Colorado is an area in the USA famous for its variety of fish species and great fishing spots. If you’re planning your next fishing adventure in this region then you need to learn about the rules and regulations that apply to this state.
Any person between 18 and 64 years old must purchase initially a habitat stamp that allows them to apply for a fishing or hunting license. One habitat stamp costs $10.00 and is nonrefundable. There’s no need to get more than one because it is valid for one person during a period of one whole year, starting from April 1st up until March 31, the following year. Also, there’s the possibility to acquire a lifetime habitat stamp if you’re willing to pay $300.25.
Both residents and nonresidents of the state of Colorado can fish without a license or habitat stamp on June 3-4 during the Free Fishing days. Otherwise, an annual resident license can be bought at a price of $26 while a non-resident permit costs $56 or $21 for a five-day pass.
Colorado residents that have reached the age of 64 or older can obtain an annual fishing license from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife locations or licensing agencies for $1. If you need a second rod, a hand line or a tip-up you need to purchase a second-rod stamp. You just need to be aware that a second stamp can’t be transferred to another person.
In order to buy a license, you’ll need a current and valid photo ID, a proof of residency, if that’s the case and the habitat stamp. Customers aged 16 or older will need a social security number, as well.
You can get the fishing license online, from cpw.state.co.us/fish/buyapply, by phone, or in person, from the CPW offices and license agents found statewide.
In order to practice fishing in safe and legal conditions, you must be aware of certain prohibited acts:
- Vessel or any other floating device operators must clean and drain the water from all compartments and engines in between launches as well as drying them. Upon removal the vessel or boat and before leaving the parking area, it is required to remove the aquatic plants and water drain plugs. Plus, it is prohibited to transport the boat over land with aquatic plants or water drain plugs in place.
- You should know that there is a daily bag limit that you must respect. Regardless of what you do with the fish from that day, you can only take a maximum number. Fish that you store in a container and are not returned into the water immediately are also counted in your daily bag possession. Exception makes the fish released that are not part of the limit.
- It is prohibited to transport live fish without a proper permit.
- It is illegal to move fish from one body of water to another. If you are caught moving fish without a permit you are eligible for a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, you can lose your fishing privileges and may be held liable for the costs of cleaning and removal of the fish.
- If you catch a fish and you want to release it back into the water it must be alive and returned into the same body of water from which it was taken.
Some other angling laws that you should take into consideration:
- Certain species must be returned to the water immediately after being caught. You must consult the list provided by the authorities and learn about those fish and how to recognize them.
- It is prohibited to take mollusks for personal or commercial use.
There are penalties and fines if you don’t follow these regulations. Depending on the severity of your actions, you can receive a warning or a suspension of your fishing license.