Fishing is a popular pastime for many people across the United States, and New Mexico is no exception. From rivers and streams to lakes and reservoirs, the state has many different places to fish, giving both residents and visitors a unique fishing experience. But you’ll need a New Mexico fishing license before you can cast your line in any of these waters. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about New Mexico fishing licenses, including who needs one, how to Get one, and what types of licenses are available.
Who Needs a New Mexico Fishing License?
With a few exceptions, if you want to fish in New Mexico, you will need a fishing license. Anyone over the age of 12, including residents and non-residents, must have a valid New Mexico fishing license to fish in the state’s waters. Also, all anglers must follow the state’s fishing rules, which are meant to protect the environment and keep fish populations healthy.
What Types of Licenses Are Available?
- Resident Fishing License
- Nonresident Fishing License
- Senior Resident Fishing License
- Military Fishing License
- Disabled Veteran Fishing License
In addition to these standard licenses, New Mexico also offers short-term licenses for visitors who plan on fishing for a limited time.
|Angling License Fees||Resident||Non-resident|
|Annual Fishing License – 12 Years and Older||$25.00||$56.00|
|One Day Fishing||$12.00||$12.00|
|Five Day Fishing||$24.00||$24.00|
|Junior Annual Fishing (12-17)||$5.00||$15.00|
|Senior Annual Fishing (65-69)||$8.00||Not Available|
|70 Years and Older Annual Fishing||$0.00||Not Available|
|Handicapped Annual Fishing||$8.00||Not Available|
|Second Rod Validation||$4.00||$4.00|
|Habitat Improvement Stamp||$5.00||$5.00|
|Habitat Management and Access Validation||$4.00||$4.00|
How to obtain a New Mexico fishing license
You can Get a New Mexico fishing license online, over the phone, or in person at sporting goods stores, bait shops, and state parks, among other places. To buy a license, you will need to give your name, address, and date of birth, as well as, if necessary, proof that you live in the area. You will also need to pay the appropriate fee for your desired license type.
Where to Buy a Fishing License in New Mexico
If you’re planning on fishing in New Mexico, you will need to purchase a fishing license. Fortunately, there are several options available for buying a fishing license in New Mexico. Here are some popular places to buy a fishing license in the state:
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is the primary agency responsible for managing and conserving the state’s wildlife and fisheries resources. You can purchase a fishing license from the department’s website or at one of their many offices located throughout the state.
Here are some of the contact details for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offices:
- Santa Fe Office: 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507. Tel: (505) 476-8000
- Albuquerque Office: 3841 Midway Pl NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 Tel: (505) 222-4700
- Las Cruces Office: 2715 Northrise Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88011; Tel: (575) 532-2100
You can also go to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website at https://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ to buy your fishing license online or find a full list of their office locations.
Online through the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to purchase a fishing license in New Mexico is to do so online through the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website. Here’s the website address where you can purchase your fishing license online:
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website: https://onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us/
You can buy your fishing license online by going to the website above and following the instructions. To finish the transaction, you will need to provide some personal information and payment information. If you have any questions or concerns about purchasing your fishing license online, you can contact the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish call center at (888) 248-6866.
You can Get a fishing license from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and their website, but you can also buy one from authorized sellers all over the state. These vendors may include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and other retailers.
You can find an authorized vendor near you by going to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website at https://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/fishing/licenses-permits/authorized-vendors/. This page includes a map that shows the locations of authorized vendors throughout the state.
Fishing Regulations in New Mexico
To protect New Mexico’s natural resources and keep fish populations stable, the state has made fishing rules that everyone must follow. Some of the most important regulations include:
- Size and bag limits for different fish species
- prohibitions on certain types of bait and gear
- Catch-and-release requirements for certain fish species
- restrictions on fishing in certain areas or during certain times of the year
Before you go fishing in New Mexico, it’s important to know about these rules so you don’t Get into trouble with the law.
|Trout and Kokanee Salmon||5 per day, 10 in possession|
|Lake Trout||2 per day, 4 in possession|
|Cutthroat Trout||2 per day, 2 in possession|
|Gila Trout||Willow and Gilita Creeks: 2 per day, 2 in possession|
|Black Bass||5 per day|
|Catfish||15 per day|
|Crappie||20 per day|
|Striped Bass||1 per day|
|Northern Pike||10 per day|
|Tiger Muskie||1 per day|
|Walleye||5 per day, 14 inch minimum|
|White Bass||25 per day|
|Yellow Perch||30 per day|
|All Other Warmwater Gamefish||20 per day|
Top Fishing Spots in New Mexico
There are many great places to fish in New Mexico, with something for people of all skill levels and interests. Here are a few of the best places to try your luck:
1. The San Juan River
The San Juan River is in the northwest part of New Mexico. It is known for having some of the best trout fishing in the world. The river is stocked with thousands of rainbow and brown trout each year, and anglers can fish from the bank or by boat. The river is catch-and-release only, which helps preserve its fish populations.
