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New Hampshire

Freshwater Fishing

License Information

Fishing licenses are required for people 16 years of age and older.

How to Use This Book

  1. Review License Information ; Definitions ; Important Laws and Rules, including Unlawful Actions ; and Ice Fishing Rules.
  2. 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, follow Lakes & Ponds: General Rules, including seasons, bag limits, etc., as shown.
  3. 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, follow Rivers & Streams: General Rules, including seasons, bag limits, etc., as shown.
  4. Interstate Waters.

Buying a License

Fishing and hunting licenses, valid Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of each year, may be purchased online via, 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

Lost licenses may be reprinted at the original issuing agent or Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters. If purchased at a license agent, and it is at least one week from the date of issue, the license can be reprinted from the online sales site. There is no charge for reprints, however, there is a limit on the number of reprints allowed.


Convictions for violations 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.

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, 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.

Military Licenses

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. (Cannot be purchased online or at Walmart).

Buy Your Annual Hike Safe Card

$25 for individual or $35 per family. Available through online purchase only, at Hike Safe Cards are good for the calendar year (expiring on December 31). Card holders are not liable to pay rescue costs, with some exceptions. Purchase is voluntary.

A great way to support the Fish and Game Search and Rescue Fund.

If you have a current N.H. fishing or hunting license or OHRV, snowmobile, or boat registration, you are already covered!