Commercial Fishing Licenses

2021-2022 Fees and Descriptions

Valid April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022

Fish and Game Code Section 70 defines "Resident" as any person who has resided continuously in the State of California for six months or more immediately prior to the date of their application for a license or permit, any person on active military duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or auxiliary branch thereof, or any person enrolled in the Job Corps established pursuant to Section 2883 of Title 29 of the United States Code.

Fish and Game Code Section 86 defines "Take" as hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill.

Fees include a nonrefundable three percent (3%) application fee, not to exceed $7.50 per item. (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 700.4). Items purchased from Online License Sales and Services will include five percent (5%) nonrefundable license agent handling fee.

Licenses, Registrations and Stamps

Title Fee Description
Resident Commercial Fishing License $153.73 Required for any resident 16 years of age or older who uses or operates or assists in using or operating any boat, aircraft, net, trap, line, or other appliance to take fish for commercial purposes, or who contributes materially to the activities on board a commercial fishing vessel.
Nonresident Commercial Fishing License $453.50 Required for any nonresident 16 years of age or older who uses or operates or assists in using or operating any boat, aircraft, net, trap, line, or other appliance to take fish for commercial purposes, or who contributes materially to the activities on board a commercial fishing vessel.
Commercial Fishing Salmon Stamp $87.55 Required for any person 18 years of age or older who: (1) renews a salmon vessel permit; (2) takes salmon for commercial purposes; or (3) is on board a vessel on which salmon are being taken or transported for commercial purposes.
"John Doe" Commercial Fishing Salmon Stamp $87.55 For use on a particular vessel and cannot be transferred from vessel to vessel. The person whose name is listed last on the "John Doe" Commercial Fishing Salmon Stamp application is the designated crewmember and exempt from having a commercial fishing salmon stamp. Only one licensed commercial fisherman can be designated as a crewmember for each fishing trip.
Commercial Ocean Enhancement Stamp $57.17 Required for commercial passenger fishing vessels operating south of Point Arguello (Santa Barbara County). Any commercial fisherman who takes, possesses aboard a commercial fishing vessel, or lands any white sea bass south of Point Arguello.
Commercial Boat Registration (Resident) $398.75 Required for any resident owner or operator for any vessel operated in public waters in connection with fishing operations for profit in this State; or which, for profit, permits persons to sport fish.
Commercial Boat Registration (Nonresident) $1,181.50 Required for any nonresident owner or operator for any vessel operated in public waters in connection with fishing operations for profit in this State; or which, for profit, permits persons to sport fish.
Commercial Aircraft Registration $321.00 Required for any owner or operator of an aircraft operated in airspace above public waters in connection with fishing operations for profit in this State.
Commercial
Passenger Fishing Vessel License
$398.75 Required for any boat from which persons are allowed to sport fish for a fee.

