North Carolina offers a variety of fishing opportunities, from saltwater fishing along the coast to freshwater fishing in the state’s lakes and rivers. To enjoy these activities, anglers need to obtain a fishing license. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to get your NC fishing license, including fees, requirements, and the application process.
NC Fishing License Fees and Requirements
North Carolina requires anglers aged 16 and older to obtain a fishing license, with different types of licenses available depending on the fishing location and residency status . License fees vary based on the type of license, duration, and whether the angler is a resident or non-resident. Here are some examples of license fees :
- Resident Annual State Inland Fishing: $25
- Non-resident Annual State Inland Fishing: $45
- Resident Annual Coastal Recreational Fishing: $16
- Non-resident Annual Coastal Recreational Fishing: $32
In addition to the standard fishing licenses, North Carolina offers special licenses for certain groups, such as disabled veterans and totally disabled residents, who can obtain both inland and coastal fishing licenses for $11 each . Legally blind residents and those residing in adult care homes can obtain a lifetime combination inland and coastal fishing license for free .
North Carolina also offers lifetime fishing licenses for residents, with fees varying based on age and type of license . For example, a resident adult lifetime comprehensive inland fishing license costs $265, while a resident senior lifetime comprehensive inland fishing license costs $16 .
Fishing licenses can be purchased online through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website , by phone at 888-248-6834 , or in person at a local wildlife service agent or the Resources Commission office in Raleigh, NC .
It is essential to be aware of the specific fishing regulations and limits in North Carolina to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. These regulations include size and creel limits, as well as fishing seasons for different species . Anglers must adhere to these regulations to avoid fines and penalties. For the most up-to-date information on fishing regulations in North Carolina, visit the North Carolina eRegulations website.
How to Purchase NC Fishing License Online
Purchasing a North Carolina fishing license online is a straightforward process that can be completed through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website . This guide will walk you through the steps to purchase your license online, ensuring you have the correct license for your fishing needs.
Before purchasing your license, it’s important to determine where you plan to fish. North Carolina has three waterbody designations: Inland Waters (freshwater rivers and lakes), Coastal Waters (ocean, estuaries), and Joint Waters. If you plan to fish in Inland waters, you’ll need the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Inland Fishing License. However, if you plan to fish in Coastal waters, you’ll need a Coastal Recreational Fishing License. When fishing in Joint Waters, either fishing license will suffice .
Next, decide which type of license is best for you. Licenses are available on an annual, lifetime, and temporary basis. If you’re only fishing for a short period of time, you may opt for a short-term license that authorizes fishing for ten consecutive days at a reduced cost. If you plan to fish in North Carolina for years to come, it may make more sense to purchase a Lifetime license .
Once you’ve determined the type of license you need, you can proceed to purchase your license online. Here are the steps to follow:
- Visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at ncwildlife.org .
- Click on the ‘Licenses and Permits’ tab.
- Select the type of license you want to purchase.
- If you’re a new customer, you’ll need to create an account. If you already have an account, simply log in.
- Follow the prompts to complete the required information and make the payment.
Please note that a $5 transaction fee may apply at the time of license purchase . Also, you’ll need to have a picture ID to purchase your license .
Remember, purchasing a fishing license helps support the state’s fish and wildlife conservation efforts. The fees collected from license sales contribute to the funding of various programs and projects that benefit fish and wildlife habitats. By obtaining a fishing license, you are investing in the future of North Carolina’s fish and wildlife resources.
For the most up-to-date information on fishing regulations in North Carolina, visit the North Carolina eRegulations website .
Benefits of Having an NC Fishing License
Obtaining a fishing license in North Carolina is not just a legal requirement for anglers aged 16 and older, but it also comes with a host of benefits that extend beyond the personal enjoyment of fishing.
Firstly, the fees collected from fishing license sales play a crucial role in supporting the state’s fish and wildlife conservation efforts. These funds are used to manage fish populations, protect and restore fish habitats, and ensure the sustainability of fishing activities in North Carolina. By purchasing a fishing license, you are directly contributing to these conservation efforts and helping to preserve the state’s rich biodiversity for future generations.
