If you haven’t already purchased your fishing license, it’s time to go ahead and get one so you can enjoy some spring fishing this year.
Traditionally, an Ohio annual fishing license could be purchased starting on March 1 of each year for $19 and it would be good through Feb. 28 of the next year.
A couple of things have changed recently.
First, the cost of an Ohio annual fishing license has gone up $6, from $19 to $25. The fees for an Ohio fishing license have actually not changed in over 15 years. This increase along with some hunting permit increases are expected to raise about 4 million annually for the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Another recent change from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Wildlife impacts the time frame in when a fishing license is valid.
In the past annual fishing licenses in Ohio were valid only from March 1 to Feb. 28 of the next year.
Every year though, many anglers for various reasons didn’t getting around to purchasing their fishing license until later in the year, thus resulting in paying the full annual fee for what ended up being less than a year’s worth of usage.
So, for example, if you didn’t purchase your fishing license until August you still would have to pay the full cost of the annual fee, $19, and it would still only be valid until Feb. 28. That’s basically paying for a one year license but only having 7 months to use it.
If you missed it though, that finally changed in 2019. Now, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources , when you purchase a fishing license it is valid for one full year from the date you purchased it. So, if you, for example, buy your fishing license this year on August 1, 2020 it’s valid through August 1, 2021, a full 12 months.
An Ohio Fishing License is now always valid for 365 days starting from the day you purchase it.
You can purchase a new fishing license online at wildohio.gov and at hundreds of participating agents throughout the state.
If you purchase your license online, including using a smartphone, you can obtain a reprint of your license or permit. Reprints are not available through agents (sporting goods stores, bait shops, etc). This could come in handy if you misplace, damage your lose your license.
Anglers now also have the option of choosing automatic license renewal when purchasing online. The license will renew automatically and ensure that you will always have a valid license.
Multi-year and lifetime fishing licenses are also available.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.