Maryland Non-Resident Fishing License: Cost and Requirements

Maryland Non-Resident Fishing License: Cost and Requirements

Are you a non-resident angler looking to fish in the beautiful waters of Maryland? Before you cast your line, it’s essential to understand the state’s fishing license requirements and costs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about obtaining a Maryland non-resident fishing license, ensuring you can enjoy your fishing adventure while staying compliant with state regulations.

Why Do You Need a Maryland Non-Resident Fishing License?

Maryland requires all anglers aged 16 and older to possess a valid fishing license when fishing in the state’s waters, including the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the Atlantic Ocean. Obtaining a fishing license not only ensures compliance with state laws but also contributes to the conservation and management of Maryland’s diverse fish populations.

Types of Maryland Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Maryland offers several types of non-resident fishing licenses to cater to different angling needs:

Annual Non-Tidal/Freshwater License

This license allows non-residents to fish in Maryland’s freshwater bodies for a full year from the date of purchase. The cost is $30.50 or the same fee charged to a Maryland resident for a similar license by the non-resident’s home state, whichever is higher.

7-Day Non-Tidal/Freshwater License

If you’re planning a shorter fishing trip, you can opt for the 7-day non-tidal license, which allows you to fish in Maryland’s freshwater for seven consecutive days. The cost is equal to the fee charged to a Maryland resident for a similar license by the non-resident’s home state.

3-Day Non-Tidal/Freshwater License

For even shorter trips, the 3-day non-tidal license is available, allowing you to fish in freshwater for three consecutive days. The cost is equal to the fee charged to a Maryland resident for a similar license by the non-resident’s home state.

Non-Resident Trout Stamp

If you plan to fish for trout in Maryland’s waters, you’ll need to purchase a non-resident trout stamp in addition to your fishing license. The cost of the trout stamp is $10.

Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License

To fish in the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll need the Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License. The annual license costs $22.50 for non-residents, while a 7-day license is available for $12.

How to Obtain a Maryland Non-Resident Fishing License

There are several convenient ways to purchase your Maryland non-resident fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ COMPASS portal to buy your license online.
  2. In-Person: There are over 250 sport license agents across the state where you can purchase your license in person.
  3. By Mail: Download the application from the Maryland DNR website, complete it, and mail it to a Service Center with a check for the applicable fees.

Exemptions and Reciprocity Agreements

Maryland has reciprocity agreements with Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, allowing anglers with valid licenses from these states to fish in specific Maryland waters. However, it’s essential to review the specific terms of these agreements before fishing.

Additionally, anglers under the age of 16 are exempt from needing a fishing license in Maryland.

Do I need a license to fish from a pier in Maryland?

In most cases, yes. However, if you’re fishing from a licensed commercial fishing pier, such as the one in Ocean City, you may not need an individual license.

Can I fish without a license on free fishing days?

Yes, Maryland offers free fishing days on the first two Saturdays in June and July 4th, during which you can fish without a license.

Do I need a separate license for saltwater and freshwater fishing?

Yes, Maryland requires separate licenses for fishing in non-tidal (freshwater) and tidal (saltwater) waters.

Final Thoughts

Obtaining a Maryland non-resident fishing license is a straightforward process that ensures you can enjoy the state’s fantastic fishing opportunities while contributing to the conservation of its aquatic resources. By understanding the different license types, costs, and requirements, you’ll be well-prepared for your next Maryland fishing adventure.

Remember to always review the most up-to-date regulations before fishing, as they may change periodically. 

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