Secondly, a fishing license gives you access to some of the best fishing spots in North Carolina. The state boasts a diverse range of fishing opportunities, from saltwater fishing along the coast to freshwater fishing in the state’s lakes and rivers. With a fishing license, you can explore these diverse fishing environments and enjoy the thrill of catching various species of fish.
Thirdly, having a fishing license ensures that you are fishing legally and responsibly. North Carolina has specific fishing regulations and limits to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. These regulations include size and creel limits, as well as fishing seasons for different species. By adhering to these regulations, you are promoting responsible fishing practices and helping to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the state’s fish populations.
Lastly, purchasing a fishing license can also provide a sense of community. Many anglers find that being part of the licensed fishing community in North Carolina provides opportunities for learning, sharing experiences, and forming connections with other fishing enthusiasts.
Obtaining a fishing license in North Carolina offers numerous benefits, from supporting conservation efforts to enjoying diverse fishing opportunities and promoting responsible fishing practices. So, if you’re an angler in North Carolina, make sure to get your fishing license and contribute to the preservation and enjoyment of the state’s rich fishing resources.
NC Fishing Regulations and Limits
North Carolina offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, from the mountain streams in the west to the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean in the east. However, to ensure the sustainability of these resources, the state has implemented a variety of fishing regulations and limits. This article will provide an overview of these regulations, focusing on recreational coastal waters, inland fishing, general fishing rules, and species-specific regulations.
Recreational Coastal Waters Regulations and Limits
Recreational fishing in North Carolina’s coastal waters is regulated by the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). As of January 1, 2007, any person aged 16 and older who wishes to fish recreationally in any water designated as coastal and joint waters of North Carolina must purchase a Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL) .
The size and bag limits for various species are subject to change, so it’s essential to check with the DMF for the most current information. For instance, as of September 2023, the recreational creel limit for bluefish is 3 fish per person per day .
Inland Fishing Regulations and Limits
Inland fishing regulations are overseen by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC). A fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older fishing in North Carolina’s public waters, excluding private ponds .
The regulations for warmwater game fish vary depending on the species and the specific body of water. For example, for largemouth bass in all public waters, the size limit is a 14-inch minimum, except 2 may be less than 14 inches, and the daily creel limit is 5, including only 2 less than 14 inches .
General Fishing Rules and Guidelines
Both the NCWRC and DMF have licensing and regulatory authority in joint fishing waters. It’s important to differentiate between inland, joint, and coastal fishing waters, which can be done using the Fishing Access Map .
If you’re unsure about a regulation, it’s always best to ‘Play it Safe’. Releasing a few fish back into the water because you’re not quite sure of the size, creel, or possession restrictions of a certain fish is much better than receiving a warning or a citation from an officer .
Species-Specific Regulations and Limits
Species-specific regulations also exist and can vary depending on the body of water. For instance, there’s no size or creel limit for Sunfish in North Carolina, unless you happen to be on the Cape Fear River. In which case, you’re limited to taking 30 Sunfish and no more than 12 of them can be Redbreast Sunfish .
In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, understanding and adhering to North Carolina’s fishing regulations and limits is crucial for the sustainability of the state’s diverse aquatic resources. Always check the most current regulations before heading out to fish, and when in doubt, ‘Play it Safe’.
NC Fishing License Application Process
To apply for a North Carolina fishing license, you can choose from several methods:
- Online: Visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website and create an account or log in to purchase your license .
- By Phone: Call 888-248-6834 to order your fishing license and pay using a Visa or Mastercard .
- In Person: Visit a local wildlife service agent or the Resources Commission office in Raleigh, NC, to purchase your license .
Remember to carry your fishing license with you while fishing and adhere to all fishing regulations to ensure a responsible and enjoyable fishing experience in North Carolina.