Fishing regulations can be rather tricky to navigate at times, what with the close proximity of many Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, and the degree as to which each state manages its license/registry program. But as has been stated many times before, ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law!
In each of the past few seasons, The Fisherman has kept track of our regional regulations, compiling a state-by-state rundown from Maine to Maryland with each state’s requirements and reciprocity for any neighboring states. Please note that the following is subject to change at any time and you should still consult local regulations before heading out for a day on the water to be sure that you are 100% compliant.
Here’s to many great angling experiences in 2021, catch ‘em up!
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 “Did you fish in the tidal waters of the State of Maine last year” 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.
The cost for both residents & non-residents age 15 and over 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 $26 for residents and $36 for non-residents.
For more information, please visit www.massfishhunt.mass.gov for more information.
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 – 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 licenses cost $14 for ages 16 and 17 ($16 for All Waters), $28 ($32 for All Waters) for residents ages 18 – 64 and $55 ($63 for All Waters) for non-residents. Inland fishing licenses are free for residents 65 or older. A $5.00 trout & salmon stamp is required for any angler over 18 years of age ($3 for ages 16 or 17) and older fishing in a Trout Management Area (TMA), Wild Trout Management Area (WTMA), Trout Park, or Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area; or keeping trout, Kokanee Salmon or broodstock Atlantic Salmon anywhere statewide.
For more information, please visit CT DEEP.
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 (ages 16 – 69) and $50 for non-residents. Senior (ages 70+) freshwater license cost is $5.
For more information, please visit decals.licensing.east.kalkomey.com.
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 Jersey’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 nj.aspirafocus.com/internetsales to purchase a New Jersey hunting or freshwater fishing license or saltwaterregistry.nj.gov to sign-up for the no-fee recreational marine fishery program.
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 dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/licenses-registrations.
A valid Pennsylvania fishing license is required of persons age 16 and over to fish for any species of fish and are valid through December 31, 2021. Annual freshwater license in PA is $22.97, a non-resident costs $52.97 (senior and daily pricing is available). If an angler has a valid Pennsylvania fishing license they are not required to register with NOAA to fish Pennsylvania’s tidal portion of the Delaware River.
For more information, please visit fishandboat.com/Fish/FishingLicense.
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.