Get Hooked on Fishing in CT: License Requirements Explained

Fishing in Connecticut is more than just a pastime—it’s a tradition. With over 180 public lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, and a whopping 6,000 miles of streams and rivers, Connecticut is a veritable angler’s paradise. But before you can cast your line into the Nutmeg State’s waters, there’s something you need to know: the state’s fishing license requirements. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know to get started.

Types Of Fishing Licenses In Connecticut

Resident Licenses

If you’re a Connecticut resident aged 16 or older, you’ll need a resident fishing license to fish in the state. This license will set you back $28 and is valid for the calendar year. If you’re only planning a short fishing trip, you can opt for a 3-day license for $16 or a 7-day license for $22.

Non-Resident Licenses

If you’re visiting from out of state and are 16 years of age or older, you’ll need a non-resident fishing license to fish in Connecticut. This license costs $55 and is valid for the calendar year. Short-term visitors can also purchase a 3-day license for $22 or a 7-day license for $32.

Special Permits

In addition to the standard fishing license, there are a number of special permits available for specific types of fishing. These include:

  • Trout and salmon stamp: required to fish in designated trout and salmon waters
  • Inland waters fishing tournament: required to participate in fishing tournaments on inland waters
  • Charter boat: required for fishing on a charter boat
  • Private pond: required to fish in a private pond

General Fishing Regulations In Connecticut

Minimum Size Limits

Connecticut has minimum size limits for certain species of fish. These limits vary depending on the species, so be sure to check the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) website for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Creel Limits

Connecticut also has daily creel limits for certain species of fish. These limits specify the number of fish that an angler is allowed to keep in a single day. Again, these limits vary depending on the species, so be sure to check the DEEP website.

Catch And Release

Catch and release is encouraged in Connecticut, especially for certain species of fish that are considered over-fished or in decline. If you do decide to release a fish, be sure to handle it carefully to minimize stress and injury.

Prohibited Methods

There are certain methods of fishing that are prohibited in Connecticut. These include:

  • The use of explosives or poisons
  • The use of live fish as bait
  • The use of nets, traps, or other devices not approved by the DEEP


In conclusion, fishing in Connecticut can be a fun and rewarding experience for anglers of all ages and skill levels. However, it’s important to be aware of the state’s fishing license requirements and regulations to ensure that you’re fishing legally and responsibly. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, make sure you have the appropriate license and any necessary permits before you hit the water. And always remember to follow the rules and practice catch and release whenever possible. Happy fishing!


Q: Who needs a fishing license in Connecticut?

A: Anyone aged 16 or older must have a valid Connecticut fishing license to fish in the state’s freshwaters. Anglers under the age of 16 and anyone fishing in saltwater do not need a license.

Q: What types of licenses are available in Connecticut?

A: Connecticut offers several types of licenses, including an annual freshwater fishing license, a 3-day freshwater fishing license, a 1-day freshwater fishing license, and a combination hunting and fishing license. There are also reduced-cost licenses available for seniors and disabled veterans.

Q: Where can I purchase a Connecticut fishing license?

A: You can purchase a fishing license online through the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s website or in-person at various retail locations throughout the state, including fishing tackle shops, town clerk offices, and DEEP field offices.

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