Department of Fish and Game

    This is not the official web site for this information but is provided as a news service for viewer interest.  Always contact the numbers provided. Also see the California Piers pages for free fishing locations in California
Eastern Sierra and Inland Deserts Region,  

4775 Bird Farm Road, Chino Hills 917099 
(909) 597-9823 

407 West Line Street, Bishop 93514 
(619) 872-1171 

License and Revenue Branch, 

3211 S Street, 
Sacramento 95816 (916) 227-2244. 


Box 944209, Sacramento 94244-2090 (916) 653-7664 

Department of Fish and Game web page at 

Ocean Salmon Hotline (707) 431-4341  Public Participation in the Commission's Regulatory Process 

The Fish and Game Commission is composed of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. In addition to formulating general policies for the conduct of the Department of Fish and Game, and regulating aspects of commercial fishing, the Commission sets hunting and sport fishing regulations including seasons, bag limits and methods and areas of take. 

In every odd-numbered year, the Commission devotes its early August, October, November and December meetings to recommendations for changes in the sport fishing regulations. The public may make recommendations in writing at or before the early August meeting or give its proposals verbally at this meeting. These proposals are discussed at the October and November meetings. 

Only proposals received by the early August meeting are considered. The Commission may receive additional testimony at the December meeting prior to adoption of the new regulations.

Department of Fish and Game at: 

Northern California and North Coast Region,  

601 Locust Street, Redding 96001 
(530) 225-2300 

619 Second Street, Eureka 95501 
(707) 445-6493 

Sacramento Valley and Central Sierra Region, 

1701 Nimbus Road, Rancho Cordova 95670 
(916) 358-2900 

Central Coast Region,  

7329 Silverado Trail, Yountville 94558 
(707) 944-5500 

Marine Region 

20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, 
Monterey 93940 (831) 649-2870 

411 Burgess Drive, Menlo Park 94025 
(650) 688-6340 

330 Golden Shore, Suite 50, Long Beach 90802 
(562) 590-5117 

San Joaquin Valley and Southern Sierra Region, 

1234 East Shaw Avenue, Fresno 93710 
(209) 243-4005 

South Coast Region, 

4949 Viewridge Ave., San Diego 92123 
(619) 467-4201

License Information

Possession and Display of License 

Section 700. (Title 14, California Code of Regulations). (a) Display of Sport Fishing License: Every person, while engaged in taking any fish, amphibian or reptile, shall display their valid sport fishing license by attaching it to their outer clothing at or above the waistline so that is is plainly visible, except when diving as provided in Section 7145 of the Fish and Game Code. 

Persons diving from a boat or shore may have their license on the boat or within 500 yards of shore, respectively (see Fish and Game Code Section 7145). 

*The law now provides for a minimum $250 fine for fishing without a license. 

Regulations provide that a person may purchase a hunting or sport fishing license, tags, or stamps for another person, as long as the application contains the licensee's true name and address. Regulations require that prior to using any license or license stamps, the licensee shall complete the application so that it contains the licensee's true name, residence address, date of birth, height, color of eyes and hair, weight, sex, and driver's license or California Identification Card number. 

  License Provisions 

Anyone 16 years and older must have a fishing license to take any kind of fish, mollusk, invertebrate, amphibian or crustacean in California, except for persons angling from a public pier in ocean or bay waters. A license is required to take reptiles, except for rattlesnakes. 

Only a basic fishing license is required to take amphibians, reptiles (except rattlesnakes) or any fish or for fishing in the ocean north of Point Arguello, Santa Barbara County. An Ocean Enhancement Stamp is required for ocean fishing south of Point Arguello except when fishing under authority of a two-day sport fishing license. 

A Striped Bass Stamp is required for taking striped bass in inland or ocean waters. A Salmon Punch Card is required for taking salmon in ocean waters north of Point Delgada or in waters of the Klamath River system. A Steelhead Report Card is required for taking steelhead in inland waters. An Abalone Stamp and report card is required for any person taking abalone from ocean waters between the center of the mouth of the San Francisco Bay and the California-Oregon border. 

