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Maryland Fishing License

Want to go fishing in Maryland? You‘ll need a valid fishing license. Maryland offers both tidal (saltwater) and non-tidal (freshwater) licenses. Prices range from $5 to $30.50 depending on residency status and duration. Licenses can be purchased online, in-person, or by mail. Know the regulations too – size limits, catch limits, and seasonal closures help conserve fish stocks. With license in hand, Maryland’s waters offer world-class fishing for striped bass, white perch, yellow perch, largemouth bass and more!

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F.A.Q.

In most cases, yes. Anyone 16 years or older must have a valid Maryland fishing license to fish recreationally in state waters. There are a few exceptions, such as fishing on free fishing days or in designated license-free fishing areas. Licenses are required for both tidal (saltwater) and nontidal (freshwater) fishing.

Maryland offers several license types based on residency and where you plan to fish:

  • Nontidal (freshwater) licenses for fishing in inland waters like lakes, ponds, and rivers. Available as annual, 7-day, or 3-day (nonresidents only)
  • Chesapeake Bay & Coastal (tidal/saltwater) licenses for the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and state ocean waters. Available as annual or 7-day
  • Consolidated senior license for residents 65+ that covers all state waters.

License fees vary based on the type and duration. As of 2023, a resident annual nontidal license is $20.50, while nonresidents pay $30.50. Annual Chesapeake Bay & Coastal licenses are $15 for residents and $22.50 for nonresidents. Senior consolidated licenses for residents 65+ are only $5. Short-term licenses are also available.

You have a few convenient options:

  • Online through the Maryland DNR COMPASS portal
  • In person at one of 250+ authorized license agents across the state
  • By phone at 866-344-8889
  • By mail using an application form from the DNR website

It depends on where you fish and what you target. Trout fishing requires a trout stamp in addition to your license. Certain Chesapeake Bay and coastal areas may require a free saltwater angler registration. Some species like striped bass have additional permit requirements. Always check the current regulations.

Yes! Maryland hosts a few free fishing days each year in June and July where anyone can fish without a license. Some areas like designated piers and parks also allow license-free fishing. Anglers under 16 are exempt from license requirements as well.

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