Nonrestrictive Permits

Title Fee Description
Anchovy Take $48.41 Required for the owner or operator of a vessel to take anchovies for reduction purposes.
Bay Shrimp $48.41 Required for the operator of a vessel to use trawl nets and Chinese shrimp nets to take bay shrimp, Oriental goby, yellowfin goby.
Coonstripe Shrimp Trap Vessel $120.77 Required for the owner of any vessel using traps to take, possess aboard a boat, or land coonstripe shrimp for commercial purposes.
Crayfish $48.41 Required in addition to a commercial fishing license when taking crayfish for human consumption. Required in addition to a live fresh water bait fish license for each person taking crayfish for bait. Informational Leaflet No. 31 (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Ghost Shrimp $48.41 Required for each commercial fisherman operating or assisting in operating hand or engine powered equipment to take ghost shrimp. Commercial fishermen operating under the authority of a ghost shrimp permit must also possess a tidal invertebrate permit.
Golden and Ridgeback Prawn $48.41 Required for the operator of a vessel to use or possess trawl nets to take golden or ridgeback prawns in ocean waters.
Inland/Freshwater Fish $48.41 Required for each person to take inland or freshwater fish for commercial purposes. The following species can be taken under the authority of this permit:
  • Carp or Minnow Family
  • Cichlid Family
  • Freshwater Mollusks
  • Goby Family
  • Mullet Family
  • Killifish Family
  • Lamprey Family
  • Livebearer Family
  • Sculpin Family
  • Silverside Family
  • Smelt Family
  • Stickleback Family
  • Sucker Family
  • Threadfin Shad
Land CA Fish Outside CA $23.95 Required to take fish in California and land to ports outside of California.
Live Freshwater Bait Fish License
$88.32 Required for all persons who, for profit, capture, possess, transport, or sell live freshwater fish, clams, or crayfish for bait. This license is not required for the possession and sale of dead bait. Note: Any person taking crayfish from the wild for sale as bait must have a valid crayfish permit.
Informational Leaflet No. 7 (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Lobster Crewmember $201.37 Required for any person who accompanies and assists any lobster operator permit holder in the commercial take of spiny lobster and who does not qualify for a lobster operator permit. The lobster operator permit holder must be present whenever a lobster crewmember is taking, possessing, or transporting spiny lobster for commercial purposes.
Marine Aquaria Collector $524.25 Required for any person taking, possessing aboard a boat, or landing any live native marine species specified in FGC 8597 from California waters for marine aquaria pet trade purposes. At least one person aboard each commercial fishing vessel shall have a valid marine aquaria collector permit.
Northern Rock Crab Trap $393.25 Required for any person using traps to take, possess aboard a vessel, use as bait, or land rock crab, including brown, yellow and red rock crab for commercial purposes between 42°00’N. lat. (the Oregon/California border) and 36°00’N lat. (at Lopez Point, Monterey County).
Sea Urchin Crewmember $48.41 Required for each person who assists in taking sea urchins and who does not qualify for a sea urchin diving permit. A sea urchin crewmember cannot dive for sea urchins.
Southern Pink Shrimp Trawl $48.41 Required for any commercial fisherman using a trawl net to take, possess aboard a boat, or land pink shrimp for commercial purposes in ocean waters south of a line drawn due west of Point Conception.
Swordfish $524.25 Required for the owner or operator of a vessel using harpoon or hook-and-line to take swordfish for profit. A swordfish permit will be issued free of charge to individuals with a valid drift gill net permit. At least one person aboard each commercial fishing vessel must have a valid swordfish permit.
Tanner Crab $14,692.25 Required for the owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using traps to take, possess aboard a vessel, or land Tanner Crab for commercial purposes.
Tidal Invertebrate $48.41 Required for any person who takes mollusks, crustaceans, or other invertebrates for commercial purposes in any tidepool or tidal area, including tide flats or other areas between the high tidemark and 1,000 feet beyond the low tidemark. Commercial fisherman using powered equipment to take ghost shrimp must also possess a valid tidal invertebrate permit.
Trap
$57.17 Required for any person who uses traps to take finfish, mollusks, or crustaceans for profit except spiny lobster and Dungeness crab, as defined in FGC 9001. Dungeness crab can only be taken on vessels with a valid Dungeness crab vessel permit. Commercial fishermen can only take lobster under the authority of a lobster operator permit. Spot prawn can only be taken on vessels with a valid Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit.

