What are the regulations of fishing?


Quick Answer

U.S. states and the federal government regulate fishing to set length of seasons; limit the number, size and species of fish that may be taken; and regulate what tackle and methods may be used on bodies of water. State and federal agencies also issue fishing licenses of various types.

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Full Answer

Fishing licenses, which are necessary in all jurisdictions, may be purchased for a day, season, year or lifetime. Some states require people to be 18 to buy a license.

Regulations and laws controlling sport fishing vary by state and body of water, so it is important to read the rule book before a fishing trip. Regulations may also vary by month or parts of the fishing season. A booklet listing regulations is usually included when purchasing a fishing license.

Fishers can practice catch and release if they're over the limit for a species or if they catch a fish that is too small or is not allowed to be kept. In some situations catch and release is required.

Regulations protect fish populations so fish species don't become extinct, which in turn helps ensure anglers have enough fish to catch. By limiting the number of fish taken per angler per day, more people may enjoy fishing. Biologists periodically study fisheries to determine necessary limits on size and number of fish and suggest regulations to state agencies.

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