish species, such as the beautiful shiner, the bluehead sucker, and the desert pupfish, are protected and cannot be taken by anglers for the purpose of possession. You can look through online resources to see all of the different types of fish that fall into this classification. If you accidentally catch a protected fish, you must release it as soon as possible without harming it.
  • If you purchase a fishing or combo license, you will be able to install two poles or lines at the same time on the same boat. It is not permitted to use more than two lines at the same time on the same page.
  • When fishing, you must pay attention to and keep an eye on all of your fishing lines at the same time.
  • A water-resistant identification card with your name, address, and fishing license number must be attached to any trap or device used to catch or hold aquatic wildlife or fish if the trap or device is left unattended.
  • If aquatic wildlife is accidentally captured while using live baits, nets, or traps, it must be returned to the water as soon as possible without causing any harm to the animal that was captured.
  • A live crayfish baited with a live crayfish can only be used on the same body of water where it was caught.
  • The live baitfish and crayfish that you catch must be used for personal consumption only; they may not be sold for commercial purposes at any time.
  • You must adhere to a daily bag limit, which is enforced. The rule specifies that daily bag limits are enforced for a period of 24 hours after which they are lifted. In the event that you catch a fish and don’t release it, it will be counted toward the limit, along with any fish that you give away to someone else.


Other angling regulations that might be of interest to you are listed below:


  • There can’t be more than two daily bag limits of any fish species in any given day. This regulation applies to areas such as the field, camp, transit, and even your permanent residence, depending on the circumstances.
  • Moving live fish is prohibited under all circumstances, including transporting them in live wells or containers. Before transporting the fish from the body of water, you must kill or release all of the fish that you have caught.

It is possible that you will become the subject of civil action by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission if you fail to comply with these rules and regulations and are found to be in unlawful possession of fish or wildlife. In addition, civil damages can be up to $8,000 per incident, depending on the circumstances.