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Fishing Licenses & Saltwater Angler Recognition

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

2017 Fishing Licenses and Fees

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 $5.00

Resident Senior Consolidated Sport Fishing License $5.00
(65 years or older. License includes tidal, nontidal, & trout stamp.)

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 $5.00*

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

Non-Resident Trout Stamp $10.00

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

Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License $50.00

  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 & 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 & 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 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/ComarHome.html. Individuals who are suspended for violating fishing laws in Maryland may also be suspended in other states under the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Información Importante en Español

dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/espanol

Rules are Subject to Change

Please check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing & Boating Services regulations page for possible changes at http://dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Pages/regulations/changes.aspx

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 section.

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 & Coastal Sport Fishing License.

To Obtain A License or Saltwater Angler Registration:

Go to dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/service_centers.aspxcall 1-855-855-3906 (available 7 AM to 7 PM, 365 days a year) or visit a Department of Natural Resources Service Center or license agent (tackle shop or outdoor outfitter).

Complimentary Licenses

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, 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 4th.
  • 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 online at http://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 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.

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.
  • You are fishing from a licensed charter boat or licensed commercial fishing pier.
  • You are fishing from a boat displaying a Chesapeake Bay & 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.

Virginia

  • 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 have obtained a Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration.
  • A resident of Maryland possessing a valid Maryland Nontidal Sport Fishing 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 have obtained a Virginia Saltwater Angler Registration.

West Virginia

  • 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 Sport Fishing 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.

Pennsylvania

  • 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 Sport Fishing License issued in that resident’s name may fish on the portions 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 Conowingo Reservoir extends from the Conowingo Dam in Maryland to Holtwood Dam in Pennsylvania. The Youghiogheny Reservoir extends from the red posts on the Youghiogheny River in Maryland downstream to Youghiogheny Dam in Pennsylvania.

Potomac River

  • A Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing license holder may fish any portion of the tidal waters of Maryland.
  • A valid Maryland Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License holder may fish any portion of the Potomac River mainstem down-stream of the I-95 /I-495 Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Your Fishing Dollars at Work

Fishing license and trout stamp revenue allows the department to assess, protect, conserve and manage Maryland’s fisheries.

To learn more, read the latest budget report here at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Documents/SFAC_budget_report-2016.pdf

Fishing License, Stamps & Saltwater Angler Registration

Contact Fishing and Boating Services for license exemption information concerning:

  • An individual who attends, resides, or is under treatment by a state approved mental health facility
  • A nonprofit organization that works with individuals with physical or mental disabilities
  • A governmental entity or nonprofit organization that works with individuals with physical or mental disabilities who are serving or have served in the armed forces
  • The primary caregiver or the representative for any of the above categories