Is Night Fishing Legal? | State-wise Regulations For The US

The concept of American democracy is beautiful in itself. What makes it even cooler is that each of the 50 states have their own set of laws for a lot of things, including fishing. While such a system has its advantages, it can cause some confusion too.

Night fishing is legal. There are no countrywide night fishing regulations or guidelines in the USA. Some states have rigorous night fishing timings, while some do not have any timings at all. Also, these regulations can differ based on the water-body you plan to fish in.

We have done the dirty work for you and listed out some crucial night fishing regulations wherever applicable along with the relevant links. However, anglers are advised to do their share of research too and take this information with a grain of salt.

US Night Fishing Laws For Every State – Summary Table

Click on your state to reach the desired section directly and save yourself the trouble of having to scroll all the way down.

AlabamaNo specific timings
AlaskaNo statewide laws
ArizonaNo laws or regulations
ArkansasEntirely legal
CaliforniaDifferent freshwater and saltwater rules
ColoradoOpen to night fishing except a few areas
ConnecticutDate wise rules, generally legal
DelawareSpecie specific rules
FloridaNo statewide laws
GeorgiaNot allowed in public fishing areas
HawaiiAllowed, but not in all areas
IdahoNo statewide laws
IllinoisNo statewide laws
IndianaLaws applicable only to the Ohio river
IowaSpecie and vessel specific rules
KansasAllowed in most public waters
KentuckyWater body specific rules
LouisianaOnly allowed during Experimental Nighttime Activity Season
MaineNo night fishing laws
MarylandSpecie specific rules
MassachusettsNo night fishing laws
MichiganNo night fishing laws
MinnesotaNight fishing laws do exist
MississippiNo night fishing laws
MissouriSpecie and style specific rules
MontanaOnly allowed during open season
NebraskaSpecie and style specific rules
NevadaNo statewide regulations
New HampshireSpecie specific rules for freshwater

No rules for recreational saltwater
New JerseyNo statewide regulations
New MexicoWater body specific rules
New YorkTackle and specie specific rules for freshwater

No rules for recreational saltwater
North CarolinaLimited to park operating hours
North DakotaWater body specific rules
OhioWater body specific rules for sports fishing
OklahomaWater body and method specific regulations
OregonSpecie specific rules
PennsylvaniaNo statewide regulations
Rhode IslandNo statewide regulations
South CarolinaNo statewide regulations
South DakotaNo statewide regulations
TennesseeWater body specific rules
TexasNo statewide regulations
UtahWater body specific rules
VermontSpecie and specific rules
VirginiaWater body, technique, and specie specific rules
WashingtonFrom one hour before the sunrise to one hour before the sunset in most areas
West VirginiaMost waters open to night fishing
WisconsinWater body specific rules
WyomingNo statewide regulations

US State-Wise Night Fishing Regulations

1. Alabama

Alabama doesn’t have any specific timings related to fishing at night or even during the day. Thus it is entirely legal to fish whenever you want unless the particular water body has some restrictions. However, there is a water safety law in place if you are fishing on a boat.

The law requires every boat on any Alabama lake to keep the lights on throughout the night. Thus, whether you are fishing in the main lake, some small tributary or stream, just navigating the lake, or are anchored down, the lights need to be on. And when we say lights, it means both the front and the back lights.

If you are a sport fisherman with a valid sport fishing license then you can catch suckers during both day and night. You would need to use a gill or trammel net with a mesh of one inch or more. This measure should be taken from knot to knot. Your nets should be marked with buoys of floats visible above the waterline.

Also, your sport fishing license number should be listed. However, not all waters allow you to catch suckers at all times. Pike Counties, Houston, Henry, Geneva, Dale, Crenshaw, Covington, Coffee, and Butler are some of the waters that we know of that allow this in February, March, and April.

Alabama Fishing Regulations

2. Alaska

Alaska doesn’t have many fishing laws that apply statewide. That said, night fishing looks a lot like day-fishing. Always check the AK Department of Fish and Game website for any emergency orders affecting the place you plan to fish – it’s complicated and changes daily.

