Do Retired Military Get Free Fishing Licenses

Do Retired Military Get Free Fishing Licenses?

Fishing is a popular pastime for many, including retired military personnel. But do retired military personnel get free fishing licenses? The answer varies by state, but in many cases, the answer is yes.

California’s Approach

In the Golden State, California, a unique approach has been adopted to honor the service of its veterans. This approach is particularly beneficial for those who have a passion for fishing. If you are an honorably discharged veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 50% or greater, you can access reduced-fee licenses for sport fishing.

Do Retired Military Get Free Fishing Licenses
Do Retired Military Get Free free fishing licenses?

The Process

To qualify for this benefit, veterans must submit a letter from the Veteran’s Administration. This letter should document their honorable discharge and service-connected disability rating. Once the eligibility is verified, veterans can purchase a low-cost disabled veteran sport fishing license.

Steps to Obtain a Reduced-Fee License
1. Obtain a letter from the Veteran’s Administration documenting honorable discharge and service-connected disability rating
2. Submit the letter for verification
3. Once verified, purchase a low-cost disabled veteran sport fishing license

The Impact

This initiative not only acknowledges the sacrifices made by veterans but also provides them with an opportunity to engage in a recreational activity that can have therapeutic benefits. Fishing can be a calming and restorative activity, offering a chance to connect with nature and find peace and relaxation.

Other Options

California also offers reduced-fee licenses for other groups. For instance, low-income seniors, recovering service members, and low-income Native Americans can also avail of discounted sport fishing licenses.

Group Benefit
Low-income seniors Discounted sport fishing licenses
Recovering service members Discounted sport fishing licenses
Low-income Native Americans Free sport fishing licenses

California’s approach to supporting its veterans and other groups through reduced-fee fishing licenses is a commendable initiative. It not only recognizes their service and circumstances but also promotes the therapeutic benefits of engaging with nature.

Remember, the process to obtain these licenses is straightforward. All you need is to submit the required documentation for verification. Once approved, you can enjoy the calming waters and the thrill of the catch!

Maryland’s Benefits

In the beautiful state of Maryland, a generous program is in place to support retired military personnel who enjoy fishing. The state offers a complimentary lifetime license to residents who are 100% service-connected disabled veterans or former prisoners of war. This license includes the non-tidal angler’s license, Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license, and trout stamp.

The Application Process

To apply for this lifetime fishing license, veterans must provide a letter of disability or certification from the Veterans Administration. This documentation serves as proof of their service-connected disability or former prisoner of war status.

Steps to Obtain a Complimentary Lifetime License
1. Obtain a letter of disability or certification from the Veterans Administration
2. Submit the letter and a completed or signed Fishing License Application
3. Receive your complimentary lifetime fishing license

The Benefits

This complimentary lifetime fishing license allows disabled veterans and former prisoners of war to enjoy Maryland’s abundant fishing opportunities without worrying about the cost of a license. Fishing can be a therapeutic and relaxing activity, providing a chance to connect with nature and unwind.

Additional Options

Maryland also offers discounted fishing licenses for Purple Heart recipients, granting them a 50% discount on Maryland hunting and fishing licenses. Furthermore, active-duty Maryland residents on leave can fish without a fishing license in the state.

Maryland’s commitment to supporting its retired military personnel through complimentary lifetime fishing licenses is a testament to the state’s appreciation for their service. This benefit allows disabled veterans and former prisoners of war to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of fishing without the financial burden of purchasing a license. So, grab your fishing gear and head out to Maryland’s beautiful waters for a relaxing day of fishing!

Massachusetts’ Provisions

In the beautiful state of Massachusetts, the joy of freshwater fishing is made accessible to all, including those who may face physical challenges. The state has made special provisions for disabled residents, including those who are blind or paraplegic, to qualify for a free freshwater fishing license. This provision is a testament to the state’s commitment to inclusivity and its recognition of the therapeutic benefits of fishing.

Age Requirements for Free Licenses

In Massachusetts, the age of the angler plays a significant role in determining the need for a fishing license. If you are 15 years of age or older, you need a license to fish. However, licenses are free for Massachusetts residents who are 15–17 years of age and those who are 70 and over.

Age Group License Requirement
Under 15 No License is required.
15-17 Free License
18-69 License Required
70 and over Free License

Provisions for Disabled Residents and Veterans

The state of Massachusetts extends its generosity further by offering free fishing licenses to disabled residents. If you are blind, have an intellectual disability, or have paraplegia, you may qualify for a free license. You must fill out an application and submit a copy of a Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Certificate of Blindness or have your doctor sign a form certifying that you have paraplegia or an intellectual disability in order to obtain this license.

This provision also extends to disabled veterans, making it easier for them to enjoy the state’s abundant fishing opportunities. Disabled Massachusetts residents, including veterans, may qualify for a free MA freshwater fishing license.

Disability License Requirement
Blind Free License
Intellectual Disability Free License
Paraplegia Free License
Disabled Veterans Free License

These provisions are not just about providing free licenses; they are about making fishing, a beloved pastime, accessible to all. They are about recognizing the therapeutic benefits of fishing and ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or physical ability, can enjoy the tranquility of casting a line into the water and waiting for a bite. So, whether you’re a teenager, a senior, or a disabled resident, Massachusetts has made sure that you can enjoy the state’s abundant fishing opportunities.


While the specifics vary by state, many offer free or reduced-cost fishing licenses to retired military personnel, particularly those with service-connected disabilities. This is a small way of thanking them for their service and providing them with an enjoyable, relaxing pastime.

Remember, regulations can change, and the details can vary by state, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local Department of Fish and Wildlife or similar agency for the most current information.

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