Colorado fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Colorado. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Colorado

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13 waterbodies
207 cities
39 fishes

Licenses for fishing in Colorado

Please note that some licenses have specific criteria or eligibility requirements. For more detailed information and to purchase a fishing license, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website

License Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Annual Fishing License (18+) $36.71 $102.40
Small Game & Fishing Combination $52.60 -
Senior Annual Fishing License (65+) $10.23 -
Senior Low Income Lifetime Fishing (64+) - -
Senior Lifetime Fishing Upgrade (65+) $22.56 -
One-day Fishing License $14.46 $17.64
Additional-day Fishing License $7.05 $7.05
2nd Rod Stamp $11.28 $11.28
Youth Annual Fishing License (16-17) $10.23 -
Annual Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Stamp $25.00 $50.00
Five-day Fishing License (Nonresident) - $33.53

Fishing Regulations in Colorado

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is restricted to specific permits and designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is limited in certain waters to protect native species and ecosystems.
  • Snagging fish is not allowed except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specified waters, with restrictions.
Catch Limits
  • Trout: Daily bag limit is 4 fish, with a possession limit of 8, including no more than 2 lake trout.
  • Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth): Combined daily bag and possession limit of 5 fish.
  • Walleye: Daily bag limit varies, often 5 fish with size restrictions in some waters.
  • Crappie: Daily bag limit of 20, with a possession limit of 40.
  • Catfish: Daily bag limit of 10 fish, with a possession limit of 20.
  • Pike: Daily bag limit varies, with size restrictions in some waters.
  • Perch: Daily bag limit of 20, with a possession limit of 40.
  • Carp: No daily bag or possession limit.
  • Kokanee Salmon: Daily bag limit varies, often 10 during open season.
  • Tiger Muskellunge: Daily bag limit of 1, with a minimum length of 36 inches.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations for fishing in state parks and wildlife areas.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or barbless hooks.
  • Slot limits and specific bag limits in trophy fishing areas for bass and other species.
  • Special regulations in Gold Medal waters to preserve high-quality trout fishing experiences.
  • Regulated fishing zones for commercial and recreational fishing activities.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits and reporting.
  • Conservation measures and habitat protection for vulnerable species.
  • Monitoring and enforcement efforts to protect critical marine ecosystems.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Regulated fishing seasons for sustainable harvesting of marine and freshwater resources.
  • Temporary area closures for conservation, research, or habitat restoration efforts.
  • Emergency closures due to environmental conditions or resource conservation needs.
  • Season-specific regulations for migratory fish and shellfish species.
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