Also, it depends on where you go. For example, in the ANC area ship creek, the fishing timings are 6 am -11 pm. Similar restrictions might be there in some other popular fisheries too. The general idea of “night fishing” is not addressed in the laws, because for much of Alaska, there is no real night during the summers.

The daylight hours are too long (almost 19-20 hours) in most parts and extend up to 24 hours in places like Fairbank. Unless a body of water has specific regulations regarding days of the week or hours, it is pretty much 24/7 during open season. Ask an Alaskan about nights, and they might reply, “What is night? Oh, you mean winters!”.

Alaska Statewide Sport Fishing Regulations

3. Arizona

There are no laws or regulations against night fishing in Arizona on the official website. Still, it would be in your best interest to confirm the same for the area or the body of water you are fishing in. You can use artificial light at night.

Whenever you are out fishing during the day, just ask other anglers, and they might help you out with information about any restrictions. Another way to know is to keep a check around you. If the place that was crowded a while ago seems empty now, then perhaps it is closing time.

Arizona Fishing Regulations

4. Arkansas

Arkansas doesn’t have any specific regulations against fishing at night. It is entirely legal. The only set of laws for night are related to using light sources. Navigation lights are a must. If you are on non-federal waters, then a simple light source is enough.

However, if you are in federally controlled waters, then you would need an anchor light as your stern and a red/green navigation light for the bow. These lights must be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and must remain lit from sunset till sunrise.

Arkansas General Fishing Regulations

5. California

Night hours have been defined as one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise.

Freshwater Sport Fishing

Any fish can be taken during day or night in all places except for the ones that have special rules, as mentioned below.

American  River between  Business  80  and  Nimbus  Dam  (Sacramento  Co.) prohibits night fishing. If you are from Mono County, then, only Topaz lake partially permits night fishing for two hours after sunset.

All other Mono County waters prohibit it. Tahoe Lake (Placer and El Dorado cos.) also partially permits night fishing like Topaz lake, i.e., for two hours after sunset. Whenever and wherever night fishing is permitted, you can use lights on the fishing tackle or as a part of it. 

Even though night fishing is allowed, you cannot take a trout or a salmon at night in these waters:

  • In the district of North Coast
  • In North Central District: All waters except Berryessa Lake  of Napa  County & Mendocino  Lake of Mendocino County
  • South Central District: All waters except Coyote Lake of Santa Clara County
  • Valley District: north of Interstate 80, all waters except Camp Far West Lake of Nevada,  Placer, and Yuba counties, Collins Lake of Yuba County, Oroville Lake of Butte County, and Wildwood Lake of Nevada County
  • Counties of Lassen, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Shasta

Amphibians and reptiles can be taken at any time during day or night. However you cannot take night lizards (Xantusia vigilis) in Kern County. From the Friday before Labor Day to the last Sunday of October, you can fish in Heenan lake only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. During this time, fishing from sunset till sunrise is prohibited.

Further, the tributaries of Heenan Lake are closed all year long for any fishing activity.

Saltwater Sport Fishing

You cannot take invertebrates at night except from the shore in San Francisco and San Pablo bays. The same rule applies to saltwater tributaries east of the Golden Gate Bridge. In San Miguel island, overnight anchoring of the boat is allowed only at Tyler Bight and Cuyler Harbor.

Other places don’t allow it unless federal laws allow it, or you are caught in hazardous weather.

Finfish in the Pacific Ocean is not to be taken between one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise except from shore or piers in San Francisco Bay between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Carquinez Bridge and in saltwater tributaries to the bay within the area bounded by Interstate 80 and Highways 17, 101 and 37.

Abalone may be taken only from 8:00 AM to one-half hour after sunset. For clams, the legal timings are one and a half hours before sunrise to one and a half hours after sunset. Also, you cannot possess tools capable of digging clams on any beach of the state one and a half hours after sunset to one and a half hours before sunrise.

In the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve, you can anchor your boat within the reserve only during daylight hours.

