Licenses, Stamps & Saltwater Angler Registration
Fishing licenses are valid from January 1 through December 31 of each calendar year.
2013 Licenses, Stamps , Fees & Registration
Resident Nontidal $20.50
Resident 7-Day Nontidal $7.50
Non-Resident Nontidal $30.50*
Non-Resident 7-Day Nontidal $7.50*
Non-Resident 3-Day Nontidal $5.00*
*Or the same fee charged to visiting Maryland anglers by a non-resident’s home state, whichever is higher.
Resident Trout Stamp $5.00
Non-Resident Trout Stamp $10.00
Resident Senior Consolidated Sport Fishing License $5.00
(65 years or older in 2013)
Resident Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License $15.00
Resident 7-Day Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License $6.00
Non-Resident Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License $22.50
Non-Resident 7-Day Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License $12.00
Consolidated Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License $50.00
- Passengers onboard licensed boats do not need a license. However, they must have a free Maryland Saltwater Angler registration (see below).
- A Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License is included for the boat owner who purchases this license. Fishing License Call Center:855-855-3906.
Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration Free Online Registration
- Unless individually licensed, a free registration is required for
a) Passengers on boats with Consolidated Bay & Coastal Sport license
b) Anglers fishing in designated Free Fishing Areas
c) Waterfront property owners and family fishing on private property
d) Anglers in possession of a Virginia saltwater recreational fishing license
- To register, go to www.dnr.maryland.gov/service or call the Fishing License Call Center — 855-855-3906.
The Department may suspend an individual’s fishing license or privilege if that individual is convicted of, or pays a fine for, violating certain fishing laws. A full copy of suspendable fishing violations can be found in the Code of Maryland Regulations 08.02.13.05. To view this regulation, visit www.dsd.state.md.us/COMAR. Individuals who are suspended for violating fishing laws in Maryland may also be suspended in other states under the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
Who Needs A Maryland License Or Trout Stamp?
A person who is 16 years of age or older may not fish the waters of Maryland without first obtaining a license. Some anglers are exempt from the license requirement — see License Exemption section.
A trout stamp is required for anyone 16 years of age or older to fish in a Special Catch-and-Return Trout Management Area or possess trout taken from nontidal waters.
How Do I know Whether I Need A Tidal Or Nontidal Maryland Fishing License?
To see whether the area you are fishing requires a nontidal or tidal fishing license, please see Tidal / Nontidal Dividing Lines Section.
Who Needs A Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration?
Anglers fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays, Chesapeake Bay or tidal tributaries must be licensed or registered with the state unless one of the following applies:
- You are under 16 years of age
- You are fishing from a licensed charter boat
- You are fishing on a free fishing day– the first two Saturdays in June and July 4
- You are fishing from a licensed commercial fishing pier
- You possess a valid commercial tidal fish license
- You possess a Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing license
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) created the National Saltwater Angler Registry in 2010. The angler registry is a survey tool to estimate recreational fishing catch in tidal waters. Maryland provides the required information to NOAA for Maryland licensed or registered anglers.
Any American veteran residing in Maryland who is 100% service-connected disabled or who is a former POW may apply for a free lifetime fishing license and trout stamp. Call 410-260-8325.
Maryland Sport Fishing License Exemptions
General Exemptions—you may fish for finfish without a license if:
- You are under 16 years of age
- You are a resident of MD, on active duty with Armed Forces, on leave with official orders
- You fish on a free fishing day designated by DNR (first two Saturdays in June and July 4th)
- You fish a hook and line (rod and reel) from a public bridge or pier which has been designated by DNR as a free fishing area and have registered with the state. A list of areas is available at www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries.
Maryland Nontidal Sport Fishing License Exemptions
A person may fish for finfish without a license in Maryland‘s nontidal waters if the person is:
- A veteran hospitalized in a veteran’s hospital for a service connected disability (contact Fisheries Service for permit information).
- A patient under treatment by a state-approved mental health facility or an individual who attends or resides in a state-approved health and mental hygiene facility. (Contact Fisheries Service for permit information).
- A caregiver, family member or designee of a mental health care facility or private group home, and is caring for a patient who is under treatment by a state-approved mental health facility (Contact Fisheries Service for more information).
- An owner or tenant, their spouse, children or the spouses of their children residing on the property and fishing from the property’s riparian shoreline. Anglers should confirm riparian ownership before fishing as some impoundments and waterways are surrounded by buffers; in these areas, there are no riparian shoreline owners and fishing licenses are required. Anglers with riparian shorelines must comply with all fishing laws and regulations.
Trout Stamp Exemptions
A trout stamp is not required for possession of trout taken from privately owned lakes and ponds or licensed fee fishing lakes and ponds stocked with trout artificially propagated by, or purchased from, persons licensed by the state to sell fish. Maryland residents holding valid Resident Senior Consolidated Sport Fishing or Lifetime Service Disabled Veteran or Former POW Licenses are not required to purchase a trout stamp. Call DNR Fisheries Service for information, 410-260-8325.
Maryland Tidal Sport Fishing License Exemptions
You may fish for finfish without a license in tidal waters of the state if you:
- Possess a valid commercial fishing license.
- Fish from private property as an owner or family member of an owner and have registered with the state.
- Are fishing from a licensed charter boat.
- Are registered with the state and are fishing from a boat with a Consolidated Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License.
- A resident of Virginia possessing a valid Virginia nontidal fishing license issued in that resident’s name may fish in nontidal waters of the mainstem of the Potomac River opposite the shore of Virginia.
- A resident of Virginia possessing a valid Virginia saltwater fishing license issued in that resident’s name may fish any portion of the tidal waters of Maryland, so long as they complete the Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration.
- A resident of Maryland possessing a valid Maryland Nontidal Sportfishing License issued in that person’s name can fish from the Virginia banks of the Potomac River opposite the shore of Maryland without a Virginia fishing license.
- Residents of Maryland possessing a valid Maryland Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License may fish in Virginia tidal saltwater, so long as they complete the Virginia Saltwater Angler Registration.
- A resident of West Virginia possessing a valid West Virginia fishing license issued in that resident’s name may fish in nontidal waters of the Potomac River (mainstem only) opposite the shore of West Virginia, including the North Branch of the Potomac River and the Jennings Randolph Reservoir (opposite the shore of West Virginia).
- A resident of Maryland possessing a valid Maryland Nontidal Sportfishing License issued in that resident’s name may fish the West Virginia banks of the Potomac River, including the North Branch of the Potomac River and the Jennings Randolph Reservoir, without a West Virginia fishing license.
- A resident of Pennsylvania possessing a valid Pennsylvania fishing license issued in that resident’s name may fish in the portions of the Conowingo and Youghiogheny Reservoirs lying within the boundaries of Maryland without a Maryland fishing license.
- A resident of Maryland possessing a valid Maryland Nontidal Sportfishing License issued in that resident’s name may fish on the of the Conowingo and Youghiogheny reservoirs lying within the boundaries of Pennsylvania without a Pennsylvania fishing license.
- Reciprocal fishing privileges extend from waters edge to waters edge. It does not include tributaries or fishing from shore.
- The Maryland-Pennsylvania dividing line in the Conowingo Reservoir is from the Railroad Tunnel white marker in Cecil County to Michaels Run in Harford County.
- A holder of a Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing license may fish any portion of the tidal waters of Maryland.
- A holder of a valid Maryland Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License may fish any portion of the main stem of the Potomac River downstream of the I-95 Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.