California Department of Fish and Wildlife

License Statistics

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's License and Revenue Branch is responsible for the issuance of approximately 200 types of licenses and permits and the associated revenue collection. The Department enlists approximately 1,500 retail license agents and online license sales to issue sport fishing and hunting license through the Automated License Data System (ALDS). License Agents that vary in size from "mom and pop" stores in rural areas, to large big box stores in urban areas issue licenses to the public through Internet Point of Sale terminals. Department of Fish and Wildlife license sales offices issue a variety of recreational and commercial licenses.

Available Data

License sales data is organized by license type and year.  Data available includes license fees, quantity issued and revenue totals.

  • Sport Fishing
    Sport fishing licenses are valid January 1 through December 31. Approximately 1.8 million anglers purchase a California fishing license each year. Validations and report cards are required for certain species or areas.
  • Hunting
    Hunting licenses are valid July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Validations and harvest tags are required for many species. Revenue from the sale of the items is used to fund to specific wildlife programs, such as improving waterfowl nesting and rearing habitat or conducting annual big game population surveys.
    The LRB conducts a variety of drawings throughout the year to award limited numbers of big game hunting tags and waterfowl hunting reservations. For example, each year, more than 110,000 applications are submitted for big game tag drawings, including premium deer, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep tags. Drawings are also conducted from September through January for reservations to hunt waterfowl on State-operated wildlife areas. Each waterfowl season, more than 700,000 applications are submitted by hunters for waterfowl hunting reservations, and more than 60,000 reservations are awarded.
  • Commercial Fish Businesses
    Commercial fish business licenses are valid from January 1 through December 31. These licenses are sold at eight CDFW offices.
  • Commercial Fishing
    Commercial fishing licenses, permits and registrations are valid from April 1 through March 31. These licenses are sold at eight CDFW offices.
  • Special Licenses and Permits
    Special permits, licenses, registrations, and stamps are valid at different times throughout the year. These licenses are issued only at the License and Revenue Branch in Sacramento and are required for the taking, buying, selling, breeding, viewing, possessing, studying, and collecting of certain animals. Special permits are required for biological supply houses, falconers, fallow deer farmers, domesticated game breeders, guides, hunting clubs, native reptile propagators, restricted species permittees, scientific collectors, and trappers.

Sport Fishing Licenses

Fees Number Issued Revenue

Hunting Licenses

Fees Number Issued Revenue

Commercial Fishing Licenses Permits

Fees Number Issued Revenue

Special Licenses and Permits

Fees Number Issued Revenue

Commercial Fish Business Licenses

Fees Number Issued Revenue

Recent Sales By County

Customer Location
Fishing 2011, 2012
Hunting 2011, 2012
Sales Location
Fishing 2011, 2012
Hunting 2011, 2012

Recent Sales By Zip Code

Customer Location
Fishing 2011, 2012
Hunting 2011, 2012
Sales Location
Fishing 2011, 2012
Hunting 2011, 2012

Historical Sport Fishing Sales by County

County sales statistics are based on the county of issuance not the county of customer's residence. Sales listed as undistributed inventory occur at chain agents that report statewide sales through a single location. County sales are a static snapshot and the total sales may not exactly match the 10 year item sales figures that are also accessible from this page.

Annual Licenses
Resident 1992-2004, 2005
Nonresident 1992-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Resident Pacific Ocean-Only 1992-2001, 2002, 2003 (discontinued after 2003)
Short Term Licenses
One-Day Sport Fishing 2004, 2005
Two-Day Sport Fishing 1999-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Ten-Day Nonresident Sport Fishing 1996-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
One-Day Pacific Ocean-Only 1992-2001, 2002, 2003 (discontinued after 2003)
One-Day Pacific Ocean-Only
with Ocean Enhancement Stamp
1992-2001, 2002, 2003 (discontinued after 2003)
Stamps and Harvest Cards
Abalone Report Card 1998-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Bay-Delta Sport Fishing
Enhancement Stamp
2004, 2005
Second-Rod Stamp 1995-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Sport Salmon Punch Card 1992-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Steelhead Report Card 1992-2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Striped Bass Stamp 1992-1994, 1998-2001, 2002, 2003 (discontinued after 2003)