California Fishing Regulations

6. Colorado

All waters of the state are open to night fishing using all manners of taking all year round. The only restrictions are those pertaining to a specific water body. Thus, asking about restrictions in the waters you fish in will be a better approach. Emergency salvage of fish is permitted only during the daylight hours.

In Bonny Reservoir of Yuma County, Cherry Creek Reservoir of Arapahoe County, Pueblo Reservoir of Pueblo County, and Chatfield Reservoir of Jefferson and Douglas Counties you cannot fish from the dam or within 100 feet of the dam from March 15 to April 15 between 4 pm to 9 am.

In Cheesman Reservoir of Douglas and Jefferson Counties, fishing is completely prohibited from January 1 to April 30. Also, fishing is not permitted from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise all year round. Gross Reservoir of Boulder County prohibits night fishing from 4 pm to 9 am.

Colorado Fishing Regulations

7. Connecticut

Connecticut doesn’t have general night fishing regulations or timings. You would have to check rules specific to the water body you are fishing in.

Inland Fishing Regulations

Click Here For Lakes and Ponds

Click Here For Rivers and Streams

If there are no specific timings or regulations for your water body, then these Inland District Statewide Species Regulations will apply for limits, methods and seasons.

  • Lakes and ponds are usually open year-round. 
  • Rivers and streams are open from 2nd Saturday of April, 6:00 a.m. – Last day of February
  • All forms of fishing are prohibited from March 1st to 6:00 a.m. – 2nd Saturday in April

If any place prohibits all forms of fishing year-round or during a particular period, then of course, any other rules do not apply.

Marine Fishing Regulations

There are certain limits based on the fish species in consideration, but not any particular timing restrictions for night fishing. Therefore, for a better idea related to regulations on marine recreational fisheries, refer to:

Current Marine Sport Fishing Creel Limits, Size Limits and Open Seasons

8. Delaware

You cannot catch a  rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, or any hybrid species in designated trout streams and ponds from one and a half hours after sunset till one and a half hours after sunrise.

If you are fishing on a boat, then your boat needs to have an electric distress light meeting the standards of the U.S. Coast Guard from sunset till sunrise. Another rule is that you cannot camp overnight in a parking lot.

Delaware Fish & Wildlife Regulations

9. Florida

There are no particular statewide laws for night fishing in Florida, and you’ll have to check for your body of water. While freshwater gamefish can only be taken with a pole-and-line or rod-and-reel, you can take non-game fish at night by bow and arrow, and gigs.

Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations

Florida Saltwater Fishing Regulations

10. Georgia

Public fishing areas across the state do allow night time fishing. However, places like Rocky Mountain PFA do not allow night fishing. Also, night time trout fishing is not allowed in lakes Dockery and Rock Creek, rivers Chattahoochee [Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek], Conasauga watershed, and Smith Creek.

Bow fishing is legal from sunrise till sunset. But if you want to take a non-game fish, then you can do so only at night and that too using a light in reservoirs that are equal to or bigger than 500 acres in size.

In the river Savannah, its basin and tributaries, if you want to catch a flathead or a channel catfish using a spear, then you can do so both during the day and night. Again, you need to carry a light if you want to take them at night.

Georgia Fishing Regulations

11. Hawaii

Night fishing is allowed in Hawaii but not in all areas. While areas like Kauai Wailua allow night fishing, places like Wailua Reservoir do not allow it.

Hā‘ena Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area and Waikīkī-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area prohibits spearfishing from 6:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. The northwestern Hawaiian Islands do not allow the use of lay nets from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

Hawaii Fishing Regulations

12. Idaho

There are no fishing laws against night fishing in Idaho. Some ponds and parks close after dusk, and these are the only places that go off-limits. It means the rules are related to a particular place and not a general statewide rule.

However, if you are fishing for a steelhead or a salmon, then it is strictly limited to daylight hours. Another law is that if you leave a fishing shelter unattended overnight on the ice of any water in Idaho, then it should have your relevant information like name, telephone number, and address on the opposite sides of the shelter.

