How Much is a Fishing License in New Mexico?

As an avid angler, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of casting your line into New Mexico’s pristine waters. From the majestic Rio Grande to the serene high-mountain lakes, this state offers a true fishing paradise. However, before you can embark on your next angling adventure, it’s crucial to understand the fishing license requirements and fees for 2024.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure you’re fully prepared and in compliance with state regulations. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a visiting enthusiast, we’ve got you covered with the most up-to-date and authoritative information straight from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Types of Fishing Licenses and Fees

To make your license purchase a breeze, we’ve broken down the various options and associated costs for 2024:

Annual Licenses

Residents

  • Annual Fishing License: $25
  • Valid for 365 days from purchase date
  • Allows fishing statewide on public waters
  • Senior Annual Fishing License (ages 65+): $13
  • Junior Annual Fishing License (under 18): $10
  • Disabled Resident Annual Fishing License: $13 (requires valid proof of disability)

Non-Residents

  • Annual Fishing License: $56
  • Same privileges as resident annual license
  • Senior Annual Fishing License (ages 65+): $28
  • Junior Annual Fishing License (under 18): $10

Short-Term Licenses

One-Day Fishing License

  • Resident: $12
  • Non-Resident: $15

Five-Day Fishing License

  • Resident: $24 (valid for 5 consecutive days)
  • Non-Resident: $30

Additional Permits and Stamps

In addition to your fishing license, you may need to purchase the following permits and stamps depending on where and how you plan to fish:

  • Habitat Management & Access Validation
  • Resident: $4
  • Non-Resident: $4
  • Required for fishing on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands
  • Habitat Stamp
  • Resident: $5
  • Non-Resident: $5
  • Mandatory for anyone 18 or older
  • Second Rod Permit
  • Resident: $4
  • Non-Resident: $4
  • Allows use of a second rod while fishing
  • Gila Trout Permit (Free)
  • Required for fishing for Gila trout in approved waters, in addition to a valid license

Easy Purchase Options

To make your license readily accessible, New Mexico offers several convenient purchase channels:

  1. Online Purchase
  • Visit the official NMDGF website and follow the prompts
  • Provide personal details (name, address, DOB) and proof of residency if applicable
  • Print your license immediately or save it to your mobile device
  1. Phone Purchase
  • Call 1-888-248-6866 to purchase by phone
  • Have your personal and residency information ready
  • Licenses mailed within 7-10 business days
  1. Local Vendors
  • Over 200 vendors across the state sell licenses in person
  • Options include sporting goods stores (Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops), Walmart, convenience stores
  • Use this vendor locator to find a nearby seller

Frequently Asked Questions

When do fishing licenses expire?

Annual licenses are valid for precisely 365 days from the date of purchase
Short-term (one-day and five-day) licenses are valid for the specified consecutive days only

Are there any exceptions to needing a fishing license?

Yes, in New Mexico, you don’t need a license if you are:A child under 12 years old
A resident born before January 1, 1932
A legally blind or permanently disabled resident with a valid NMDGF exemption card

What about additional fees?

Depending on where and how you fish, there may be extra fees beyond your license, such as:Special Trout Waters Stamp ($5 resident, $10 non-resident)
Quality Fishing Areas ($4 daily fee)
Separate permits for fishing on Navajo Nation lands
Always check the latest NMDGF regulations before your trip to avoid any surprises.

Pro Tip: Best Times to Fish in New Mexico
While fishing opportunities abound year-round, the spring and fall seasons are considered prime time in New Mexico. With milder temperatures and hungry fish, these months offer some of the best angling action in top spots like:

  • San Juan River
  • Elephant Butte Lake
  • Chama River

So grab your gear, secure your 2024 fishing license, and get ready to experience the unparalleled beauty and world-class fishing that New Mexico has to offer!

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