2024 Maryland Fishing License Guide for Non-Residents

If you’re planning a fishing trip to Maryland in 2024, it’s essential to understand the state’s fishing license requirements for non-residents. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from the types of licenses available to where to purchase them and the penalties for fishing without one.

Types of Non-Resident Fishing Licenses in Maryland

Maryland offers several types of fishing licenses for non-residents, depending on the duration of your stay and the type of fishing you plan to do. The most common options include:

  1. Non-Resident Annual Fishing License: This license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and allows you to fish in all public waters in Maryland.
  2. Non-Resident 7-Day Fishing License: If you’re only visiting for a short period, this license allows you to fish for seven consecutive days.
  3. Non-Resident 3-Day Fishing License: Perfect for a weekend fishing getaway, this license is valid for three consecutive days.
  4. Non-Resident Trout Stamp: If you plan on fishing for trout in designated areas, you’ll need to purchase this stamp in addition to your regular fishing license.

It’s important to note that these licenses are only valid for recreational fishing. If you plan on fishing commercially or guiding fishing trips, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate licenses from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

How to Get a Non-Resident Maryland Fishing License

There are several convenient ways to obtain your non-resident fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the official Maryland DNR website to purchase your license online. You’ll need to provide personal information and pay with a credit card.
  2. By Phone: Call the Maryland DNR at 1-855-855-3906 to purchase your license over the phone.
  3. In Person: Visit a licensed Maryland DNR sport license agent, such as a bait and tackle shop, sporting goods store, or Walmart. Use the DNR’s agent locator to find a location near you.

Remember to carry your license with you whenever you’re fishing, as Maryland Natural Resources Police officers may ask to see it.

Maryland Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

As of 2024, the fees for non-resident fishing licenses in Maryland are as follows:

License TypeFee
Non-Resident Annual Fishing License$90.00
Non-Resident 7-Day Fishing License$35.00
Non-Resident 3-Day Fishing License$20.00
Non-Resident Trout Stamp$25.00

Please note that fees are subject to change, so always check the official DNR website for the most up-to-date information.

Fishing License Reciprocity and Exemptions for Non-Residents

Maryland has reciprocal fishing agreements with several neighboring states, which means that if you have a valid fishing license from one of these states, you may be able to fish in Maryland without purchasing an additional license. As of 2024, Maryland has reciprocity agreements with:

  • Virginia: Valid for the Potomac River and its tributaries.
  • Pennsylvania: Valid for the Youghiogheny River Lake.
  • West Virginia: Valid for the Jennings Randolph Lake.

Additionally, some non-residents may be exempt from needing a fishing license in Maryland. These exemptions include:

  • Children under the age of 16.
  • Passengers on a charter boat with a licensed captain.
  • Anglers fishing on a free fishing day designated by the Maryland DNR.

Always check the Maryland DNR website for the most current information on reciprocity agreements and exemptions.

Penalties for Fishing Without a License in Maryland

Fishing without a valid license in Maryland can result in fines and legal consequences. First-time offenders may face a fine of up to $500, while repeat offenders can be fined up to $1,000 and may even face jail time.

In addition to fines, fishing without a license can lead to the confiscation of your fishing gear and the loss of your fishing privileges in Maryland. It’s always best to obtain the proper licenses and follow all fishing regulations to avoid these penalties.

Best Fishing Spots in Maryland for Non-Residents

Now that you know how to obtain your non-resident fishing license, it’s time to start planning your Maryland fishing adventure. Some of the top fishing spots in the state include:

  1. Chesapeake Bay: Known for its striped bass (rockfish), bluefish, and white perch, the Chesapeake Bay offers excellent fishing opportunities for both shore and boat anglers.
  2. Deep Creek Lake: Located in western Maryland, Deep Creek Lake is a popular destination for trout, bass, and pike fishing.
  3. Susquehanna River: The Susquehanna River is home to a variety of fish species, including smallmouth bass, catfish, and walleye.
  4. Ocean City: This coastal town is a prime spot for saltwater fishing, with species like flounder, sea bass, and tautog available in the waters off the Atlantic coast.

Before heading out, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Maryland DNR’s fishing regulations, including size limits, catch limits, and seasonal restrictions for each species.


Obtaining a non-resident fishing license is a crucial step in planning your Maryland fishing trip. By understanding the types of licenses available, where to purchase them, and the associated fees, you can ensure that you’re fishing legally and responsibly.

Remember to follow all fishing regulations, respect the environment, and practice catch-and-release when appropriate to help preserve Maryland’s fisheries for future generations of anglers.

With your non-resident fishing license in hand, you’re ready to explore the diverse and exciting fishing opportunities that Maryland has to offer. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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