Idaho Fishing Regulations

13. Illinois

There are no particular laws for or against night fishing in Illinois. Snagging is permitted from March 1- April 15, 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. It is permitted within a 500 yard downstream limit below locks and dams on the Mississippi River between Illinois and Iowa.

Jug fishing is allowed from sunset to sunrise from May 1st – September 30th.

Illinois Fishing Regulations

14. Indiana

There are no general statewide night fishing laws in Indiana. The Ohio river regulations don’t allow you to take catfish from ½ hour after sunset till ½ hour before sunrise.

Indiana Fishing Regulations

15. Iowa

For paddlefish, the snagging hours are between sunrise to sunset on the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers. After hours fishing is allowed in many state parks from 10:30 p.m. and 4 a.m. along with the normal park hours. You should only fish from the designated areas on the bank.

No vessels are allowed on the lakes after 10:30 p.m. Also, you can park in specially marked lots only. Other than that, there are no specific night fishing laws.

Iowa Fishing Regulations

16. Kansas

Night fishing is allowed in most public waters. However, it would be wise to check the local rules.

Motorized electric or gasoline-powered two-wheeled vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, work-site utility vehicles, golf carts, and snowmobiles may be operated on ice-covered department waters only for ice fishing from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

In the Pratt Kid’s Fishing Pond (1 acre, 2 miles E, 1 mile S of Pratt), fishing hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Kansas Fishing Regulations

17. Kentucky

A person may gig or snag fish from the bank of a stream during the day or night. The statewide season for gigging and snagging rough fish is from February 1 through May 10. It is illegal to possess a gig on a stream or lake or in a boat from November 1 through January 31.

In the Carter Caves State Park Lake (called Smokey Valley Lake), Lake Chumley (Lincoln County), Leary Lake (Grant County), Lincoln Homestead State Park Lake (Washington County), and Sportsman’s Lakes (Franklin County), fishing is allowed during the daylight hours only.

Kentucky Fishing Regulations

18. Louisiana

Recreational Fishing

All nighttime activities on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA, Lake Boeuf, are prohibited. Salvador/Timken prohibits all nighttime activities except during the Experimental Nighttime Activity Season. The Experimental Nighttime Activity Season begins on midnight, June 1, till the official sunrise of Aug. 15.

Night time activities are limited to taking frogs and fishing with a rod and reel. All other night time activities are prohibited.

Commercial Fishing

In False River Lake, Lake Bruin, Lake Providence and Poverty Point Lake, you may leave gear overnight but may only remove fish during daylight hours.

Louisiana Fishing Regulations

19. Maine

Unless otherwise specified, all waters open to fishing are open to fishing 24 hours a day. A lot of waters have specific night timings for smelt. Therefore, it is advisable to check for the water you plan to fish in.

Maine Fishing Regulation

20. Maryland

Freshwater Fishing

It is illegal to to possess striped bass while fishing in the Chesapeake Bay or its tidal tributaries from midnight to 5 a.m. It is illegal to fish between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise in the Battie Mixon Fishing Hole.

It is illegal to fish any streams or non tidal waters that contain trout between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. (This does not apply to non-tidal impoundments of five acres or more)

Maryland Fishing Regulations

21. Massachusetts

Freshwater Fishing

There are no particular night fishing laws for freshwater fishing in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Freshwater Fishing Regulations

Recreational Saltwater Fishing

There are no particular night fishing laws for recreational saltwater fishing in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations

22. Michigan

There are no particular night fishing laws in Michigan. Check with your local authority for any exceptions.

Michigan Fishing Regulations

23. Minnesota

From April 1 – November 30, crayfish traps may be set overnight but you can only attend to them from one hour before sunrise through one hour after sunset. You can bowfish for rough fish over open water or through the ice in a fish house or shelter, day or night, with or without lights, during the open season.

Fishing hours for stream trout on inland waters are from one hour before sunrise to 11 pm. Angling hours on Lake Superior tributaries below the posted boundaries are from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Exceptions are the St. Louis River (St. Louis and Carlton counties) and the Pigeon River (Cook County).

