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New Hampshire Fishing Licenses

A New Hampshire fishing license is required for any recreational angler older than 16 years of age who wishes to take fish from public waters. While residents can purchase long-term fishing licenses, only temporary licenses are available to nonresidents. Further, New Hampshire offers discounts for qualifying veterans and seniors. It is possible to find resident, nonresident and discounted fishing licenses online or from a licensing New Hampshire Fish and Game office. Read the sections below to find out more about New Hampshire fishing permits.

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There are three ways to buy a New Hampshire fishing license. An angler can either access the license options on the New Hampshire Fish and Game website, locate a licensing office near them or download a paper print-and-mail application. However, Fish and Game offices are not the only options an angler has when purchasing a fishing license in person. He or she could also buy a fishing permit from license retailers.

Unlike hunting licenses, fishing licenses requirements do not mandate that a fisher to have taken safety or education courses. Therefore, fishing licenses can be purchased through retailers and online without the necessity to visit an official Fish and Game office in order to validate the education requirements.

Note: Anglers who want a combination hunting and fishing license must adhere to the education requirements.

The fishing license prices vary per year, but are primarily broken down by three factors. The kind of license, the residency of the applicant and the duration of the licensing period are the main aspects that affect a licenses price. Thus, while resident licenses are cheaper than nonresident licenses, the cost of a nonresident license that is valid for three days will be less than a resident license that is valid for seven days. Further, all recreational fishing licenses have additional transactions fees. This fee is slightly more when the license is purchased online.

Learn more about fishing licensing locations in New Hampshire by downloading our comprehensive guide.

New Hampshire sells more than 20 licenses for hunting and fishing. The fishing licenses available in New Hampshire include:

  • Freshwater fishing license.
  • Saltwater fishing license.
  • Clam licenses.
  • Oyster licenses.
  • Temporary freshwater licenses for nonresidents.
  • Hunting-Fishing combination licenses.
  • Senior discounted licenses.
  • Senior lifetime hunting and fishing license.

To learn more about the licenses in New Hampshire and why you would need them, download our informative guide.

Note: A lifetime hunting and fishing license does not include the privilege of saltwater fishing. Anglers who have a lifetime license must still pay for saltwater licenses when they want to go sea fishing.

Some licenses are only available to certain categories of applicants. For example, senior citizen fishing licenses are only available to residents while temporary licenses are only available to nonresidents. Recreational saltwater fishing licenses are the exception in that it is not only available to both residents and nonresidents, the cost is the same.

The New Hampshire recreational saltwater fishing license allows anglers to fish in any public coastal and estuarine waters in New Hampshire, Massachusetts or Maine. However, while the New Hampshire license can be used on the entire Main coast, a Maine license cannot be used to fish in New Hampshire. A Massachusetts license can also not be used in New Hampshire.

While freshwater and saltwater fishing regulations only require that anglers older than 16 years of age hold a license, a clam-oyster license is required for fishermen older than 6 years of age. Further, senior licenses are only available to New Hampshire residents who are older than 67 years of age.

There are two separate sets of New Hampshire fishing regulations: saltwater and freshwater. The freshwater guidelines includes:

  • Lakes and ponds fishing laws.
  • Rivers and stream fishing rules.
  • The state free fishing days.
  • State laws on fish possession.
  • Fishing gear regulations.
  • Size and bag limits for inland state water and fish species.

Conversely, the saltwater fish rules covers a different set of licensing requirements and gear restrictions. The saltwater regulation guide includes:

  • Regulations on saltwater charter fishing boats.
  • Fishing party boat rules.
  • The seasons and catch limits for softshell clams and oysters.
  • The rules and regulations for fishing lobster and crab.
  • Saltwater fishing license reciprocity in Maine and Massachusetts.
  • The fish rules of Massachusetts and Maine.
  • The native species to the New England coastal water.

Both sets of fishing laws have strict guidelines on the bag limits of certain species. They also both address the federal conservation laws that are applied to New Hampshire and the behaviors considered unlawful for state creational fishers, including transporting water sample and releasing bait fish into water from which they did not originate. Additionally, both guides also include advice on fishing methods and illustrated graphics. Some of these graphics are as specific as how to tie certain knots.

New Hampshire fishing seasons and bag limits are highly variable by location. For example, lake restrictions have different minimum sizes for native fish species than the river regulations. The restrictions on boats are also different based on location, as some lakes do not allow boats that have petroleum motors while others do not allow boats that move over a certain speed.

Finally, the state records are also different for saltwater and freshwater. State records are determined by length, weight and where the fish was caught and a running list is presenting in the state fishing laws in order to tell competitive anglers what their goal should be for each species. The state records for freshwater and saltwater are not listed together, and an interested recreational fisher would have to look up the record by fish species and water body. These records also include instructions on how to measure a fish.

Learn more about the rules and regulations of fishing in New Hampshire by downloading our comprehensive guide.