Fishing Licenses & Permits

Fishing Regulations Icon Connecticut Fishing

Recreational Fishing Licenses

Thank you for your support of fisheries programs and our fisheries. All (100%) of the money generated from your purchase of a license goes to support Connecticut’s fish and wildlife. Your support is critical to help sustain our passion.

An Inland fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older fishing in the Inland District (see page 54 for demarcation between Inland and Marine Districts). A marine recreational fishing license is required for anyone age 16 of age or older fishing from shore or from a boat in the marine district. Most licenses are issued on a calendar year basis and expire on December 31st.

Licenses are available online at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing. Licenses are also available at participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP field offices. For a complete list of vendors, visit the DEEP website or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105).

Active Armed Forces Members

Any active, full-time member of the armed forces may be issued fishing and/or small game firearms licenses for the resident fee. Proof of membership during the calendar year must be carried while using the license. These licenses are available only at town clerk and select DEEP offices.

Other Recreational Marine Licenses

Special “Personal Use” licenses are required for: a) persons taking lobsters for their own use by up to 10 pots or SCUBA, and B) persons taking menhaden with a single gill net not more than 60 feet in length, for personal use from marine waters only.

  • Personal Use Lobster License: $60.00
    (purchase of pot tags also required if using pots)
  • Personal Use Gillnet License for Menhaden: $100

Marine “Personal Use” licenses are issued on a calendar year basis, are non-transferable, and are only issued by DEEP Licensing and Revenue at 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106-5127. See www.ct.gov/deep/fishinglicense for additional information and a license application.

Commercial Licenses

A commercial license is required to take, possess or land (regardless where taken) fish, lobsters, blue crabs, whelk, squid, sea scallops, horseshoe crabs and bait species intended for sale from both the inland and marine districts. Contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Program at 860-434-6043 or write to the Marine Fisheries Program at deep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov or P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 for further information on commercial fishing www.ct.gov/deep/CommercialFishing.


June 18th & August 12th.

Get a free one-day license to fish on these days.

Group Fishing Licenses

Available to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations wishing to conduct group fishing programs and events for qualified:

  • Veterans with a service-related or other disability.
  • Persons receiving mental health or addiction services from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and associated programs & facilities.
  • Individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities receiving services from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) or a facility licensed by DDS; or
  • Persons receiving care from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), DCF receiving homes, or certain DCF-licensed child care facilities or programs.

Qualified organizations can apply for a Group Fishing License ($125.00) to hold up to 50 events per year (both inland and marine water). Each event is limited to 50 people and must be supervised by organization staff or volunteers (who must have their fishing licenses). No fee can be charged to participate and the events may not be used as a fundraiser.

Contact DEEP Inland Fisheries for more information and application forms.

License Type

CT Resident age 18–64 fee

CT Resident age 16 or 17 fee

Non-Resident 16 or older fee

Sport fishing licenses (fee is US Dollars)

Inland waters only




Marine waters only




All waters




1 day – Marine waters only




3 consecutive days –
Inland waters only




3 consecutive days –
Marine waters only




Combination Licenses (fee is US Dollars)

Inland Waters and
Firearms hunting




Marine Waters and
Firearms hunting




All Waters and
Firearms hunting




All Waters and bow and arrow permit to hunt deer and small game




Free Licenses

CT Resident age 65 and older




Free Special Licenses
(available only at participating town halls and selected DEEP offices).

Blind Inland or Marine fishing license (lifetime).1




Intellectual disability Inland or Marine fishing license (lifetime).1




Physically handicapped (loss of one or more limbs, or permanent loss of the use of one or more limbs), Inland or Marine waters fishing, hunting, or combination licenses (lifetime).2



Free to qualified nonresidents who reside in states which allow CT residents the same privilege.


Submit your permit applications online —
A convenient on-line system is now available for the submittal of fisheries related permits. The ezFile system offers a safe, secure, and convenient process to submit your permit applications. After DEEP review, you will receive the appropriate documentation via email, no more paper to fax, scan or mail.

Questions about ezFile or need help? Call us at 860-424-FISH (3474).

  1. Get started with ezFile:
  2. Download Google Chrome (recommended browser)
  3. Selecting the ezFile icon on http://www.ct.gov/deep/fishing
  4. Select “create an account”
  5. Follow the instructions (should take about 5 minutes).