Limited Entry and Restricted Access Permits

Title Fee Description
California Halibut Bottom Trawl Vessel $69.01 Required for the owner of a commercial fishing vessel using bottom trawl gear to take California halibut.
Deeper Nearshore Species Fishery $201.37 Required for any person taking, possessing aboard a vessel, or landing black rockfish, blue rockfish, brown rockfish, calico rockfish, copper rockfish, olive rockfish, quillback rockfish and treefish.
Drift Gill Net Shark/Swordfish Permit $524.25 Required for the operator of a vessel using drift gill nets to take shark and swordfish. At least one person aboard each commercial fishing vessel shall have a valid drift gill net permit when engaged in operators authorized by the permit.
Dungeness Crab Vessel (Resident) $321.00 Required for a resident owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using Dungeness crab traps to take Dungeness for commercial purposes.
Dungeness Crab Vessel (Nonresident) $633.50 Required for a nonresident owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using Dungeness crab traps to take Dungeness for commercial purposes.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 1
$3,507.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 1 is allotted 500 traps.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 2
$3,257.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 2 is allotted 450 traps.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 3
$3.007.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 3 is allotted 400 traps.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 4
$2,757.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 4 is allotted 350 traps.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 5
$2,507.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 5 allotted 300 traps.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 6
$2,257.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 6 allotted 250 traps.
Dungeness Crab Trap Tag Biennial Fees - Tier 7
$1,882.50
Required fee for initial allotment of Dungeness crab trap tags. Includes per tag fee as well as biennial crab trap limit permit fee. Tier 7 allotted 150 traps.
Gill/Trammel Net Permit $524.25 Required for the owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to use a gill or trammel net. At least one person aboard each commercial fishing vessel must have a valid general gill net permit when engages in operations authorized by the permit.
Herring (Resident) $421.25 Required for a resident owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to use gill nets to take herring with nets for commercial purposes in Crescent City Harbor, Humboldt Bay, Tomales Bay or San Francisco Bay Fishery.
Herring (Nonresident) $1,547.00 Required for a nonresident owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to use gill nets to take herring with nets for commercial purposes in Crescent City Habor, Humboldt Bay, Tomales Bay or San Francisco Bay Fishery.
Herring Eggs on Kelp (Resident) $421.25 Required for a current licensed resident commercial fisherman for harvest of Herring eggs on kelp (HEOK) for commercial purposes from the waters of San Francisco Bay.
Herring Eggs on Kelp (Nonresident)
$1,547.00
Required for a current licensed nonresident commercial fisherman for harvest of Herring eggs on kelp (HEOK) for commercial purposes from the waters of San Francisco Bay.
Lobster Operator (Transferable/Nontransferable) $863.75 Required for any person who takes, possesses, or transports lobsters while on any boat, barge, or vessel, or who uses or operates any boat, net, trap, line, or other appliance to take lobsters for profit.
Market Squid Vessel (Transferable) $3,093.00 Required for an owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to take, land, or attract squid for commercial purposes. Authorizes only the use of round haul gear, including purse seine, drum seine or lampara nets, and brail gear, including dip and scoop nets. Lights may also be used as specified in regulation to aggregate squid for purposes of commercial harvest. No other commercial gear is authorized.
Market Squid Vessel (Nontransferable) $1,550.50 Required for an owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to take, land, or attract squid for commercial purposes. Authorizes only the use of round haul gear, including purse seine, drum seine or lampara nets, and brail gear, including dip and scoop nets. Lights may also be used as specified in regulation to aggregate squid for purposes of commercial harvest. No other commercial gear is authorized. Permits become null and void upon death of permit holder.
Market Squid Brail Permit (Transferable) $3,093.00 Required for an owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to take, land, or attract squid for commercial purposes. Authorizes only the use of brail gear, including dip and scoop nets. Lights may also be used as specified in regulation to aggregate squid for purposes of commercial harvest. No other commercial gear is authorized.
Market Squid Light Boat (Transferable) $933.25 Required for an owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to take, land, or attract squid by light for commercial purposes. Authorizes only the use of lights as specified in regulation to aggregate squid for purposes of commercial harvest. No other commercial gear is authorized under this permit to take or assist in taking of market squid for commercial purposes.
Market Squid Light Boat (Nontransferable) $61.29 Required for an owner or operator of a currently registered commercial fishing vessel to take, land, or attract squid by light for commercial purposes. Authorizes only the use of lights as specified in regulation to aggregate squid for purposes of commercial harvest. No other commercial gear is authorized under this permit to take or assist in taking of market squid for commercial purposes. Permits become null and void upon death of permit holder.
Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (Transferable)
$1,573.00 Required for an owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using trawl nets to take pink shrimp for commercial purposes north of a line drawn due west of Point Conception.
Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (Nontransferable)
$791.00 Required for an owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using trawl nets to take pink shrimp for commercial purposes north of a line drawn due west of Point Conception. Permits become null and void upon death of permit holder.
Salmon Vessel $48.41 Required for an owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel used to take salmon for commercial purposes.
Sea Cucumber Diving
$398.75 Each diver must have a valid sea cucumber diving permit issued to that person. When taking sea cucumbers by methods other than diving, at least one person aboard each commercial fishing vessel must have a valid sea cucumber trawl permit.
Sea Cucumber Trawl $398.75 Each diver must have a valid sea cucumber diving permit issued to that person. When taking sea cucumbers by methods other than diving, at least one person aboard each commercial fishing vessel must have a valid sea cucumber trawl permit.
Sea Urchin Diving $524.25 Required for each commercial fisherman who takes sea urchins for profit.
Southern Rock Crab Trap $393.25 Required for any person using traps to take, possess aboard a vessel, use as bait, or land rock crab, including brown, yellow and red rock crab for commercial purposes south of 36°N.lat.(at Lopez Point, Monterey County).
Spot Prawn Trap Vessel - Tier 1 $398.75 Required for an owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using traps to take spot prawn for commercial purposes.
Spot Prawn Trap Vessel - Tier 2 $398.75 Required for an owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using traps to take spot prawn for commercial purposes. May only use a maximum of 150 traps. Permits become null and void upon death of permit holder.
Spot Prawn Trap Vessel - Tier 3 $1,573.00 Required for an owner of a registered commercial fishing vessel using traps to take spot prawn for commercial purposes. Permits become null and void upon death of permit holder.

