How to Become a Fishing Guide in California

Fishing in California

California requires guide licenses. License for game and fish guides are the same. There are three different guide licenses: resident, nonresident, and guide employees.

Requirements to Get a Fishing Guide License in California

  • There is a "no cash accepted" policy at department offices. Pay for your license by check, money order, or any Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card.
  • Fill out the form on the department’s Web site.
  • When needed, you may renew your license online with a profile created for you on the department Web site.
  • A Daily Trip Log must be filed on the department Web site whenever taking out clients for a fishing or hunting trip.  
  • Proof for having obtained a Surety bond, valid for the term of the license, in the amount of not less than $1,000, insuring faithful performance of yourself and your agents or employees in fulfilling your responsibilities.
  • Licenses are valid from February 1 through January 31 of the next year.


Application Submission

It takes 15 days to process your application in California. Print the application from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Department website. Apply in person or mail your application, with the appropriate fee (no cash) to:

The Department of Fish and Wildlife

License and Revenue Branch
1740 N. Market Blvd.
Sacramento, CA  95834


Call the License and Revenue Branch at (916) 928-5852 or visit for more information regarding guides.

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