Maine Fishing License Guide: Requirements, Fees & Regulations

With its extensive coastlines and expansive inland waters, Maine beckons with a fishing experience unlike any other. Whether you seek the exhilaration of saltwater angling in the Atlantic or the tranquil serenity of freshwater fishing in its myriad lakes and rivers, Maine stands as an angler’s haven. Yet, along with these fantastic fishing prospects, securing a Fishing License in Maine is essential. Upholding sustainable fishing practices and safeguarding the marine ecosystem is paramount for both residents and visitors alike, necessitating strict adherence to the state’s fishing regulations and the acquisition of Fishing Licenses in Maine.

Fishing Licenses in Maine: Know Before You Cast

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newbie just starting out, understanding Maine’s fishing license requirements is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive look at who needs a license and the types available:

Who Needs a License?

If you’re 16 years old or older and wish to fish in Maine’s inland waters or transport fish from these waters, you need a valid Maine fishing license. This rule is not just a formality but a commitment to preserving Maine’s rich fishing heritage and ensuring future generations can enjoy the same privileges.

Licensing Process

Getting a fishing license in Maine is straightforward:

  1. Determine Your Residency Status: Are you a Maine resident or a nonresident? This distinction will affect both the process and the fee structure.
  2. Choose Your License Type: Maine offers various licenses ranging from one-day passes to season-long permits, so pick one that best suits your needs.
  3. Visit an Authorized Agent: You can obtain your license from numerous agents throughout Maine. These include sporting goods stores, many convenience stores, and some town clerks. However, remember that not every town clerk issues licenses to nonresidents.
  4. Online Licensing: If you’re tech-savvy or prefer digital transactions, Maine also provides an online platform for obtaining your fishing license. Alternatively, you can visit the Department office in Augusta.
  5. Keep Your License Accessible: Once you have your license, remember to keep it (or its electronic version) with you at all times while fishing or transporting fish. It’s not just a piece of paper or a digital document but your passport to a delightful fishing experience in Maine.

Maine: Fishing License Cost

Understanding the cost associated with fishing licenses helps you plan your fishing adventure effectively. Maine offers a structured fee system based on the type of license and the residency status of the applicant:

For Residents:

License TypeFee
Season Fishing (16 and older)$25
Combination Fishing and Hunting$43
Combination Fishing and Archery$43
1-Day Fishing*$11
Serviceman (Resident**) Combination$3
Serviceman Dependent (Resident) Combination$20
Serviceman Dependent (Resident) Fishing$10
Super Pack$201

For Non-Residents:

License TypeFee
Season Fishing (16 and older)$64
Combination Fishing and Hunting$150
15-Day Fishing***$47
7-Day Fishing$43
3-Day Fishing$23
1-Day Fishing$11


  • The 1-day fishing license for Maine residents can be exchanged for a season fishing or combination hunting and fishing license by paying the difference in fee.
  • The term “Resident” here refers to Maine residents permanently stationed outside of the state.
  • Non-residents holding a 15-day fishing license can upgrade to a season fishing license by paying an additional $17.

Remember, these fees contribute directly to the conservation efforts in Maine and ensure that the state’s waters remain abundant and vibrant for generations to come.

Regulations & Requirements: Responsible Angling in Maine

Fishing is more than just casting a line; it’s about understanding and respecting the environment you’re in. Maine has a set of regulations designed to protect its marine life and habitats:

  1. Always Have Your License: Whether it’s a paper copy or an electronic version, ensure you have your license with you at all times when fishing. If requested, you must present it for inspection.
  2. Tackle Restrictions: Possession of fishing tackle in Maine’s fields, forests, waters, or ice without a license is viewed as a violation of the law.
  3. Complimentary Licenses: The commissioner may allow certain individuals with complimentary fishing licenses to fish with an accompanying person. However, there are restrictions, such as using only one fishing rod and reel and remaining in close proximity.

Always stay updated with the latest fishing seasons, size and bag limits, and other regulations to ensure you’re fishing responsibly.

Renewal: Keeping Your Fishing Privileges Active

Much like other licenses, fishing licenses in Maine have an expiration date, ensuring that anglers stay updated with the latest regulations and contribute regularly to conservation efforts. Here’s a guide to renewing your fishing license:

  1. Check Expiration: Most fishing licenses, unless specified as lifetime licenses, have a validity period. It’s essential to check when your license expires to avoid any unintentional violations.
  2. Online Renewal: The easiest way to renew your fishing license is online. Simply visit the official website, log in with your credentials, and follow the renewal prompts. Pay the necessary fees, and you’re set for another season.
  3. In-Person Renewal: Prefer a face-to-face transaction? Visit any authorized agent or the Department office in Augusta to renew your license in person.
  4. Stay Updated: Renewing your license is also an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with any new regulations or changes. Stay informed to fish responsibly.

Additional Information for Anglers in Maine

  • FREE FISHING DAYS: Mark your calendars for February 18-19, 2023, and June 3-4, 2023. During these dates, most individuals can fish without a license. However, it’s essential to note that all other fishing regulations still apply.
  • Alien Licenses: As of January 1, 2019, Maine no longer offers Alien licenses. Individuals residing outside of the country must purchase a non-resident license.
  • Special Provisions for Students: Non-residents aged between 18 and 24, who are full-time students in a Maine college, might qualify for a resident rate license. This special license, however, must be acquired from the main office in Augusta.

Conclusion: The Joy of Fishing Responsibly in Maine

Fishing in Maine offers a unique experience, blending nature’s beauty with the thrill of the catch. But the joy of fishing is not just in the moment; it’s in knowing that you’re part of a community that values and protects its natural resources. By understanding and adhering to Maine’s fishing regulations, every angler contributes to preserving this beautiful tradition for future generations.

FAQ Section

  1. Do I need a fishing license if I’m just visiting Maine for a day?
    • Yes, unless you’re fishing on one of the free fishing days. There are 1-day and 7-day licenses available for non-residents.
  2. I lost my fishing license. What should I do?
    • You can obtain a duplicate from the agent who issued the original license for a fee of $2.
  3. Can I fish in the ocean without a license?
    • This article primarily covers inland fishing. Always check local regulations before fishing in oceanic or coastal waters.
  4. I’m a Maine resident stationed outside the state for military duty. Are there special provisions for me?
    • Yes, Maine residents permanently stationed outside the state due to military duty have special license provisions. They can purchase licenses at the Maine Resident Serviceman combination price.
  5. What’s the age requirement for a fishing license in Maine?
    • Anyone aged 16 or older needs a fishing license to fish in Maine’s inland waters.
  6. Are there any penalties for fishing without a license?
    • Yes, fishing without a valid license can lead to penalties, including fines. Always ensure you have a valid license before fishing.
  7. Can I upgrade my short-term license to a season-long one?
    • Yes, certain short-term licenses can be exchanged for season-long ones by paying the difference in fees.
  8. Are there any special licenses for disabled individuals or veterans?
    • Yes, Maine offers complimentary licenses for certain groups, including disabled individuals and veterans, under specific conditions.

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