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New York


License Information & Fees

Everyone must have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing or helping someone to fish except:

  • Persons under 16 years of age;
    • NYS-resident owners, lessees and members of their immediate families occupying and cultivating farm lands, when fishing on their own lands;
    • Persons holding farm fish pond licenses and members of their immediate families, when fishing on waters covered by their licenses;
    • Resident patients at Dept. of Mental Health institutions and Dept. of Health rehabilitation hospitals, and inmates at Division of Youth rehabilitation centers. License exemptions must be requested for such persons through the hospital/ institution by writing NYSDEC License Sales Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4790, or by emailing;
    • When fishing on licensed fishing preserves.

Free licenses

The following individuals are eligible for a free fishing license and may obtain a license at any license issuing outlet:

  • New York State residents who are legally blind and provide a doctor’s note to the License Issuing Agent;
  • New York State residents who are active service members of the NYS Organized Militia (i.e., National Guard), or U.S.

Reserve Forces;

  • New York State residents stationed outside of New York who are on full time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and are on leave in NY for no longer than 30 days;
  • Resident patients at U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs hospitals or state-funded facilities can obtain a free fishing license through their hospital or facility;
  • Native Americans who are members of the Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes or the Six Nations residing on reservations in New York State may obtain a free fishing license by contacting their reservation or DEC’s License Sales Office at (518) 402-8843.


To qualify for an annual resident license, a person must live in New York State for more than 30 days immediately preceding the date of application. When purchasing a lifetime license, you must show proof of residency for one full year.

Land ownership in New York does not make you a resident. Residency is that place where a person maintains a fixed, permanent, and principal home (regardless of where temporarily located), such as where a person is registered to vote. If under 18, the residence of parents or legal guardian shall be deemed such person’s residence. For a complete list of valid residency proof documents, please see Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in New York and full-time college students in residence in the state during the school year (proof required) qualify for annual resident licenses.

License privileges

Persons holding a freshwater fishing license may take freshwater fish by angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, nets, traps and tip-ups; take frogs by spearing, catching with the hands, or by use of a club or hook; and take baitfish for personal use, all as permitted by law or DEC.

  • The holder of a license, tag, or stamp shall have such license, tag, stamp, or other valid proof (see below) on his/her person while exercising any privilege of that license.
  • The holder of a license, tag, or stamp shall exhibit it on demand to any police officer, peace officer, or the owner, lessee, or other person in control of the lands or waters on which the license holder is present.
  • No license or stamp authorizes the holder to trespass upon private lands or waters or interfere with property belonging to another person.
  • A freshwater fishing license does not allow for the taking of migratory marine fish. See Recreational Marine Fishing Registry (below).

Recreational Marine Fishing Registry

Anglers 16 years of age and older who fish in the Marine and Coastal District of New York or for migratory marine species; such as striped bass, hickory shad, and river herring from all waters of the state, including the Hudson River and Delaware River; must enroll in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry wherever licenses are sold (below).

For additional information concerning the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry, contact the DEC Division of Marine Resources at (631) 444-0430 or visit the DEC website at

Free fishing days

During the following dates, anyone can fish the freshwaters of New York State and no license is required!

  • June 26–27, 2021
  • September 25, 2021
  • November 11, 2021
  • February 19–20, 2022 Since no license is required, it’s the perfect

    time to take a friend or relative fishing.

    For a list of DEC-sponsored Fishing Clinics, visit


Resident Annual

Fishing (16–69) *


Fishing (70+) *


7-day (16+)


1-day (16+)


Fishing (military/disabled)**


Marine Registry *


Non-Resident Annual

Fishing (16+) *


7-day (16+)


1-day (16+)


Marine Registry *


Lifetime Fishing (available to NYS residents only)

Lifetime Fishing (0–69)


Lifetime Fishing (70+)


  • Valid for 365 days after purchase or effective date provided to issuing agent.
  • Military Disabled persons with a 40% or more service-related disability annually pay $5.00 for the first of the following 3 privileges: fishing, hunting, trapping. Subsequent purchases of the other 2 privileges are free within the calendar year. Questions should be directed to 518-402-8843.


Does a New York State fishing license entitle holder to fish the out-of-state portion of waters listed below?




Lake Ontario



Lake Erie

Ontario, Pennsylvania


St. Lawrence River

Ontario, Quebec


Niagara River



Lake Champlain





Delaware River & West Branch Delaware River (along boundary)



Greenwood Lake

New Jersey


Indian Lake



a All Vermont portions of Lake Champlain with the exception of The Inland Sea (including “The

Gut”), Mallett’s Bay, Missisquoi Bay and all rivers. (See map at

b New York license permits fishing out-of-state portion from boat or ice only.


License type

Valid Proof of Fishing License

“Freshwater” Fishing License

License on official license paper (Valeron)

Hunt Fish NY App

Online printable license

8 Digit DEC License Transaction #

Plastic lifetime card

Adventure license

Recreational Marine Fishing Registry





Species Fishing For

License or Registry

North of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Freshwater Species

“Freshwater” Fishing License

Migratory Marine Species

Recreational Marine Fishing Registry

South of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (Marine and Coastal District)

All Species

Please do not laminate your license. The heat from this process will cause it to become unreadable.