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Fishing Licenses & Fees

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

Fishing licenses, stamps and registrations are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, unless otherwise specified.

Resident Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $20.50

Resident 7-Day Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $7.50

Resident Trout Stamp: $5

Resident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License: $15

Resident 7-Day Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License: $6

Resident Senior Consolidated Sport Fishing License: $5

(65 years or older. License includes tidal, nontidal, and trout stamp. It may be
purchased at any time in the calendar year in which you attain the age of 65)

Non-Resident Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $30.50*

Non-Resident 7-Day Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $7.50*

Non-Resident 3-Day Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $5*

*Or the same fee charged to visiting Maryland anglers by a non-resident’s home state, whichever is higher—dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/service_fishingcost_bystate.aspx

Non-Resident Trout Stamp: $10

Non-Resident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License: $22.50

Non-Resident 7-Day Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License: $12

Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Boat License: $50

  1. Passengers onboard licensed boats do not need a license. However, they must have a free Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration (see below).
  2. An individual Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License and a complimentary individual crabbing license are included for the person who purchases this license.

Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration Free Unless individually licensed, a free registration is required for:

  1. Passengers on boats with Bay and Coastal Sport Boat Licenses.
  2. Anglers fishing in designated License Free Fishing Areas.
  3. Waterfront property owners and family fishing on private property.
  4. Anglers in possession of a Virginia saltwater recreational fishing license or on a Virginia-licensed boat.

Penalties

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 rules. 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 dsd.state.md.us/COMAR. Individuals who are suspended for violating fishing rules in Maryland may also be suspended in other states under the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Who Needs A Trout Stamp?

A trout stamp is required for anyone 16 years of age or older to catch, attempt to catch or possess trout in 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.

Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration Exemptions

Anglers fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays, Chesapeake Bay or tidal tributaries must be 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 or from a licensed commercial fishing pier.
  • You are fishing on a free fishing day—the first two Saturdays in June and July 4.
  • You possess a valid commercial tidal fish license.
  • You possess a Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing license.
  • You possess a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License.

To Obtain A License or Saltwater Angler Registration:

Go to compass.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrcompassportal, call 855-855-3906 (available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 365 days a year) or visit a Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Service Center or license agent (tackle shop or outdoor outfitter).

Purple Heart Recipient Discount

Any Maryland veteran who has received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained defending our nation now qualifies for a 50 percent discount on Maryland hunting and fishing licenses.

Veteran and Complimentary Licenses

Any American veteran residing in Maryland who is 100 percent service-connected disabled or who is a former POW may apply for a free lifetime fishing license, which includes tidal, nontidal and trout stamp privileges. This license must be obtained at a Department of Natural Resources Service Center and cannot be obtained at independent retail locations. Locate your nearest Service Center by visiting dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/service_centers.aspx.

License Exemptions

Statewide Sport Fishing License Exemptions

You may fish for finfish without a license if:

  • You are under 16 years of age.
  • You are a resident of Maryland, on active duty with Armed Forces, on leave with official orders.
  • You fish on a free fishing day—the first two Saturdays in June and July 4.
  • You fish in an area designated by Department of Natural Resources as a license free fishing area, and you have obtained a Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration (if required in that area.). A list of license free fishing areas is available on Fish Maryland and online at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Pages/license-free.aspx.

Nontidal Sport Fishing License Exemptions

You may fish for finfish without a license in Maryland‘s nontidal waters if you are an owner or tenant, their spouse, child or the spouse of their child 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 rules.

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.

Tidal Sport Fishing License Exemptions

You may fish for finfish without a license in Maryland’s tidal waters if:

  • You possess a valid commercial fishing license.
  • You are fishing from a licensed charter boat or licensed commercial fishing pier.
  • You are fishing from a boat displaying a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing Boat License.
  • You are an owner or tenant, their spouse, child or the spouse of their child residing on the property and fishing from the property’s shoreline.
  • Anglers should confirm riparian ownership before fishing. Anglers with riparian shorelines must comply with all fishing rules.

License Free Fishing Areas

Maryland features many areas where recreational anglers can fish year-round without a fishing license. When fishing in these areas you are exempt from all license and stamp fees and requirements. You are required to observe all other fishing rules. A free MD/PRFC angler registration is also required for anglers fishing without a license in designated license free fishing areas located in tidal water, you may register online through the Maryland licensing system.
Anne Arundel
  • Annapolis—Maryland Route 450 old bridge at the Severn River.
Baltimore County
  • Cox’s Point on Back River and Deep Creek. Directions: Eastern Blvd. (Rt. 150) to Riverside Drive south.
Baltimore City
  • Canton Recreational Pier at Boston Street
  • Middle Branch Park from fishing pier south of the Hanover-Pottee Street Bridges, to Hanover Street Bridge over Middle Branch. Directions: Route 2 to Middle Branch Park
  • Canton Waterfront Park
Caroline County
  • Denton—Pier associated with G. Daniel Crouse Memorial Park on the east side of Choptank River north of Maryland Route 404 Bridge.
  • Federalsburg Municipal Park
  • Greensboro Waterfront Park — Upstream of the Sunset Avenue bridge within park boundaries on the Choptank River.
Cecil County
  • Charlestown—Town-owned stone wharf on the Northeast River near the corner of Conestoga and Water Streets and the historic site of Charlestown Wharf.
  • North East—North East Community Park at mouth of North East Creek.
  • Perryville Ice House Park — Within the park boundaries of Ice House Park downstream of the Route 40 bridge on the Susquehanna River.
Charles County
  • Friendship Landing—County-owned pier and property adjacent to the pier off Friendship Landing Road southeast of Ironsides Riverside Road (Rt. 425) on Nanjemoy Creek.
Dorchester County
  • Cambridge—Long Wharf from south end of city-owned bulkhead associated with the Municipal Yacht Basin within Cambridge Creek to the end of east breakwater at mouth of the Municipal Yacht Basin.
Frederick County
  • Gambrill State Park—Banks of the one acre pond located within Gambrill State Park boundaries, near the Park’s campground. (Angler registration not required at this location.)
Harford County
  • Havre de Grace—Tydings Memorial Park within designated area, and pier at the end of Congress Street.
Kent
County
  • Chestertown—Maryland Route 213 Bridge over Chester River.
Somerset County
  • Crisfield City Dock — City dock/depot area at the end of West Main Street.
  • Janes Island State Park—Bulkhead area on Daugherty Creek within the boundaries of Janes Island State Park.
Wicomico County
  • Sharptown—Pier and town dock off Ferry Street on the Nanticoke River.
  • Salisbury—Designated city-owned bulkhead on the Wicomico River between Mill Street and Division Street.
  • Tyaskin Park—County-owned park on Wetipquin Creek west of Rt. 349 at Tyaskin.
Worcester County
  • Pocomoke City—City docks from Laurel Street boat ramp to U.S. Route 13 overpass and Winter Quarter dock on Pocomoke River.
  • Snow Hill—All city-owned riverfront property which includes Byrd Park, Sturgis Park, and city bulkheading adjacent to the municipal parking lot near the Route 12 bridge over the Pocomoke River.
  • Ocean City—Northside Park—Town-owned pier and park at 125th Street.
  • Ocean City—Chicago Avenue—Bulkhead between 2nd and 4th Streets.