Portable shelters in inland and Canadian border waters need a license if a person 1) leaves the portable shelter unattended any time between midnight and one before sunrise, or 2) is not within 200 feet of the portable shelter. You can use a fish shelter after the removal date but the fish shelter must be removed at the end of fishing.

You can also use it overnight, but it must be occupied between midnight and one hour before sunrise.

Minnesota Fishing Regulations

24. Mississippi

There are no specific regulations for fishing at night in the state of Mississippi.

Mississippi Fishing Regulations

25. Missouri

Non-game fish may be taken by bow and possessed at any hour of the day in all flowing portions, except in Sand Chute below the mouth of the Salt River in Pike County where they may only be taken by bow from sunrise to midnight. Bow fishing is allowed all year round for 24 hours in Portions of Missouri, Mississippi, and St. Francis rivers.

However, they are only allowed from sunrise to midnight in streams and from sunrise to sunset in the temporary overflow of a river or ditch. Another exception for bowfishing for impounded waters is from sunrise to midnight from Feb. 1–March 31.

From Feb. 20 through April 14, walleye and sauger can be taken and possessed only between 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset in the unimpounded portions of all streams, except the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

Missouri Fishing Regulations

26. Montana

No fishing is allowed between 2 p.m. and midnight from July 15 through August 15 in Madison river’s warm springs day use area confluences with Jefferson river. Fishing is allowed at all hours during open fishing seasons unless otherwise specified in District Exceptions to Standard Regulations.

Montana Fishing Regulations

27. Nebraska

Paddlefish may be taken by bow and arrow and possessed in a designated area of the Missouri River only during the season i.e. June 1 – June 30 from sunrise to sunset. Non-game fish may be taken by archery or surface spear state-wide 24 hours a day year-round.

When it comes to underwater spearfishing, the season for game fish is July 1 through Dec. 31 in the designated waters and the legal hours are from sunrise to sunset.

Snagging of paddlefish and non-game fish in the Missouri River is permitted from the Gavins Point Dam downstream to the mouth of the Big Sioux River at mile marker 734 from October 1 – 31 from 7 am to 7 pm. In Crane Lake, fishing is allowed during daylight hours only and fisherman must be off lake no later than one hour after sunset.

The Island Lake area is open one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Smith Lake FWS allows fishing during daylight hours only and fisherman must be off lake no later than one hour after sunset. Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge are open from half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.

The Heartland Shooting Center Pond is open to fishing during public shooting hours and no boat is allowed. In the Two Rivers SRA trout fishing hours are from 7 am to sunset.

Nebraska Fishing Regulations

28. Nevada

There are no statewide regulations for night fishing in the state of Nevada. Different lakes and reservoirs have different regulations. Some allow fishing during any time of the day or night when the season is open while some allow fishing within a set timing for the general public.

There is a detailed guide by the Nevada Department of Wildlife regarding the regulations for fishing. It is by far the best resource we have come across as it specifies the rules for each region of Nevada and the lakes & reservoirs within it. It is worth it to have a look at it!

Nevada Fishing Regulations

29. New Hampshire

Freshwater Fishing

Fishing is allowed at any time of the day or night, except the taking of brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, trout hybrids, and salmon between two hours after sunset and one hour before sunrise is prohibited.

​However, in the Ammonoosuc River (Apthorp Dam in Littleton to confluence with the Connecticut river in bath), Androscoggin River (Wheeler Bay in Dummer boundary line at 44° 36.9011’N 71° 13.3816’W to 44° 36.9341’N 71°13.4449’W using WGS84 map datum to Sawmill Dam in Berlin) brown trout may be taken any time of day or night during the open season.

From March 15 through April 30, smelt may be taken by means of a dip net not over 18 inches in diameter, between the hours of sunset and 12 midnight. This rule is applicable only to the waters that are open to the taking of freshwater smelt by dip net.

But in the Lower Kimball Pond, use of dip nets not over 18 inches in diameter is permitted between sunset and 12 midnight during the open water season for smelt.

Saltwater Fishing

There are no specific fishing regulations for recreational saltwater night fishing. Timings do exist for crabs and lobsters but they are out of the scope of this article.