The One-Day Pacific Ocean-only License and One-Day Pacific Ocean-Only License with Ocean Enhancement Stamp are valid for taking fin fish only and may not be used to take mollusks, crustaceans, reptiles or amphibians. All stamps must be affixed permanently to the license being used. Thelicense year is the calendar year. The Two-Day Sport Fishing License is valid for two consecutive designated calendar days and may be used in inland and ocean waters. 

A resident is defined as any person who has resided continuously in California for six months or more immediately before the date of application for a license, or persons on active military duty with the armed forces of the United States or an auxiliary branch or Job Corps enrollees. 

Anyone fishing from a boat or other floating device on the Colorado River or adjacent waters forming the California-Arizona border must have a special use stamp in addition to either a California or Arizona fishing license. The holder of a California license must have an Arizona use stamp, and the holder of an Arizona license must have a California Use Stamp. 

Anyone 16 years or older fishing anywhere in Lake Tahoe or Topaz Lake must possess either a California fishing license or a Nevada fishing license. (Nevada also requires a trout stamp.) 

Information concerning license requirements and fees may be obtained from license agents, or from any Department of Fish and Game office. 

A license or permit application shall indicate the correct mailing address of the applicant. The mailing of any notice required by law in connection with such license or permit shall be deemed sufficient if addressed to the last current address on file with the Department. 

Fish, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles taken under authority of a sport fishing license may not be bartered or sold. 

All fish, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles, and any device or apparatus capable of being used to take them, and all licenses, must be exhibited upon demand of any authorized officer. 

  Refund Policy 

Refunds will not be issued for sport fishing licenses, stamps and punch cards. These items are considered valid and in use from the date issued and, therefore, are nonrefundable. 

For further information, contact the License and Revenue Branch at (916) 227-2244. 

Free and Reduced-fee Licenses 

The Department offers free and reduced-fee fishing licenses to eligible persons. For example, reduced-fee fishing licenses are available to certain low-income seniors at least 65 years of age, and honorably-discharged veterans with a service-connected disability of at least 70 percent. Free fishing licenses are available to eligible persons who are blind; low-income American Indians; wards of the State residing in a State hospital; developmentally disabled persons receiving services from a State regional center, and residents who are so severely physically disabled that they are permanently unable to move from place to place without the use of a wheelchair, walker, forearm crutches, or a comparable mobility-related device. Proof of eligibility for all free and reduced-fee licenses is required. For more information about reduced-fee and free fishing licenses, contact the nearest Department of Fish and Game office. 

  Lifetime License Provides 

• Protection against future fee increases due to inflation. 

• Convenience of receiving licenses, regulations and other information by mail. 

• Pride in knowing you are contributing toward a permanent, reliable source of funding for the protection and preservation of fish and wildlife. 
Lifetime licensees can also buy one or more of the following packages and save even more money while helping wildlife conservation: 

• Additional Fishing Privileges. Fee: $150.--Includes one second-rod stamp, ocean enhancement stamp, striped bass stamp, salmon punch card, and steelhead report card each year for life. 

• Additional Bird Hunting Privileges. Fee: $200.--Includes one California duck stamp and one upland game bird stamp each year for life. 

