Fishing Licenses

Who needs a fishing license?

A person is required to obtain a valid fishing license prior to fishing in inland waters or transporting fish taken from inland waters. A person is required to keep his/her fishing license with him/her at all times while fishing or transporting fish and must exhibit their license for inspection by any warden, department employee, guide or landowner upon request.

Possession of fishing tackle in the fields or forest or on the waters or ice of this State without a fishing license is prima facie evidence of fishing in violation of the law.

When obtaining a resident license, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit proof of residency.

Maine residents under 16 years or age and nonresidents under 12 years of age may fish without a license.

Maine residents (and immediate family members who live with that person ) may fish without a license from their own land if that person owns more than 10 acres of land, lives on that particular piece of land, and the land is used exclusively for agricultural purposes.

In-patients at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Togus may fish without a license within 25 miles of Togus (Note: Patients not under immediate supervision of a hospital representative must have a valid hospital pass while fishing.)

Fishing License Fees

Resident Fishing Licenses (Prices listed below do not include the agent fee.)

Nonresident and Alien Fishing Licenses (Prices listed below do not include the agent fee.)

Other Licenses and Permits

Bait Dealer's Licenses

Children's Camp License. This license allows any of the boys or girls who are under 16 years of age to fish in the lake or pond adjacent to the camp. For more information, contact the Licensing Division at (207) 287-2571.

Fishing Derbies and Tournaments

Expiration: Unless otherwise specifically provided, all licenses expire on December 31st of the calendar year for which they were issued.

Combination Hunting and Fishing License: A combination hunting and fishing license permits persons 16 years of age or older to fish in inland waters and permits hunting of all legal big game and small game with a firearm, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow. An archery license is required to hunt during the archery and expanded archery seasons on deer, and during the fall turkey hunting season.

Combination Fishing and Archery License: A combination fishing and archery license permits persons 16 years of age or older to fish in inland waters and permits hunting of all legal big game and small game with bow and arrow only.

Season Fishing License: A season fishing license is required for residents, nonresidents, and aliens 16 years of age or older to fish in the inland waters of Maine.

Note: A Maine resident under 16 years of age may fish without a fishing license. A nonresident or alien 12 years of age and under 16 years of age must purchase a junior fishing license.

Nonresident Junior Fishing License: A nonresident junior fishing license is required for nonresidents and aliens 12-15 years to fish in the inland waters of Maine.

15-Day Fishing License: A nonresident or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 15-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the dates specified on the license. A nonresident 15-day fishing license may be exchanged for a non-resident season fishing license upon payment of $17.00 plus the agents fee.

7-Day Fishing License: A nonresident or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 7-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the dates specified on the license.

3-Day Fishing License: A nonresident or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 3-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the dates specified on the license.

1-Day Fishing License: A resident, nonresident, or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 1-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the date specified on the license.

Note: A 1-day or 3-day fishing license may be exchanged by a Maine resident for a season fishing or combination hunting and fishing license upon payment of the agent fee, plus the difference between that fee and the fee for the annual license.

Duplicate License: A duplicate license may be obtained from the license agent who issued original license for $2.00.

Supersport: A supersport designation may be obtained for any of Maine’s hunting and fishing licenses for an additional fee of $20.00. See Supersport Program for more information.

Maine Fishing License Revocation Information

Anglers should be aware that a conviction for any fishing violation may result in the revocation of their fishing privileges.

Fishing Violations with a Minimum Mandatory One Year License Revocation

The Commissioner is required by law to suspend a person’s fishing license for at least one year and may suspend all other Department Licenses held by a person if that person is convicted of any one of the following violations:

  • Introducing fish into inland waters without a permit.
  • Taking or possessing sport fish in violation of number, amount, or size limits, as it relates to trout, salmon, togue and black bass, whenever the violation involves twice the general bag and possession limit adopted by rule by the Commissioner for that species of fish in that body of water (Title 12, 12602).
  • Taking fish by snagging (defined by Title 12, 12651).
  • Importing live bait fish or smelts without a permit (Title 12, 12556).
  • Buying or selling freshwater sport fish (Title 12, 12609-A).
  • Taking fish by explosive, poisonous or stupefying substances (Title 12, 12653).

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Law (Title 12) also contains mandatory two, three and five year revocations for convictions of other violations. The revocations listed above apply to violations of fishing laws only.

Saltwater Fishing Information

The following information is applicable to all the waters of the State within the rise and fall of the tide and within the marine limits of the State, but not including areas above any fishway or dam when the fishway or dam is the dividing line between tidewater and freshwater.

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is the State agency that is established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources. The Bureau of Resource Management promotes and develops recreational and commercial saltwater fisheries through research, technical assistance, and the collection of statistics. The Bureau of Marine Patrol enforces laws and regulations pertaining to saltwater recreational and commercial fishing activities as well as Maine’s boat laws, including operation, registration and safety requirements. For information, contact the DMR at: 21 SHS, Augusta, Maine 04333-0021; telephone: (207) 624-6550.

Saltwater Registry

Customers with a valid lifetime freshwater fishing license who wish to engage in saltwater recreational fishing must register in the Saltwater Registry through the Department of Marine Resources. There is no cost for the actual registration. However, a $1 agent fee applies if they register at DMR’s licensing office, and a $2 agent fee applies if they register online or through a DMR designated agent. Once registered, the person is legal to engage in saltwater recreational fishing for all legal species (including striped bass) for the calendar year. A lifetime freshwater fishing license holder must register each year that the person intends to fish in saltwater.

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Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry

Saltwater Recreational Fishing registry FAQ

A commercial license is required when any marine species is sold and when more than the recreational bag limits are in possession of the angler. Selling fish without a commercial permit is prohibited. There are regulations covering size, bag limits, possession limits and methods of fishing for, but not limited to the following species: Atlantic Salmon, Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, Sturgeon, Striped Bass, Bluefish, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Pollack, Redfish, Smelt, Winter/ Summer Flounder, Sharks. Current saltwater fishing information can be obtained by contacting the Recreational Marine Fisheries Program, Maine DMR, PO Box 8, West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575. Telephone: (207) 633-9500.

Freshwater fish (brown trout, black bass-largemouth and smallmouth, black crappie, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, and landlocked salmon) regulations in coastal waters. All rules governing methods of taking, size, bag, and possession limits conform with the general law open water fishing regulations found in this book, except that the minimum length limit on brown trout and rainbow trout in coastal waters is 14 inches. It is unlawful to fish for or take freshwater fish by any means other than hook and line. It is unlawful to snag freshwater fish.

Atlantic Salmon The angling season for Atlantic salmon in Maine is CLOSED YEAR ROUND until further notice. It is unlawful, by State of Maine mandate, to angle, take or possess any Atlantic salmon from all Maine waters (including coastal waters). Atlantic Salmon are regulated by the Atlantic Salmon Commission, 650 State Street, Bangor Mental Health Facility, Bangor, ME 04401; (207) 941-4449. Information regarding Atlantic salmon can be obtained directly from the Commission.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are regulated by the Federal Government. Permit information can be obtained from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Atlantic Tuna Program, Northeast Regional Office,1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298; Phone: 888-872-8862.

Sturgeon: It is unlawful to take, catch, possess, or destroy any shortnose or Atlantic sturgeon from the coastal waters of Maine.

Striped Bass: Maine’s striped bass regulations cover all Maine coastal waters up to the head of tide in all rivers. In addition, there are special regulations in effect on some rivers. Contact the Department of Marine Resources for current size restrictions, season dates, and bag limits. Gear restrictions: Gear is restricted to hook and line only. Use of a gaff to land a striped bass is illegal.