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License Information

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing

Buying a License

Fishing (saltwater and freshwater) and hunting licenses, valid January 1 to December 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. A $2 transaction fee is charged for each license form ($3 for Internet purchases).

Lost Licenses

The Recreational Saltwater, clam and oyster licenses may be reprinted at the original issuing agent or N.H. Fish and Game headquarters in Concord one time at no charge. Duplicates for all other licenses are issued at Fish and Game headquarters for $6.

Violation/Revocation

Violation of any fishing law or rule, littering, or criminal trespass (RSA 214:19; 207:36-b; 635:2) may result in the revocation of your fishing license or privilege.

Exceptions

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.

Residency Requirements

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, Division 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.

Military Licenses

N.H. residents who are regular active duty in the U.S. 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.

Nonresident military personnel on regular, active duty, and permanently stationed in New Hampshire, may purchase licenses at N.H. resident rates.

Fishing license Type

Category

Fee

State Reporting Requirements

License (L) or application (A) available online*

Recreational Saltwater Fishing1,***
Allows taking, possessing, or transporting finfish from N.H. coastal and estuarine waters.

Resident or nonresident ages 16 and older (including over age 68 and Lifetime licenses)

$11.002

L

Saltwater Fishing Charter Boat1
Allows a for-hire vessel less than 100 gross tons and USCG licensed to carry 6 or fewer passengers to provide recreational saltwater fishing opportunity to take, possess, or transport finfish from N.H. coastal and estuarine waters.

Resident or nonresident

$51.002 per vessel

A**

Saltwater Fishing Party Boat1
Allows a vessel holding a valid USCG Certificate of Inspection to carry passengers for-hire to provide recreational saltwater fishing opportunity to take, possess, or transport finfish from N.H. coastal and estuarine waters.

Resident or nonresident

$101.002 per vessel

A**

Freshwater Fishing***
Allows taking all freshwater species of fish.

Residents ages 16–67

$45.002,3

L

Nonresidents 16 and older

$63.002,3

Senior Freshwater Fishing10

Residents who turn age 68 after 12/31/2015

$7.002,3

L

Resident Softshell Clam***
N.H. residents only. See Shellfish for rules.

6 years and older

$30.002

L

68 years and older

Free

No

Resident Oyster***
N.H. residents only. See Shellfish for rules.

All ages

$30.002

L

68 years and older

Free

No

Resident Commercial Sea Clam

$300.00

Yes

A**

Resident Lobster and Crab
Required to take lobsters and crabs from state waters. All persons eligible for Commercial or Limited Commercial licenses must purchase a license or submit an affidavit by June 30 each year in order to maintain eligibility for the license.

Recreational: 5 pots maximum

$40.00

Yes

A**

Part-time Commercial:4
100 pots maximum

$125.00

Limited Commercial:5
600 pots maximum

$200.00

Commercial:5
1,200 pots maximum

$350.00

Helper’s License6

$20.00

Nonresident Lobster and Crab9

Prohibited if applicant’s state excludes nonresident harvest.

Limited Commercial:5
600 pots maximum

$400.00

Commercial:5
1,200 pots maximum

$600.00

Helper’s License6

$20.00

Retail Trade of Lobster Meat and Crab Meat
Separate license required for each market, store, vehicle or other facility where lobsters and crabs are sold.

Resident

$50.00

A**

Nonresident

$75.00

Landing License for Lobster and Crab
Required to transport lobsters and crabs from outside the state’s jurisdiction to land and sell in N.H., unless a N.H. Lobster and Crab license or either N.H. resident or non-resident Commercial Saltwater License is held.

Resident

$50.00

A**

Nonresident

$500.00

Resident Commercial Saltwater
Required to take, land, transport or possess marine species with the intent to sell, regardless of method. Does not allow taking lobsters or crabs from state waters or taking, possession, landing or transport of northern shrimp. Includes operator and unlimited helpers. License is not issued to a vessel, it is issued to an individual.

Resident

$50.00

A**

Nonresident Commercial Saltwater
Required to take, land, transport or possess marine species with the intent to sell, regardless of method. Includes operator and unlimited helpers. Allows for the landing of lobsters taken from areas outside the jurisdiction of New Hampshire. License is not issued to a vessel; it is issued to an individual. Does not allow for the taking, possession, landing or transportation of northern shrimp.

