Fishing is a popular pastime in the United States, with each state having its own regulations and licensing requirements. This article provides a comprehensive guide to fishing licenses in the USA, with a particular focus on North Carolina.
Understanding Fishing Licenses
A fishing license is a regulatory or legal mechanism to control fishing. It is intended to conserve and protect fish populations and their habitats. In the USA, the state’s wildlife agency is responsible for issuing fishing licenses. The type of license you need, its cost, and the regulations surrounding it can vary significantly from state to state.
Fishing Licenses in North Carolina
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is in charge of managing fishing licenses in North Carolina. The state offers a variety of licenses, including short-term, annual, and lifetime licenses. The cost of these licenses varies depending on whether you are a resident or non-resident and the type of waters you plan to fish in (inland, coastal, or joint waters).
Cost of Fishing Licenses in North Carolina
Here’s a breakdown of the cost for various types of fishing licenses in North Carolina:
|Type of License
|Inland 10 Day Resident
|Inland 10 Day Non-resident
|Inland Annual Resident
|Inland Annual Non-resident
|Inland Lifetime Resident (age 16-64)
|Inland Lifetime Senior Resident (age 65+)
|Coastal 10 Day Resident
|Coastal 10 Day Non-resident
|Coastal Annual Resident
|Coastal Annual Non-resident
|Coastal Lifetime Infant (age under 1) Resident & Non-resident
|Coastal Lifetime Youth (age 1-11) Resident & Non-resident
|Coastal Lifetime Adult (age 12-64) Resident
|Coastal Lifetime Adult (age 12-64) Non-resident
|Coastal Lifetime Senior (age 65+) Resident
|Combo Inland & Coastal Annual Resident
|Combo Inland & Coastal Lifetime Resident
Special Licenses and Exemptions
North Carolina offers special licenses and exemptions for certain groups. For example, residents who are on Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Work First Family Assistance can obtain an annual combination inland and coastal fishing license for free. Lifetime fishing licenses are available at a reduced rate for totally disabled residents and 50% of military service-related disabled veterans. Both inland and coastal fishing licenses for these individuals cost $11 each. North Carolina residents who are legally blind or reside in an adult care home can obtain a lifetime combination inland and coastal fishing license for free.
Purchasing a Fishing License in North Carolina
Fishing licenses in North Carolina can be purchased online at the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission’s automated license and vessel information network website. There may be a $2 handling charge associated with processing your credit card. Lifetime fishing licenses for disabled persons, infants, and youths cannot be purchased online due to documentation requirements.
Renewing a Fishing License in North Carolina
You can renew your North Carolina fishing license in person or by phone at any Wildlife Service agent. If you purchased your fishing license online, you should have an account created through the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission’s website. Simply log into your existing account and select the option to renew.
Fishing Licenses at Walmart
North Carolina fishing licenses are also available for purchase from select Walmart stores that have a sporting goods section. Though you can obtain short-term and annual fishing licenses from Walmart, they do not sell lifetime licenses, which are only available for purchase through the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission.
Do Senior Citizens Need a Fishing License in North Carolina?
Senior citizens are required to possess a fishing license if fishing in North Carolina waters. Though the price of annual and short-term licenses remains the same for all individuals over the age of fifteen, lifetime licenses are available at a reduced rate of $16 for North Carolina residents aged 65 and older.
By understanding the fishing license requirements in your state, you can ensure that you are fishing legally and contributing to the conservation of fish populations. Happy fishing!