• Additional Big Game Hunting Privileges. Fee: $310. Includes one deer tag application and book of five wild pig tags each year for life. The deer tag application can be used to apply for a deer tag in our annual automated drawing, or to pick up an over-the-counter tag.  Lifetime Licenses—An investment in the future of wildlife. Available from the DFG's License and Revenue Branch in Sacramento. Call (916) 227-2290. License Fees 

Resident sport fishing license
Nonresident sport fishing license
Resident Pacific Ocean-only sport fishing license
Duplicate (Annual licenses only)
Ten-day nonresident sport fishing license*
Two-day sport fishing license**
One-day Pacific Ocean-only license (fin fish only)***
One-day Pacific Ocean-only license w/Ocean Enhancement Stamp (fin fish only)***
Second-Rod Stamp (Valid only in lakes and reservoirs)
Ocean Enhancement Stamp - Annual
Upgrade Stamp (Resident Pacific Ocean Only License)
Sport Salmon Punch Card (Pacific Ocean north of Point Delgada and all waters of the Klamath River system)
Colorado River Special Use Stamp
Steelhead Report Card
Striped Bass Stamp
Sport Abalone Stamp

*Valid for ten consecutive calendar days 
**Can be purchased by residents or nonresidents, and valid for two consecutive calendar days. 
***Can be purchased by residents or nonresidents. 

If you lose your annual fishing license, then take your Department-issued receipt (the one that came with your license) to any agent selling fishing licenses. Give them your receipt, pay the appropriate fee, and you can get a duplicate fishing license. 

If you lose your receipt or your duplicate fishing license, you must purchase another license at full-fee. 



Sport fish may present a health hazard when eaten due to natural and industrial chemicals in their flesh, especially when they are consumed often over a long time. Although the chemical levels found in sport fish are usually low, harmful levels do occur in some locations. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) provides specific consumption advice, as given below, for fish taken in areas where high levels of chemicals have been found. However, because contamination levels are unknown for many locations, OEHHA also provides the following general advice on how to reduce your exposure to chemicals in sport fish. 

These advisories are not intended to discourage you from eating fish. Fish are nutritious and an excellent source of low-fat protein. The advisories should be followed to make your sport fish eating safer. 

OEHHA can provide more information on the advisories and the health effects of chemical contaminants in the fish. An illustrated brochure can be requested in several languages. Please note that the specific advisories provided below may be revised or new ones added. To stay current, and to request additional information, please contact the Pesticide and Environmental Toxicology Section (PETS) of OEHHA in Sacramento at (916) 327-7319 or in Oakland at (510) 622-3170, or write to us at PETS/OEHHA, 1515 Clay St., 16th Floor, Oakland, CA, 94612. Our publications are also available on the Internet at  General Advice

You can reduce your exposure to chemical contaminants in sport fish by following the recommendations below. Follow as many of them as you can to increase your health protection. This general advice is not meant to take the place of advisories for specific areas, which follow later, but should be followed in addition to them. 

Fishing Practices: Catch fish in a variety of locations rather than in one customary location. This way you will spread your fishing effort around and reduce the chance of catching contaminated fish that may be in a particular location. Also, consider catch and release as an option if there are contamination concerns.  Consumption Guidelines

Fish Species: Some fish species have higher chemical levels than other fish in the same location. It is often better to consume smaller amounts of several different species of fish rather than a large amount of one species that may be high in contaminants. 

Fish Size: Smaller fish of a species will usually have lower chemical levels than larger fish in the same location because chemicals tend to accumulate in larger, older fish. It is advisable to eat smaller fish (of legal size) more often than larger fish. 

Fish Preparation and Consumption: Eat only the fillet portions. Do not eat the guts and liver because chemicals usually concentrate in those parts. Also, avoid frequent consumption of any reproductive parts such as eggs or roe. 

Many chemicals are stored in the fat. To reduce the levels of these chemicals, skin the fish when possible and trim any visible fat. 

Also, use a cooking method such as baking, broiling, grilling or steaming that allows the juices to drain away from the fish. The juices will contain chemicals in the fat and should be thrown away. Preparing and cooking fish in this way can remove 30 to 50 percent of the chemicals stored in fat. If you make stews or chowders, use only the fillet parts. 

Raw fish may be infested by parasites. Cook fish thoroughly to destroy the parasites. This also helps reduce the level of chemical contaminants.  Site-Specific Consumption Recommendations Important Note

The following principles apply to the specific guidelines that follow: 

1. Eating sport fish in amounts slightly greater than what is recommended should not present a health hazard if only done occasionally such as eating fish caught during an annual vacation. 

