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New Mexico Fishing License

The New Mexico Fishing License category covers all the information you need to legally fish in New Mexico. Find details on license types, fees, requirements, and how to purchase your annual, temporary or specialty fishing license online or from an authorized vendor. Get updates on regulation changes, free fishing days, and learn about license exceptions for seniors, youth, disabled anglers and military members. Whether you’re a resident or non-resident angler, this is your guide to complying with New Mexico’s fishing license laws.

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Fishing License in New Mexico

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

F.A.Q.

In New Mexico, anglers 12 years and older must possess a valid fishing license while fishing. Youth under 12 can fish without a license. Junior licenses are available at a discount for ages 12-17, and seniors 65-69 qualify for a reduced-price license. Residents 70+ can obtain a free fishing license.

You can buy a New Mexico fishing license online through the Department of Game & Fish website, by phone, or in person at NMDGF offices and license vendors statewide. Many sporting goods stores, bait shops, and even some grocery and convenience stores sell licenses for your convenience.

Depending on where you fish and the methods used, you may need additional permits:

  • A Habitat Management & Access Validation is required for anglers 18+
  • A Habitat Stamp is needed for fishing on US Forest Service and BLM lands
  • A Second Rod Validation allows you to fish with two poles at once
  • A Gila Trout Permit is required for fishing Gila trout in certain waters

Statewide daily bag limits allow anglers to keep:

  • 5 trout/salmon (max 2 cutthroat)
  • 4 kokanee salmon
  • 5 black bass
  • 15 catfish
  • 20 crappie
  • 10 northern pike
  • 5 walleye
  • 25 white bass

Some waters have lower limits. Always check regulations for the specific location.

Yes, New Mexico offers two Free Fishing Days each year, typically the first Saturday in June and the last Saturday in September. On these days, anglers can fish without a license, although all other rules and regulations still apply. It’s a great opportunity to try fishing!

Fishing without a valid license is a petty misdemeanor in New Mexico. If caught, you may face fines, court fees, and potentially the loss of future hunting and fishing privileges. Game wardens actively patrol waters statewide and check for proper licensing. Always carry your license when fishing.

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