Whether you fish in fresh or saltwater, a recreational fishing license or registration is required. Here is a quick guide to lessen the confusion if you fish in more than one state.
There are certain ritual which we all must do come the new year. From that seemingly never-ending battle to resist writing the previous year when writing the date, to the excitement of another boat and outdoor show season, fishermen must also renew their fresh and saltwater fishing licenses and/or registrations for 2019. Don’t forget that it is now a requirement to not only possess a license to target inland/freshwater species, but a marine fishing license or participation in the registry program is required in all states throughout the northeast.
The close proximity of the New England states sets up a somewhat confusing issue for local anglers as it is possible to fish within the jurisdiction several different states on a single outing. For instance, an angler leaving from a port in eastern Connecticut can easily fish Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut water all in the same trip, often times in a single drift! The same can be true of anglers heading out of New Jersey as they may find themselves in New York water after a short steam north or Delaware to the south. Keeping track of each stateâ€™s catch limits is hard enough, now we must also be aware of the licensing rules in that state as well.
So after a bit of research, comparison and general confusion at times, I have compiled the following overview of each stateâ€™s requirements and reciprocity for any neighboring states. Please note that the following is subject to change at any time and you should consult local regulations before heading out for a day on the water. Also note that anglers fishing exclusively from for-hire boats are generally exempt from licensing and/or the registry, but each stateâ€™s regulations should be verified prior to fishing – ignorance is not a valid excuse!
Maine saltwater recreational fishing registration is required for individuals over the age of 16. However, individuals that possess a valid Maine freshwater license ($25 for residents and $64 for non-residents) are not required to register separately so long as they acknowledge the â€śDid you fish in the tidal waters of the State of Maine last yearâ€ť question. There is no cost for the actual registration. However, a $1 agent fee applies to register at DMR licensing office, and a $2 agent fee applies to register online or through a DMR designated agent.
For more information, please visit www.maine.gov.
A NH Recreational Saltwater Fishing License is required, with a fee of $11, for individual anglers age 16 and older participating in recreational saltwater fishing for finfish from coastal and estuarine waters of New Hampshire (both residents and non-residents need a license.) Anglers must either possess a valid NH, MA, or ME marine fishing license to fish in New Hampshire waters. Year-long New Hampshire freshwater licenses cost $45 for residents and $63 for non-residents.
For more information, please visit www.nhfishandgame.com.
The cost for both residents & non-residents over the age of 16 is $10 for a marine license. Anglers must either possess a valid MA, CT, RI or NH marine fishing license to fish in Massachusetts waters. Year-long freshwater licenses cost $27.50 for residents and $37.50 for non-residents.
For more information, please visit www.ma.wildlifelicense.com.
Freshwater fishing licenses become due each year on March 1. Until that time the previous year’s license remains valid. The cost in Rhode Island for a resident is $18 and $35 for a non-resident. An additional fee of $5.50 for a trout stamp must also be paid if one intends to target trout. The fee for a year-long marine license is $7 for Rhode Island residents and $10 for non-residents. A seven-day license may be purchased for $5 for both residents and non-residents alike. Anglers must either possess a valid RI, MA, CT, ME or NY marine fishing license to fish in Rhode Island waters.
** Please note that inland licenses in Rhode Island do not expire until the final day of February.
The fee for a marine license is $10 for residents age 16 â€“ 64, free for residents over 65 and $15 for non-residents age 16 and older. Anglers must either possess a valid CT, MA, RI or NY marine fishing license to fish in Connecticut waters. Year-long freshwater license cost $28 ($32 for All Waters) for residents and $55 ($63 for All Waters) for non-residents.
For more information, please visit ct.wildlifelicense.com.
Anglers 16 and older must register with the no-fee recreational marine fishing registry to fish in marine waters of New York, which is incorporated into the National Marine Fishing Service nationwide database of recreational marine anglers. Reciprocity is given to anglers holding a marine license from either Connecticut or Rhode Island. Year-long freshwater licenses cost $25 for residents and $50 for non-residents.
For more information, please visit dec.ny.gov.
Anglers 16 and older must register with the no-fee recreational marine fishing registry to fish in marine water of New Jersey, which is incorporated into the National Marine Fishing Service nationwide database of recreational marine anglers. No reciprocity exists and all anglers fishing New Jerseyâ€™s marine waters must register. Year-long freshwater licenses cost $22.50 ($10.50 trout stamp) for residents and $34 ($20 trout stamp) for non-residents.
For more information, please visit www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/fishneed.htm.
Freshwater anglers (including those fishing for spring striped bass along the Delaware River) aged 16 and over are required to be licensed; depending on species like trout/salmon a special permit is also required. PA residents 16 to 64 pay $22.90 for the license itself, while residents 65 and up pay $11.90 a year. Those traveling from out of state can get a nominally priced one-day, three-day or seven-day tourist permit, or pay $52.90 for the year-round license.
For more information, please visit www.fishandboat.com.
The license covers both fresh and marine/tidal waters and costs $8.50 for residents and $20 for non-residents. Children under the age of 16 and senior residents over the age of 65 are exempt from the new licensing requirements. Residents and non-residents are exempt from the licensing if they are the operator of a vehicle with a valid Delaware surf fishing vehicle permit as long as the vehicle is located on designated Delaware State Park surf fishing area.
For more information, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov.
Anglers 16 and older must register with the no-fee recreational marine fishing registry, which is incorporated into the National Marine Fishing Service nationwide database of recreational marine anglers. Reciprocity exists for anglers possessing a Virginia license.Year-long freshwater/non-tidal licenses cost $20.50 ($5 trout stamp) for residents and $30.50 ($10 trout stamp) for non-residents.
For more information, please visit dnr.maryland.gov.