New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing
Fishing licenses are required for people 16 years of age and older. Review License Fees & Requirements for license information.
How to Use this Book
- Review License Information on License Fees & Requirements; Definitions on Definitions; Important Laws and Rules, including Unlawful Actions on Important Laws & Rules; and Ice Fishing Rules on Ice Fishing: You Can Walk On Water.
- If you want to fish a lake or pond, check to see if it is listed in Lakes & Ponds with Special Rules.
- If it is listed, make note of any restrictions, seasons, bag limits, methods or additional/special rules shown. For those lakes and ponds listed as Trout Ponds, Fly-fishing only, Wild Trout or Lake Trout and/or Salmon waters, refer to Lakes & Ponds with Special Rules.
- If the lake or pond is not listed on Lakes & Ponds with Special Rules, follow Lakes & Ponds: General Rules, including seasons, bag limits, etc., as shown.
- If you want to fish a river or stream, check to see if it is listed in Rivers & Streams with Special Rules.
- If it is listed, make note of any restrictions, seasons, bag limits, methods or additional/special rules shown for the specified section.
- If the river or stream is not listed on Rivers & Streams with Special Rules, follow Rivers & Streams: General Rules, including seasons, bag limits, etc., as shown.
- Interstate Waters — see Interstate Waters.
Buying a License
Fishing and hunting licenses, valid Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of each year, may be purchased online via fishnh.com, from license agents, Fish and Game Department headquarters in Concord, Fish and Game Region 1, 2 and 4 offices and some town or city clerks. Applicants must purchase their own licenses.
Lost licenses may be reprinted at the original issuing agent or Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters, once at no charge.
Violation of any fishing law or rule, littering, or criminal trespass (RSA 214:19; 207:36-b; 635:2) will result in the revocation of your fishing license or privilege.
A fishing license is not required for children under the age of 16 (RSA 214:2).
Fisheries Habitat Fee
All freshwater anglers pay a $1 fisheries habitat fee, which is included in the license price. Revenue is used to improve and restore fisheries habitats. For more information, see Your Fisheries Habitat Fee.
To obtain a license at resident rates, the person must present to the issuing agent a valid New Hampshire driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification card issued by the N.H. Department of Safety, Div. of Motor Vehicles. Whenever the applicant is under 18 years of age, the parent or guardian of the applicant shall be a resident and present their valid N.H. driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification.
Note: Any person who is no longer a legal resident of the state, but still retains a valid N.H. driver’s license, is guilty of a misdemeanor if he/she tries to obtain a resident fishing, hunting or trapping license based on this driver’s license.
N.H. residents who are regular active duty in the US Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard permanently stationed outside the state are eligible for free temporary hunting and fishing licenses and may acquire them at no charge. Available at N.H. Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord; Region 1, 2 and 4 offices; or by mail or fax (603) 271-5829 (download an Active Duty Military License application from the Fish and Game website and send with duty orders). A copy of duty orders must be presented for verification. Call (603) 271-3422 for information.
Non-resident military personnel on regular, active duty, and permanently stationed in New Hampshire, may purchase licenses at N.H. resident rates.