Inland Fishing Tournament/Derby Permit

Required to conduct a fishing tournament or derby on inland waters open to public fishing involving anglers 16 years or older. Organized events, like fishing tournaments, are usually limited to 50% of the parking capacity at a state-owned launch. Open water catch-and-release-only tournaments can be granted an exemption from Bass Management Area special regulations (exemptions available for all Bass Management lakes from September 1 through June 30, exemptions granted only for Gardner Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir from July 1 to August 31). Additional guidelines and restrictions may apply for open-water trout tournaments/derbies conducted on waters managed by the state for trout.

Liberation (Stock) of Live Fish

Required each time any live fish or live fish eggs are released into any pond, lake, or stream in Connecticut (it is illegal to introduce any aquarium fish into any waters of Connecticut).

Importation of Live Fish or Fish Eggs

Required each time live fish or live fish eggs are brought into Connecticut from outside the State (No permit is required to import common aquarium species).

Note: Possession or importation of a number of species including piranha, walking catfish, black, sliver and bighead carp, gizzard shad, and all species of snakehead (family Channidae) is prohibited.

Special Regulations on Association Controlled Waters

Any association owning or controlling the fishing rights in a stream or pond may request a temporary change in fishing regulations at their water body.

Private Waters Registration

Can be acquired by individuals or a corporation that meet the eligibility criteria. There is a non-refundable $140.00 application fee. As each situation is unique, please call 860-424-3474 to discuss options.

Marine Fish Tournament/Derby Registration

Required to conduct a marine fishing tournament or derby in Connecticut that is open to persons 16 years of age and older as described under section 26-159a-26 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. There is no charge for the registration.

Permits are required for these activities:

  • Stock fish or import fish into the state
  • Conduct a fishing tournament or derby
  • Use grass carp to manage aquatic plants


A judgement or a plea of guilty, forfeiture of a bond, or payment of a fine for a fishing, hunting, or trapping violation may result in the suspension of your fishing, hunting, or trapping license.

Importation and/or liberation permit for triploid grass carp

Authorizes the importation, possession and liberation of triploid grass carp into inspected/approved ponds. Possession of diploid grass carp is prohibited. Triploid grass carp represent one method of controlling nuisance aquatic vegetation. The Fisheries Division inspects all ponds to determine regulatory compliance, particularly to verify that the fish can not escape from the waters in which they were stocked, thereby preventing off-site damage to aquatic habitats. Grass carp information packets and application forms can be obtained by contacting the Fisheries Division at 860-424-3474.

National Saltwater Angler Registry

Congress, through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, called on NOAA Fisheries to create a national registry of saltwater anglers. Required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Marine Recreational Angler Program (MRIP) is a partnership working to improve saltwater recreational fishing data collection and provide more informed fisheries conservation.

The angler registry will improve data collection by creating a universe of saltwater anglers, essentially a phonebook of fishermen. This resource will help reduce bias and improve the efficiency of catch and effort surveys. Instead of asking a random sample of coastal U.S. residents if they’ve gone fishing (what is currently done), an angler registry through a phone or mail survey would allow surveyors to call upon those who have already identified themselves as saltwater fishermen.

Anglers please note:

New York, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts also have marine license requirements. Though Connecticut has reciprocity with these neighboring states, residents of Connecticut are required to have a CT Resident Marine Waters Sport Fishing License to fish in the Marine District.

Connecticut anglers holding valid marine waters fishing license are exempt from National Saltwater Angler Registry.

For more information, please see www.countmyfish.noaa.gov or www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational

Volunteer Opportunities

The Bureau of Natural Resources appreciates all the help it receives from volunteers each year. Typically, volunteers are from organized groups, but there are also some opportunities for individuals. Among the programs in which you may be able to participate:

Atlantic Salmon and Herring Restoration Programs

For groups: Contact Steve Gephard or Bruce Williams (Fisheries Division) at 860-434-6043

Volunteer Angler Survey — Saltwater Anglers

For individuals: See page 57 for details. Contact David R. Molnar (Marine Fisheries Program) at 860-434-6043 or david.molnar@ct.gov.

CT Aquatic Resource Education Program (CARE)

For individuals: Volunteers are trained and certified to teach an introductory course in fishing. Training/Certification is offered twice a year, in February and June. Certified instructors must participate in one CARE event per year. Participation may include teaching or assisting the teaching of a 6 hour class in your hometown or helping out at a special event. A desire to pass on your angling knowledge and lots of enthusiasm for the sport are all we require to join the program. See page 10 for more! Contact Tom Bourret or Justin Wiggins of the Fisheries Division at 860-663-1656.

Thanks for your interest in the health of our fisheries resources!