New Hampshire Fishing Regulations

30. New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t have any specific statewide regulations related to night fishing for both freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing. However, waterbodies, parks and areas of the beaches have their own local rules which you should try and find out.

New Jersey Fishing Regulations

31. New Mexico

For Alto Lake, the shore fishing hours are from 5 am–11 pm. The Black Canyon Creek (Grant Co.) prohibits fishing from November 1- June 30. The Butler Street Reservoir is open from 5 am–10 pm. The Charette Lakes (upper and lower) and Clayton Lake are open to fishing from noon March 1–noon October 31.

The Eagle Nest Lake is open from 6 am–9 pm. The Glenwood Hatchery Brood Pond is open during daylight hours from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The Grindstone Lake shore fishing hours are from 5 am–11 pm. The Laguna del Campo is open to fishing from May 1–October 31.

The Maxwell Lakes 13 & 14 are open to fishing at noon March 1–October 31. Lake Farmington is open from sunrise to sunset. Maxwell Lakes 13 & 14 are open to fishing at noon March 1–October 31. Monastery Lake is open during daylight hours, i.e., 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Morphy Lake is open to fishing March 1–October 31. Santa Cruz Lake is open 6 am–10 pm. Shuree Ponds: Special Trout Water are open to fishing July 1–December 3. Trees Lake is open from sunrise to sunset. Valle Vidal: Special Trout Water is open to fishing from July 1–December 31 during daylight hours from

New Mexico Fishing Regulations

32. New York

Freshwater Fishing

There are seasonal tackle restrictions and restrictions on night fishing in some lakes and tributaries. Statewide angling regulations apply for species not listed under special regulations. In Lake Erie Tributaries, fishing is only permitted one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (fishing at night is prohibited).

In the section for Salmon River and Tributaries (Oswego County), fishing is only permitted half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset (fishing at night is prohibited). From April 1 – August 14, fishing at night is permitted from Lake Ontario to Rt. 3 Bridge.

For Lake Champlain Tributary, fishing is prohibited from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise from June 15 through Dec 31 in Saranac River from Catherine Street bridge upstream to Imperial Dam, Ausable River from D & H railroad bridge upstream to Rainbow Falls, Boquet River from mouth upstream to Wadhams Falls, and North Branch Bouquet and tributaries from mouth to first upstream barrier.

For Lake Ontario Tributary, fishing from one-half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise is prohibited except in the Black River (Jefferson County) from Lake Ontario upstream to the Route 180 bridge in Dexter, where fishing is permitted at all times.

For Salmon River fly fishing catch-and-release sections, angling is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Indian Lake, Fulton Chain (except Seventh Lake), East Caroga Lake, and West Caroga Lake allow smelts to be taken through a dip net only from 5 am to 10 pm.

Saltwater Fishing

There are no specific timings mentioned anywhere. However, it would be wise to check for the local rules.

New York Fishing Regulations

33. North Carolina

Fishing within a state park is limited to park operating hours. No fishing is allowed at all between 1/2 hour after sunset on June 4, 2021 and 6:00 a.m. on June 5, 2021 in Delayed Harvest Trout Waters.

North Carolina Fishing Regulations

34. North Dakota

OWLS Pond and State Fair Pond are closed to fishing at night (sunset to sunrise). For the extended snag-and-release days only, hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT.

North Dakota Fishing Regulations

35. Ohio

Ohio has water body specific rules for sports fishing but doesn’t seem to have any night fishing regulations for recreational fishing or commercial fishing.

Ohio Fishing Regulations

36. Oklahoma

Noodling is lawful year-round in all waters only during daylight hours unless restricted under “Public Fishing Waters” special regulations. In Hefner, Overholser, Stanley Draper, in Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties, bowfishing is permitted year-round but during daylight hours only.

Oklahoma Fishing Regulations

37. Oregon

It is unlawful to angle for or take salmon, shad, steelhead, sturgeon, trout or whitefish except during daylight hours (one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset). St. Louis Pond and Woodburn Pond are closed from 1 hour after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise.  Lake of the Woods and Miller Lake allow angling 24 hours per day for all species.