2. The Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is one of New Mexico’s most famous rivers, and for good reason. The river runs through the northern part of New Mexico and is a great place to catch trout, bass, and catfish. Anglers can fish from the bank or by boat, and there are plenty of access points along the river’s length.
3. Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte Lake is the largest lake in New Mexico, and it’s a popular spot for fishing and water sports. There are many kinds of fish in the lake, such as smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish. Anglers can fish from the shore or by boat, and there are several marinas and boat ramps available.
4. Pecos River
The Pecos River flows through northern New Mexico and offers excellent trout fishing opportunities. The river is known for its beautiful scenery and clear waters, and anglers can fish from the bank or by wading in the river. The river is catch-and-release only, which helps preserve its fish populations.
Fishing Tips and Techniques
If you’re new to fishing in New Mexico, here are a few tips to help you Get started:
- Research your fishing spot before you go to learn about the fish species that are present as well as any regulations that may apply.
- Check the weather forecast before you head out, and dress appropriately for the conditions.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks, especially if you’ll be fishing for an extended period of time.
- Use the right equipment for the fish species you’re targeting, including the right type of bait, lures, and hooks.
- Be patient and persistent, and don’t be afraid to try different techniques if you’re not having success.
Fishing Equipment You’ll Need
To Get started with fishing in New Mexico, you’ll need a few basic pieces of equipment:
- Fishing rod and reel
- Fishing line
- Hooks and bait
- Fishing tackle box to hold your equipment
- Polarized sunglasses to reduce glare on the water’s surface
- Use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.
- A fishing hat to keep the sun out of your eyes
Fishing with kids in New Mexico
Fishing is a great activity for kids of all ages, and New Mexico has many family-friendly fishing spots to choose from. Some tips for fishing with kids include:
- Start with a small, shallow pond or stream where kids can practice casting and catching fish.
- Use age-appropriate equipment that is easy for kids to handle.
- Bring plenty of snacks and water, as well as a few toys or games to keep kids entertained when they’re not fishing.
- Be patient and encouraging, and celebrate every catch, no matter how small.
Fishing Guides and Tours
If you’re new to fishing or want to learn more about a specific type of fishing, consider hiring a fishing guide or joining a fishing tour. You can Get expert advice, gear, and access to some of the best places to fish in New Mexico from these services.
Fishing events in New Mexico
There are many fishing events in New Mexico throughout the year, such as tournaments, clinics, and festivals. These events are a great way to meet other anglers, learn new techniques, and enjoy the great outdoors. Some of the top fishing events in New Mexico include:
- Trout Unlimited New Mexico’s Annual Meeting and Banquet is a yearly event that includes fishing clinics, demonstrations, and a banquet.
- The Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta and Fishing Tournament is a unique event that combines hot air balloon rides and fishing.
- The New Mexico Trout Symposium is an annual event that brings together anglers, scientists, and conservationists to discuss trout fishing and conservation issues.
Fishing conservation in New Mexico
There are many kinds of fish in New Mexico. Some of them are threatened or endangered. New Mexico has set up a number of conservation programs to protect these fish populations and keep the state’s natural resources safe.
- The New Mexico Habitat Stamp Program is a way to Get money for projects that protect and improve habitats all over the state.
- The Conservation Program is part of the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. Its goal is to restore and keep healthy fish populations and habitats.
- The New Mexico Trout Conservation Initiative is a group of government agencies, non-profit groups, and private landowners working together to protect and preserve trout populations and their habitats.
By taking part in these programs and following New Mexico’s fishing rules, anglers can help make sure that the state’s fish populations will be healthy and able to support future generations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I fish without a license in New Mexico?
No, all anglers over the age of 12 must have a valid New Mexico fishing license to fish in the state’s waters.
How much does a New Mexico fishing license cost?
The price of a fishing license in New Mexico depends on your age, where you live, and other things. For current pricing information, visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website.
When does the New Mexico fishing season start and end?
The fishing season in New Mexico is different for different fish and different places. Check the state’s fishing rules to find out when you can fish where you want to fish.
Can I purchase a New Mexico fishing license online?
Yes, you can buy a fishing license in New Mexico online, over the phone, or in person at different places all over the state.
What should I do if I catch a fish that’s too small to keep?
If you catch a fish that is smaller than the legal size limit, release it back into the water as quickly and gently as possible. Avoid handling the fish too much or removing it from the water, as this can harm the fish’s health.