2. Nursing and pregnant women and young children may be more sensitive to the harmful effects of some of the chemicals and should be particularly careful about following the guidelines. Because contaminants take a long time to leave the body after they accumulate, women who plan on becoming pregnant should begin following the more restrictive consumption advice a year before becoming pregnant. In this way, the levels of some chemicals stored in the body can go down. 

3. The limits given below for each species and area assume that no other contaminated fish is being eaten. If you consume several different listed species from the same area, or the same species from several areas, your total consumption still should not exceed the recommended amount. One simple approach is to just use the lowest recommended amount as a guideline to consumption. 

4. Just because the area where you like to fish is not included in the specific advisory areas listed below, it does not necessarily mean that it is free from chemical contamination. Sport fish in most parts of the state have not been tested for their safety for human consumption. Follow the general advice given earlier to protect your health.  Adjusting Fish Meal Size for Body Weight

In the site-specific guidance that follows, OEHHA gives consumption advice in terms of meals for a given period such as a meal a week. Unless otherwise specified, an eight-ounce meal size as the standard amount allowed for the "average" adult. The average adult weighs approximately 150 pounds (equivalent to 70 kg). Because you and your family members may weigh more or less than the average adult, you can use the table below as a general guide to adjust serving sizes to body weight.  North Central District Clear Lake (Lake County) and Lake Berryessa (Napa County)

Because of elevated mercury levels, adults should eat no more than the amounts indicated below per month (See "Important Note No. 3" above). Women who are pregnant or may soon become pregnant, nursing mothers and children under age 6 should not eat fish from these lakes. Children 6-15 years of age should eat no more than one-half the amounts indicated for 


Lake Pillsbury

Mercury has been found in some fish in this lake. OEHHA is developing an advisory that is going through the public review process required before finalization. Contact OEHHA for an update.  Ocean and San Francisco Bay District San Francisco Bay and Delta Region

Because of elevated levels of mercury, PCBs and other chemicals, the following interim advisory has been issued. A final advisory will be issued when the data have been completely evaluated. 

Adults should eat no more than two meals per month of San Francisco Bay sport fish, including sturgeon and striped bass caught in the delta. (One meal is about eight ounces.) 

Adults should not eat any striped bass over 35 inches. 

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, nursing mothers and children under age 6 should not eat more than one meal of fish per month. In addition, they should not eat any striped bass over 27 inches or any shark over 24 inches. 

This advisory does not apply to salmon, anchovies, herring and smelt caught in the Bay; other sport fish caught in the delta or ocean, or commercial fish. 

Richmond Harbor Channel area: In addition to the above advice, no one should eat any croakers, surfperches, bullheads, gobies or shellfish taken within the Richmond Harbor Channel area because of high levels of chemicals detected there.  Valley District Lake Herman (Solano County)

Because of elevated mercury levels, women who are pregnant or may soon become pregnant, nursing mothers and children under age 6 should not eat fish from Lake Herman. Adults should eat no more than one pound per month of largemouth bass and children 6-15 years of age should eat no more than eight ounces per month of largemouth bass.  Grassland Area (Merced County)

Because of elevated selenium levels, no one should eat more than 4 ounces of fish from the Grassland area, in any two-week period. Women who are pregnant or may soon become pregnant, nursing mothers and children age 15 and under should not eat any fish from this area.  South Central District

Guadalupe Reservoir, Calero Reservoir, Almaden Reservoir, Guadalupe River, Guadalupe Creek, Alamitos Creek and the associated percolation ponds along the river and creeks (Santa Clara County) 

Because of elevated mercury levels in fish, no one should consume any fish taken from these locations. 

