Obtaining a New Hampshire fishing license is required before you can fish in the state's inland or coastal waters. The Fish and Game Department offers two general types of NH permits to fish: freshwater fishing licenses and saltwater fishing licenses. To get a fishing license, visit the FGD website and choose from one of several options. Fishing permits are generally more affordable for residents, seniors, disabled individuals and members of the military. To learn more about the types of fishing licenses and the fishing opportunities available to amateur fishermen, read the below topics:
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New Hampshire offers various fishing permits to anglers within the state. From licenses for sport fishing in inland waters to saltwater fishing licenses for recreational or business purposes, an assortment of permits to fish is available. Based on factors such as age and residency, interested applicants can obtain one or more of the following types of fishing licenses:
Freshwater fishing is available to both residents and out-of-state visitors who obtain the appropriate New Hampshire fishing license. However, there is a larger variety of resident freshwater licenses, which are offered at more cost-effective rates, than out of state fishing licenses. The following freshwater fishing permits are available for purchase in NH:
Interested anglers with the appropriate saltwater fishing licenses can fish in New Hampshire's coastal waters. The Fish and Game Department offers licenses to saltwater fish to anglers, spearfishers and individuals who use other fishing equipment to catch marine fish for personal use and business purposes. Two general types of saltwater fishing permits are available in NH:
Note that the licenses to fish for lobster and crab commercially are separate from the regular commercial fishing licenses. Conversely, concerning recreational saltwater fishing licenses, once obtained, they grant the privilege to fish in Massachusetts' and Maine's coastal waters as well.
Note: Minors younger than 16 years of age do not require a fishing license to fish in New Hampshire's inland or coastal waters.
To buy a New Hampshire fishing license online, access the Fish and Game Department's online license sales system and follow these steps:
Applicants who do not wish to obtain their license online can either purchase it by mail or in person. To get a fishing permit by mail, download the appropriate application from the department's website and submit it to the NH FGD office. To procure your license in person, visit any authorized licensing agent in the state.
The following resident fishing licenses can only be obtained by submitting a fishing license application by mail:
Before or after getting fishing licenses, amateur fishermen seeking to improve their fishing knowledge can participate in one or more of the Fish and Game Department's educational programs:
The WEP program is open to middle and high school NH students. Its three-phase format mirrors the state science curriculum and allows students to work with community scientists to maintain the self-sustainability of the aquatic ecosystem. After phases I and II (water quality monitoring and watershed mapping assessment), the aquatic resource management phase (phase III) involves raising trout or salmon in a school setting from eggs provided by the department.
Part of the department's Aquatic Resources Education, the Let's Go Fishing program provides fishing education classes on a variety of topics. Taught by trained instructors, the classes are available throughout the year and are aimed primarily at amateur anglers who are 8 years of age or older. The disciplines covered by the program include:
Various fishing clubs and organizations are open to NH anglers seeking to learn different fishing techniques or share group fishing experiences. The goals of these organizations vary from providing a forum for meeting like-minded anglers to supporting the state's conservation policies. Available to fishermen of any age, the following are some of New Hampshire’s most prominent fishing associations:
A non-profit organization, the Last Cast Club was founded to promote the sport of bass fishing while also advocating the healthy conservation policies of the state. The club cooperates with local, state and national organizations that focus on the self-sustainability of New Hampshire's natural resources. The club's activities include:
Founded by anglers with similar interests, NEBA's goal is to provide group fishing opportunities to its members. The organization cooperates with the NH B.A.S.S. Club, which is a member of the global B.A.S.S. Nation network and follows the same youth and conservation policies.