Marine Zone waters are open all year round for many invertebrate and finfish species, 24 hours per day, unless noted under “Management Designations for Marine Areas” in the official regulations booklet. Check the official guide for the complete list of species.

Oregon Fishing Regulations

38. Pennsylvania

The Special Regulation Areas for Delayed Harvest, Trophy Trout, All Tackle and Catch and Release are open to fishing year-round and fishing is permitted on a 24-hour basis.

Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations

39. Rhode Island

There are no particular laws for night fishing in Rhode Island. It is allowed 24-hours a day during open season.

Rhode Island Fishing Regulations

40. South Carolina

South Carolina does not have specific laws related to night fishing. It would be best to check with the local anglers to know about any regulation in place.

South Carolina Fishing Regulations

41. South Dakota

South Dakota doesn’t specify any particular fishing timings for places. However, it would be wise to check with the local authorities and anglers for any regulation that might be in place.

South Dakota Fishing Regulations

42. Tennessee

On the Pin Oak Lake in Natchez Trace State Park, fishing with jug lines will be prohibited on Fridays after 12 noon until 12 midnight on Sundays from 1st of April through 30th of September. Dillard Ponds have special trout regulations where fishing is permitted from one half-hour before official sunrise to one half-hour after official sunset.

The TWRA fishing lakes open one-half hour before official sunrise and close one-half hour after official sunset, except Garrett Lake which is open 24 hours a day. The Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness WMA Ponds are designated as youth fishing ponds. Fishing is permitted from one-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset.

The New Lake (Lewisburg City Lake) is open from one-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset. Tellico-Citico Permit Areas: Citico Creek from its confluence with Little Citico Creek upstream to the confluence of North and South Forks of Citico Creek allow fishing from ½ hour before official sunrise to ½ hour after official sunset.

The Green Cove Pond also permits fishing from ½ hour before official sunrise to ½ hour after official sunset. For trout fishing in Gatlinburg, the legal timings are one half-hour before official sunrise to one half-hour after the official sunset.

Tennessee Fishing Regulations

43. Texas

There are no specific night fishing regulations for the state of Texas. It would be beneficial to check the local rules in whatever area you are fishing.

Texas Fishing Regulations

44. Utah

In most areas, bowfishing is allowed at night with the use of spotlights. There are a few notable exceptions: The tributaries of Utah Lake are closed to bowfishing at night (sunset to sunrise) from May 7 until 6 a.m. on July 9.

Linwood Bay, west of a line from the easternmost point of the south shore of Linwood Bay (mouth of canyon) to easternmost point of the north shore of Linwood Bay (Lucerne Point), CLOSED to nighttime angling (sunset to sunrise) from Oct. 15 through 6 a.m. on the second Saturday of December.

From Center Street Bridge (entrance to Utah Lake State Park) upstream to I-15 (Utah County): CLOSED to nighttime bowfishing (sunset to sunrise) from the first Saturday of May through 6 a.m. on the second Saturday of July.

Including but not limited to tributaries west of I-15: American Fork Creek, Beer Creek, Dry Creek, Hobble Creek, Spanish Fork River, Spring Creek and Spring Run Creek, are CLOSED to nighttime bowfishing (sunset to sunrise) from the first Saturday of May through 6 a.m. on the second Saturday of July.

Utah Fishing Regulations

45. Vermont

The legal fishing day is the 24-hour period beginning at 12:00 midnight and continuing until the next 12:00 midnight. However, it is illegal to take fish of a species unless the season for that species is open in those waters. It is illegal to fish when no season is open in those waters, or if those waters are posted as closed by regulations of the Fish & Wildlife commissioner or board.

During the open season, fish may be taken at any hour of the legal fishing day, except where a shorter legal fishing day is specified in the General Fishing Regulations and Exceptions, or here posted otherwise. In Noyes Pond (Seyon Pond), for all species, the open season is from second Saturday in April to last Sunday in Oct., between 6:00 a.m. and one hour after sunset.

