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Get Your CT Fishing License Now: Quick and Easy Steps

Are you eager to cast your line into Connecticut’s abundant freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams or try your luck in the saltwater of Long Island Sound? Before you can reel in your first catch, there’s one crucial step you need to take: getting your Connecticut fishing license. Don’t worry, obtaining your license is a quick and easy process, and we’re here to guide you through it. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to legally fish Connecticut’s diverse waters and experience some of the best angling opportunities in the Northeast.

Why You Need a Connecticut Fishing License

First, let’s discuss why having a valid fishing license is so important. In Connecticut, anyone 16 years of age or older is required by law to have a license to fish in the state’s waters. This applies whether you’re fishing inland lakes and rivers or in the marine waters of Long Island Sound.

But a fishing license is more than just a legal requirement. Your license fees directly contribute to vital conservation efforts conducted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). These efforts include fish stocking, habitat restoration, research, and educational programs that help maintain healthy fish populations and preserve fishing opportunities for current and future generations. By purchasing a license, you’re playing an active role in supporting the sustainability of Connecticut’s fisheries.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Connecticut?

As mentioned, Connecticut residents and non-residents aged 16 and older need a valid fishing license to legally fish in the state. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Anglers who are legally blind, intellectually disabled, or have the loss of a limb are exempt from needing a license.
  • Connecticut residents aged 65 and older are eligible for a free lifetime fishing license. This license does need to be renewed annually, but at no cost.
  • Active military members stationed in Connecticut can obtain resident license privileges, even if they maintain residency in another state.

If you’re under 16, you can fish without a license. This provides a great opportunity to introduce children and young teens to the joys of fishing. The DEEP also offers a Youth Fishing Passport program for anglers under 16, which includes a collectible pin and certificate.

Types of Connecticut Fishing Licenses

Connecticut offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to the needs of both resident and non-resident anglers. Here are the main license options:

  • Inland Fishing License: This license covers fishing in all of Connecticut’s freshwater bodies, including lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
  • Marine Waters Fishing License: If you plan to fish exclusively in saltwater, such as Long Island Sound, you’ll need this license.
  • All Waters License: This combination license covers both inland and marine waters, providing the ultimate flexibility for anglers who want to explore all of Connecticut’s fishing opportunities.
  • Combination Hunting & Fishing Licenses: If you also enjoy hunting, you can get a combination license that covers both hunting and either inland or all waters fishing.

In addition to these main license types, non-resident anglers can also purchase short-term licenses, such as a 3-day license for inland or marine waters.

How to Get Your Connecticut Fishing License

Now that you know what type of license you need, let’s walk through the process of actually obtaining it. Connecticut provides several convenient options for purchasing your fishing license:

  1. Online: The quickest and easiest method is to visit the DEEP’s Online Outdoor Licensing System. You can complete the entire process from the comfort of your home and print out a temporary license or save a digital copy on your mobile device.
  2. In-Person: You can also visit participating town halls, DEEP offices, and many sporting goods stores throughout Connecticut to purchase your license in person. Be sure to bring a valid form of identification and payment.
  3. By Phone: If you prefer, you can call the DEEP Licensing and Revenue office at 860-424-3105 during regular business hours to purchase your license over the phone.

Regardless of which method you choose, your license will be valid immediately for the calendar year, expiring on December 31. If you opt for a digital copy of your license, you can display it on your mobile device while fishing – no need to print out a physical copy!

Connecticut Fishing License Fees

License fees vary depending on your age, residency status, and the type of license you need. Here’s a breakdown of the current fees:

Resident Fees:

  • Inland Fishing (Ages 18-64): $28
  • Inland Fishing (Ages 16-17): $14
  • All Waters Fishing (Ages 18-64): $32
  • All Waters Fishing (Ages 16-17): $16
  • Marine Waters Fishing (Ages 18-64): $10
  • Marine Waters Fishing (Ages 16-17): $5
  • 65+ Lifetime License: Free

Non-Resident Fees:

  • Inland Fishing (Season): $55
  • Inland Fishing (3-Day): $22
  • All Waters Fishing (Season): $63
  • Marine Waters Fishing (Season): $15
  • Marine Waters Fishing (3-Day): $8

In addition to these license fees, if you plan to fish for trout or salmon, you’ll also need to purchase a Trout & Salmon Stamp. The stamp costs $5 for anglers 18 and older, and $3 for those 16-17.

It’s important to note that all license fees go directly toward supporting DEEP’s conservation efforts. So not only are you gaining access to incredible fishing opportunities, but you’re also contributing to the long-term health and sustainability of Connecticut’s fisheries.

Additional Permits & Stamps

While a fishing license covers most of your angling needs in Connecticut, there are a few additional permits and stamps to be aware of:

  • Trout & Salmon Stamp: As mentioned, if you plan to fish for trout or salmon, you must purchase this stamp in addition to your fishing license. The stamp is required for all anglers 16 and older fishing in Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas, Trout Parks, Sea-run Trout Streams, and Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas.
  • Harvest Tags: Certain species like striped bass and bluefin tuna require harvest tags for anglers to keep fish within established limits. These tags can be obtained through the Online Outdoor Licensing System or at select DEEP offices.
  • Special Permits: Some specific fishing activities, such as using a gillnet to catch menhaden for personal use, require special permits. Check the DEEP website or contact their office for details on these less common permits.

By ensuring you have the proper licenses, stamps, and permits, you’ll be fully prepared to legally and responsibly enjoy all the fishing opportunities Connecticut has to offer.


Obtaining your Connecticut fishing license is a simple process that opens up a world of incredible angling adventures. Whether you’re a resident or visitor, an inland lake enthusiast or a Long Island Sound surf caster, there’s a license option perfectly suited to your needs.

Remember, by purchasing your license, you’re not only gaining access to Connecticut’s diverse fisheries, but you’re also directly supporting critical conservation efforts that keep those waters healthy and thriving for generations to come.

So what are you waiting for? Get your Connecticut fishing license today and start exploring all the amazing fishing this state has to offer! From the trout streams of the northwest hills to the tidal rivers of the coast, there’s no shortage of opportunities to wet a line and create unforgettable angling memories.

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