Taking of sea urchins, clam worms, river herring and scallops is prohibited if applicant’s state excludes nonresident harvest.

Nonresident

$500.00

Commercial Shrimp License
Required to take, possess, land or transport northern shrimp on the waters of the state for sale, regardless of where catch was taken.

Resident

$100.00

Yes

A**

Nonresident

$500.00

Wholesale Marine Species
Required to buy, sell, process and transport marine species if wholesaling marine species. A separate extra facility license shall be required for each market, store, vehicle or facility where marine species are bought or sold at wholesale. Vehicles used solely for the transportation of marine species are not required to be licensed as an extra facility, as long as the wholesale marine dealer is licensed. Cannot transport lobster and crab taken outside of the state by boat with this license. Need to obtain either a Commercial Saltwater License or Landing License.

Resident

$130.00

Yes—Lobster, Shrimp and
Dogfish Dealers

A**

Nonresident

$260.00

Resident Extra Facility

$75.00

Nonresident Extra Facility

$100.00

Harvest Permit
Required to take finfish by seine, net, weir, pot or trap, horseshoe crab by any method, or American eel by any method but angling, from coastal and estuarine waters of N.H. Also required to take any species, except lobsters and crabs, for commercial purposes from state waters, unless reporting that catch via vessel trip reports to NOAA Fisheries. Available at Durham office.

Free

Yes

A

Shrimp Processing Permit
Required to possess shrimp during closed season. Available at Durham office.

Free

A

Sea Herring Possession Permit
Required to possess sea herring. Available at Durham office.

Free

A

Aquaculture License
Marine-related aquaculture licenses are issued by N.H. Fish and Game, Marine Fisheries Division. Contact Marine Fisheries directly at (603) 868-1095.

$200.007

Yes

No

Scientific License
Marine-related scientific licenses are issued by N.H. Fish and Game, Marine Fisheries Division. Contact Marine Fisheries directly at (603) 868-1095.

$25.008

Yes

No

Limited Annual Saltwater License for Lifetime Licensees
Allows for persons holding a lifetime fishing or combination license purchased before 2011 to take saltwater smelt, saltwater shad, or saltwater salmonids. Contact N.H. Fish and Game in Concord or download an application from wildnh.com/marine.

Resident

Free

A**

Carry Your License

The license must be carried on your person when fishing or hunting. For fishing licenses, a pdf or other fixed image of a valid license visible on a smart phone is sufficient to comply with the law, as long as a Conservation Officer can view the information contained on the license, and a photo ID can be presented.

Nonresident Student Licenses

Full-time students attending school in New Hampshire may purchase nonresident fishing or hunting licenses at resident rates. Students may be in high school, college or graduate school; they must be registered for at least 12 credit hours per semester. To get the reduced rate, students must show a valid, current school ID. These licenses are sold only at Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord NH 03301, in person or by mail.

Licenses: Fees & Requirements

* See wildnh.com/marine to download an application or buy a license.

** License obtained at Fish and Game in Concord only in person or by mail.

*** A $2 transaction fee is charged for each recreational license form.

  1. See Recreational Licenses for more on saltwater license types, including information on reciprocity between states.
  2. Includes $1 agent fee.
  3. Includes $1 Fisheries Habitat Fee.
  4. New license holders limited to 100 traps maximum.
  5. Limited entry licenses—for further information, contact Marine Fisheries Division at (603) 868-1095.
  6. Helper’s license required for each helper (no residency requirement for helpers).
  7. Additional fees associated with license.
  8. Fee waiver only for educational and nonprofit institutions and government agencies.
  9. Eligible only if applicant’s state provides reciprocal licensing privileges.
  10. For those born before January 1, 1948, a free permanent freshwater fishing license is available at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.

Buying your License

New Hampshire fishing licenses (saltwater or freshwater) can be purchased online at fishnh.com, from friendly license agents statewide (listed at wildnh.com/licensing), or in person or by mail at Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. A $2 transaction fee is charged for each license form ($3 for Internet purchases).

Purchasing Commercial Licenses

Any commercial licenses, such as Lobster, Commercial Saltwater, Fishing Charter or Party Boats, etc., are issued at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord or by mail.