Spring and summer are the times of year that people spend the most time outdoors, and one of the things they like to do is fish. West Virginia has hundreds of lakes and streams filled with many species of catchable fish, so anglers have many options and opportunities to enjoy this sport.

While a fishing license is needed to fish in West Virginia, beginners who just want to try something new without committing to purchasing a full-year fishing license may instead purchase a five day fishing license. These licenses were created in 2016 to provide fishing opportunities for West Virginia residents who may be on vacation, fishing for the first time or returning to the sport.

The five day fishing license residents may be purchased online at www.wvfish.com or from license agents across the state. It costs $8 and is good for five consecutive days chosen by the buyer and specified on the license. It is a base license and will require the additional purchase of a conservation stamp ($5) and, if fishing for trout, a trout stamp ($10).


West Virginia fishing licenses may be purchased online at www.wvfish.com.

But what if you don’t live in West Virginia, but want to try fishing here? Nonresidents have a low-cost option as well, and may purchase a one day fishing license for $3 per day. There is no limit on the number of days. Again, these are base licenses that require the additional purchase of a conservation stamp ($13) and a trout stamp if fishing for trout ($16). Stamps only have to be purchased once per year.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, which oversees fishing and hunting licensing, believes these low-cost options encourage people to try fishing and take part in a sport enjoyed by others across the state. Many like fishing so much that they purchase an annual fishing license, which is $19 for residents and $37 for nonresident, so they can enjoy angling in our state’s waters all year long.

And don’t forget that each year, West Virginia has two days when everyone can fish for free. This year’s free fishing days are June 10 and 11. Even better, resident and nonresident children ages 15 and younger fish for free all year!