Fishing Colorado river licenses

Joe D

New Member
Jun 24, 2017
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My 12 year old son was fishing off a boat dock on the California side when a AZ sherriff boat pulled up and asked him for a license I walked over there told the sheriff I was his dad and said California 16 and under don't need a license and we are on the California side he said he don't know California laws but he needs a Az license to fish the river gave a verbal warning and was told to get one any one know the law
 

TrapLine

Active Member
Feb 21, 2019
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Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Good question, usually the reg says under 16 exempt but I found this that says any person.

Any person fishing from either side of the river or from a boat in the section of the Colorado River that makes up the California-Arizona border must have either a California sport fishing license or an Arizona sport fishing license.
 

Joe D

New Member
Jun 24, 2017
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Being from California I should abide by California laws sherriff said Az is 10 and older but we're not from Az
 

Joe D

New Member
Jun 24, 2017
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Don't make since if the case I would have to buy non resident license from AZ which is 2or 3 times more probably? Hey was not even DFG just venting my son was really bummed out
 

nicapopolis

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2013
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I would call both a CA and AZ game warden to be sure.

I would imagine that you were ok under the CA regulations. That would be like telling an adult to buy an AZ license to fish the river.
 

GUNDOGLOVER

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Dec 5, 2018
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You can fish either side of river with licenses from either states. Ca. Does not require license for kids under sixteen so, that same thing applies when fishing the river on Az. side. Not all law enforcement officers know what they are talking about.
 

longbowhunter2

Well-Known Member
Oct 16, 2013
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on the mountain
I would have to read the regulations to get up to speed, but it use to be this.
California side = Calif. Laws and license.
Arizona side = Az laws and license.
On a boat either license.
But Calif resident = Calif. License..
But poop changes.
Use to fish the river a lot..
From the bank and boat..
 

Truduct

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2014
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They use to have a CO river stamp now a CA license or AZ license works the same. My kids fish the river all the time I have gone there since I was born never used a license under 16 and honestly never been checked. Probably just a jerk sherif. Kids don’t even need a license to hunt until you are 10 in AZ as long as they are with a licensed adult. Fish on kids!
 
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fish dog

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Apr 28, 2015
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Huntington Beach, CA
www.SoCalHunt.com
My 12 year old son was fishing off a boat dock on the California side when a AZ sherriff boat pulled up....
There's yer problem, it wasn't an Arizona Game and Fish Warden or California Fish and Wildlife Warden so he likely had no idea what he was talking about.

Having said that, I found this...(from Calif DFW fishing regs)
LICENSE PROVISIONS Any person who is 16 years of age or older must have a sport fishing license to take any kind of fish, mollusk, invertebrate, amphibian or crustacean in California, except for persons angling from a public pier in ocean or bay waters. A sport fishing license is required to take reptiles, except for rattlesnakes. Anyone 16 years or older fishing anywhere in Lake Tahoe or Topaz Lake must possess either a California sport fishing license or a Nevada sport fishing license (Nevada also requires a trout stamp). Any person fishing from either side of the river or from a boat in the section of the Colorado River that makes up the California-Arizona border must have either a California sport fishing license or an Arizona sport fishing license.
Which, if you take it literally, could be interpreted that a kid needs an AZ license because California doesn't issue one for under 16 but Az does starting at 10 years old.

I'm kind of thinking the intent is to follow whatever the law is for whatever state you're in if you're fishing from the bank of the river. I would also think, in the case of under 16, that the intent is to follow whatever the law is for the state the individual comes from (or perhaps even the state you're staying in in the case of someone under 16 from, for an example, Iowa, that happens to be camping on the California side of the river).

If an AZ Deputy ticketed an under 16 Californian fishing on the California side I don't see how that would fly in court.

I also found this, on the online license purchase page from AZ Game and Fish regarding "who needs a fishing license"...
Fishing License – A valid Arizona fishing license is required for Arizona resident and non-resident anglers 10 years of age or older fishing any public accessible water in Arizona.
Which to me says under 16 on the California side wouldn't need a license because fishing from the bank on the California side isn't "public access" in Arizona.

But, again, it's not clearly stated in either California's reg book or AZ's (I looked there too). It would probably be a good question to ask an AZ Game and Fish Warden AND a California DFW Warden and see if you can get a consensus from them.

Confused yet? Yeah, fish and Game regulations are confusing no matter what state it is, apparently.

Now, to avoid all that hassle the AZ Junior License (combo hunt/fish) is $5 and available online.