If Brownies, Brookies, and Rainbow Trout are your focus, Virginia’s rivers and streams are a good place to focus. From beautiful Lake Moomaw to Mossy Creek, you have a good chance at coming back with a cooler of fresh fish. Here’s the thing, you’ll need a fishing license to do it right. We walk you through where to get that license, the basic regulations, and who qualifies to fish for free.

Virginia Fishing Regulations

The State of Virginia states:

  • It is illegal for any person to have river herring in their possession
  • Virginia specifies Daily bag limits for many of its fish species

Fishing License Period

Virginia fishing licenses are available as:

  • Daily fishing licenses
  • Annual fishing licenses
  • Lifetime fishing licenses

Extra Licensing Fees

Virginia requires a separate fishing license for trout fishing.

Free or Reduced Fee Virginia Fishing Licenses

The State of Virginia offers free fishing licenses or reduced fishing licenses for :

  • Annual discounted licenses are available for residents as well as nonresident disabled veterans
  • Virginia resident military veterans who are rated total and permanent service-connected
  • Veterans with disabilities that meet the Virginia requirements

Virginia Fishing Licenses are NOT Required For

It’s your lucky day if you fall into any of the below groups, because that means you aren’t required to have a license:

  • Anyone 65 and older do not need a saltwater license
  • Any Indian who “habitually” resides on an Indian reservation or a member of the Virginia-recognized tribes
  • Anyone legally blind
  • Stockholders owning 50 percent or more of the stock of any domestic corporation owning land in Virginia can fish within the boundaries of lands and inland waters owned by the domestic corporation
  • Anyone not fishing but helping a disabled license holder
  • Anyone resident or nonresident under the age of 16
  • Anyone fishing in individually owned private ponds
  • Residents on the land they rent and occupy don’t need to have a license, but written permission from the landowner is required
  • Resident active-duty members of the armed forces while on official leave (except when trout fishing they must have a copy of leave papers with them)
  • Resident or nonresident landowners and their family can fish within the boundaries of their own lands and inland waters without a license

Buy a Virginia Fishing License