In the Connecticut River fishing for trout is closed from 2 hours after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise daily.

Vermont Fishing Regulations

46. Virginia

Bow and Arrow (including crossbows) may be used to take common carp, grass carp, northern snakehead, and gar (fishing license required) during day and night hours (24 hrs.), except from waters stocked with trout. Bowfin and catfish may be taken in tidal waters.

In the department-owned lakes, ponds, streams, or boat access sites, fishing is permitted 24 hours a day unless otherwise posted. You can shoot non-game fish like suckers and carp with a rifle from April 15 to May 31 during daylight hours in the shoals of the Clinch River within the limits of Scott County, except that it shall be unlawful to shoot fish on Sunday or within the limits of any town, or from any bridge.

Trout angling hours on designated stocked trout waters are from 5:00 am until one hour after sunset. In special trout areas like Blue Ridge Parkway, fishing is prohibited from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise.

In the Clinch Mountain and Crooked Creek Fee Fishing Area, fishing begins at 5:00 a.m. daily, except for 9:00 a.m. on opening day, and ends one hour after sunset.

Virginia Fishing Regulations

47. Washington

Most areas in Washington have the night closure regulation in effect where it is legal to fish from one hour before the sunrise to one hour before the sunset. Other areas and fish species which do not have specific timings mentioned next to them, are open to fishing throughout the day.

Washington Fishing Regulations

48. West Virginia

Most waters of West Virginia are open to night fishing. The others require either a permit to do so or are completely closed after the designated hours. For children and in class Q handicap fishing areas, fishing is permitted during the daylight hours only.

West Virginia Fishing Regulations

49. Wisconsin

Special regulations apply to the following waters:

The section of the Peshtigo River upstream from the railroad bridge at the NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 section 30, township 30 north, range 23 east (Peshtigo City Garage) to the first dam.

The section of the Oconto River from the upstream side of Hwy 141 upstream to the first dam and the section of the Little River upstream from the Oconto River to Hwy 141.

All Lake Michigan tributaries and all other Green Bay tributary streams, rivers, and ditches upstream to their first dam or lake, except this DOES NOT apply to the Menominee River (Marinette Co.)

​From September 15 to December 31, fishing by any method is prohibited from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. January 1 to the first Saturday in May, hook and line fishing is prohibited from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. 

Spear fishing and hook and line fishing also have certain regulations in place about which you can find using the link below. No one can set, attend, or lift a set or bank pole or setline between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise.

You may not  take rough fish and catfish by any method from September 15 through December 31 in Lake Michigan tributaries, major Green Bay tributaries, and all other tributary streams and ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or lake from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.

On all inland, outlying, and boundary waters with an open season for spearing rough fish or catfish, the taking of rough fish with a bow and arrow or crossbow on that body of water is allowed at any time of day, including from sunset to sunrise during the open season. 

Frame dip nets can be used all year round without hour restrictions.

Wisconsin Fishing Regulations

50. Wyoming

Fishing is permitted year-round twenty-four (24) hours a day in any waters of this state except as otherwise provided by Commission regulation for specific areas, streams, lakes, or portions thereof. Exceptions are listed with the regulations for each drainage area in the official fishing regulation guide by the government.

However, Specified waters may be closed to all fishing because of an emergency upon forty-eight (48) hours notice. National Elk Refuge regulations restrict fishing access to daylight hours only.

Wyoming Fishing Regulations

Special Mention – Federal District Of Columbia

There are no specific night regulations in place for fishing in DC. Refer to the local rules for the same.

District Of Columbia Fishing Regulations


Again, the most important thing is to make sure that you verify the above information by going to the actual link and reading the regulations on the official website. These regulations change every year and while we do our best to keep this article in its most updated form, relying solely on it can be a hefty mistake.

Some states impose heavy fines if you are found lurking in certain areas after dark, fishing or not. We hope you enjoyed the article. In case you have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to contact us.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not freshwater fishing in the nearest creek or enjoying saltwater fishing by taking boats far in the ocean.

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