California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Welcome to the California Fishing Passport Website

California Fishing Experiences

Pack your bags, load up your tackle boxes, grab your favorite rods and reels, and join us for great fishing adventures across California's many lakes, rivers and ocean waters. The Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to invite everyone on a journey that will take them throughout California in pursuit of a lifetime of amazing and diverse fishing opportunities. No prior experience needed!

California is a state of remarkable natural resources and diverse outdoor recreational opportunities. With 1,100 miles of ocean coastline, 220,000 square miles of ocean waters, 4,172 lakes and reservoirs, 29,664 miles of streams and rivers, and 1,800 miles of bay and delta waters, California has more fishing opportunities than any other state in the country.

To help highlight these many waters and to encourage people to more fully experience all of the fishing opportunities that the Golden State has to offer, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has designed the California Fishing Passport program. With this program, people will be challenged to fish their way around the state in search of 150 different fish and shellfish species. And like a traveler's passport book, for each successful catch, participants will receive special stamps in their books to mark their accomplishments.

The California Fishing Passport program is one that will appeal to everyone. From the first-time angler who wants to feel the sensation of that first bite, to those who enjoy spending quality time in the outdoors fishing with friends and family, to those who wish to passionately pursue the wide variety of different and unique fishing opportunities that only California can offer... the California Fishing Passport challenge has something for everyone!

View a list of ten great reasons to fish in California!

Completing this challenge will not be an easy endeavor and it will likely entail using a variety of different fishing methods along the way. Everything from flyfishing to deep sea to surf to spinning to trolling tackle and techniques will be encouraged.

For anyone interested in engaging in and accepting the "Passport Challenge", just buy your annual fishing license and there will be no additional fees charged to register. Children 15 years and under will not need to buy a fishing license to participate. Each participant will be provided with:

    available resources California Finfish and Shellfish Identification Book My First Fish Award
  • The California Fishing Passport book to record and keep personal notes about the angler's catches and fishing trip.
  • California Finfish and Shellfish Identification book - A new field guide companion to the passport book. Loaded with original artwork, it will help people with fish identification, interesting life history and range distribution information, as well as tips on what each fish or shellfish species' favorite food preferences might be. This book is an incredible resource guide and available for a nominal fee.
  • Fishing Guide - Everyone with Web access will be able to utilize the CDFW's Fishing Guide to see where many of the passport program species reside in the state, as well as some of the services available for travelers once they get there.
  • California Fishing Passport Awards - Earn awards and recognition as you gather stamps in your passport! Awards are provided to anglers at all levels of fishing experience, from their very first fish to the exceptional achievements of a lifetime of fishing.
  • My First Fish Award - There's nothing quite as exciting as feeling the sensation of that first bite, and catching that first fish! To celebrate this achievement, the California Fishing Passport program has created the First Fish Award, a certificate that can be filled out online, printed from your home computer, and presented to anglers who have just landed their first fish. Feel free to use this certificate to honor and recognize a new angler's entry into the world of fishing!
  • Fish Measuring Sticker (Available from most CDFW offices and at official Passport events) - Brightly colored stickers for putting on tackle boxes, bumpers or the side of boats will be given to all Passport Challengers.