Lake Nacimiento (San Luis Obispo County) 

Because of elevated mercury levels, no one should eat more than four meals per month of largemouth bass from Lake Nacimiento (one meal is about six ounces). Women who are pregnant or may soon become pregnant, nursing mothers and children under age 6 should not eat largemouth bass from the area.  Southern District Southern California Locations Between Point Dume and Dana Point

Twenty-four locations in this area of southern California have been tested. No restrictions on consumption due to chemicals are considered necessary for the following locations: Santa Monica Pier, Venice Pier, Venice Beach, Marina del Rey, Redondo Beach, Emma/Eva oil platforms, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Fourteen Mile Bank, Catalina (Twin Harbor), and Dana Point. 

Because of DDTs and PCBs, however, advisories have been issued for the locations shown in the table below. (One meal is about six ounces. See also "Important Note No. 3" above.)  Harbor Park Lake (Los Angeles County)

Because of elevated chlordane and DDT levels, no one should eat goldfish or carp from Harbor Park Lake.  Colorado River District Salton Sea (Imperial and Riverside Counties)

Because of elevated selenium levels, no one should eat more than four ounces of croaker, orangemouth corvina, sargo and tilapia taken from the Salton Sea in any two-week period. Women who are pregnant or who may soon become pregnant, nursing mothers and children age 15 and under should not eat fish from this area. (An additional warning for the New River has been published and posted by the Imperial County Health Department for people to avoid physical contact with the waters of the New River and to avoid eating any fish of any variety taken from the river.) 

Site  Fish Species  Recommendation
Point Dume/Malibu off-shore White croaker Do not consume
Malibu Pier Queenfish One meal a month
Short Bank White croaker One meal every two weeks
Redondo Pier Corbina One meal every two weeks
Point Vicente White croaker Do not consume
Palos Verdes-Northwest
White's Point White croaker Do not consume
Sculpin One meal every two weeks+
Rockfishes One meal every two weeks+
Kelp bass One meal every two  weeks+
Los Angeles/ Long Beach Harbors (esp. Cabrillo Pier) White croaker Do not consume
Queenfish One meal every two weeks+
Black croaker One meal every two weeks+
Surfperches One meal every two weeks+
Los Angeles/ Long Beach Breakwater (Ocean side) White croaker One meal a month+
Queenfish One meal a month+
Surfperches One meal a month+
Black croaker One meal a month+
Belmont Pier /Pier J Surfperches One meal every two weeks
Horseshoe Sculpin One meal a month+
Kelp White croaker One meal a month+
Newport Pier Corbina One meal every two weeks
*A meal for a 150-pound adult is about six ounces. Figure about one ounce of consumption for each 20 pounds of body weight. 

+ Consumption recommendation is for all listed species combined at the particular site. 

Cities, counties, and other local land management authorities may require permits and impose other access/trespass restrictions in addition to the restrictions in the Sport Fishing Regulations. It is the responsibility of the angler to be aware of and comply with these local rules.  SALMON SPORT FISHING SPECIAL ALERT for California In-River Fishery

The California coast coho (silver) salmon population has been designated as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) found at 16 United States Code, Section 1531, et seq. It is now unlawful to fish for, capture, keep, or possess under any circumstances California coast coho salmon. Violation of the ESA may result in civil or criminal penalties. 
The National Marine Fisheries Service has listed coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in California as a threatened species under the federal ESA. Coho salmon in coastal watersheds (waters that ultimately flow into the Pacific Ocean) from the Oregon border to and including the San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz County are now protected under the ESA. 
It is unlawful under Federal law to take (includes but is not limited to fishing for, capturing, keeping or possessing) coho salmon from the waters of California without an appropriate permit or regulation under the ESA. To minimize impacts to coho salmon that are unintentionally hooked, every effort should be made to release all hooked coho with the least amount of handling and harm possible. 

State of California, Department of Fish & Game Inland Fisheries Division Tim Farley, Division Chief 1416 9th Street Sacramento, Ca 95814