Nearshore Fishery Permits (Limited Entry)

Title Fee Description
North Coast Region
(Transferable/Non-Transferable)
$791.00 Required for any person using hook and line to take, possess aboard a vessel, or land black-and-yellow rockfish, gopher rockfish, kelp rockfish, California scorpionfish, greenlings of the genus Hexagrammos, China rockfish, grass rockfish, California sheephead, and cabezon, for one of four regional management areas, as described in Section 52.04, Title 14, of the California Code of Regulations.
North-Central Coast Region
(Transferable/Non-transferable)
$791.00
South-Central Coast Region
(Transferable/Non-transferable)
$791.00
South Coast Region
(Transferable/Non-transferable)
$791.00
Nearshore Fishery Bycatch
(Nontransferable)
$321.00 Required for any person using trawl or entangling nets to take, possess aboard a vessel or land black-and-yellow rockfish, cabezon, California sheephead, California scorpionfish, China rockfish, gopher rockfish, grass rockfish, greenlings of the genus Hexagrammos, or kelp rockfish. Permits become null and void upon death of permit holder.

Nearshore Fishery Trap Endorsements (Limited Entry)

Title Fee Description
North-Central Coast Region (Transferable/Non-transferable) $120.77 Required for any person using trap gear to take black-and-yellow rockfish, gopher rockfish, kelp rockfish, California scorpionfish, greenlings of the genus Hexagrammos, China rockfish, grass rockfish, California sheephead, and cabezon for one of four regional management areas. Must possess a valid Nearshore Fishery Permit for the same regioal management area, as described in Section 52.04, Title 14, of the California Code of Regulations.
South-Central Coast Region (Transferable/Non-transferable) $120.77
South Coast Region (Transferable/Non-transferable) $120.77

Transfer/Change of Ownership Fees

Title Fee Description
Drift Gill Net (Vessel Designation) $130.00 Drift Gill Net Vessel transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822.
Deeper Nearshore Fishing
$1,500.00
Deeper Nearshore Fishing Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Deeper Nearshore Species Fishery Permit Transfer Application (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Dungeness Crab (Transferable/Non-transferable) $200.00 Dungeness Crab Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Dungeness Crab Transfer Application (PDF)(opens in new tab)
General Gill Net $100.00 General Gill Net Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. General Gill Net Transfer Provisions.
Herring $1,000.00 Herring (Crescent City, Humboldt Bay, San Francisco, Tomales Bay, Temporary San Francisco Bay) transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822.
Herring Eggs On Kelp
$1,000.00
Herring Eggs On Kelp Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822.
Lobster Operator $500.00 Lobster Operator Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822.
Market Squid $500.00

Market Squid Permit transfers or change of ownership may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822.

Market Squid Brail Upgrade $1,500.00 Market Squid Brail Upgrades may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Market Squid Light Boat Upgrade Provisions (PDF)(opens in new tab).
Nearshore Fishery Permit $1,500.00 Nearshore Fishery Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Nearshore Fishery Permit Transfer Provisions.
Nearshore Fishery Trap Endorsement $75.00 Nearshore Fishery Trap Endorsement transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Nearshore Fishery Trap Endorsement Permit Transfer Provisions.
Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (New Owner) $1,000.00 Northern Pink Shrimp transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (New Owner)(opens in new tab)
Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (Same Owner) $200.00 Northern Pink Shrimp transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (Same Owner) Transfer Application (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel (Temporary) $100.00 Northern Pink Shrimp transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Northern Pink Shrimp Trawl Vessel Application (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Salmon Vessel $200.00 Salmon Vessel Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Salmon Vessel Permit Transfer Application (PDF) (opens in new tab)
Sea Cucumber (Dive or Trawl) $200.00 Sea Cucumber Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Sea Cucumber (Dive or Trawl) Permit Transfer Provisions
Spot Prawn Trap Vessel (New Owner) $50.00 Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit Transfer Provisions (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Spot Prawn Trap Vessel (Same Owner) $200.00 Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit Transfer Provisions (PDF) (opens in new tab)
Southern Rock Crab Trap Permit $1,000.00 Southern Rock Crab Trap Permit transfers may be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: License and Revenue Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 (916) 928-5822. Southern Rock Crab Trap Permit Transfer Provisions (PDF) (opens in new tab)

Late Fees

Title Fee Description
Limited Entry Late Fee Deadline - April 30, 2021

One to 30 days after the deadline, a fee of $165.75

A late fee is collected when a renewal for a limited entry or restricted access commercial fishing permit is received after the deadline according to the fee schedule. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife shall deny renewal applications received or postmarked after March 31, 2022.
31 to 60 days after the deadline, a fee of $330.00

61 days to March 31, 2022, a fee of $660.75