Fishing is a beloved pastime for many, and Maryland’s diverse waters offer a wealth of opportunities for both novice and experienced anglers. However, before you can cast your line, you need to understand the ins and outs of obtaining a fishing license in the state. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Maryland fishing licenses, from the types available to the costs and where to purchase them.
Understanding Maryland’s Fishing License Requirements
In Maryland, anyone over the age of 15 who wishes to fish must first obtain a valid fishing license. This license is valid for a full year from the date of purchase and is available for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, you can easily purchase a license to enjoy Maryland’s abundant fishing opportunities.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you’re fishing from a pier or a boat whose owner or operator has a valid license, you’re not required to have one. Similarly, active military personnel stationed in Maryland and Maryland residents on official leave from active military duty are exempt from needing a fishing license.
How to Purchase a Maryland Fishing License Online
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has made it easy for anglers to purchase a fishing license online through their COMPASS portal. After creating an account, you can buy the license, print it, or access it digitally at any time.
Remember, to access the COMPASS portal, you need to use the most updated version of your web browser and have a valid email address. The portal also provides access to other services such as saltwater registration and trout stamps.
The Cost of a Maryland Fishing License in 2024
The cost of a Maryland fishing license varies depending on whether you’re a resident or non-resident and whether you’re interested in freshwater or saltwater fishing. Here’s a breakdown of the current costs:
|Freshwater 7 Day
|Home state non-resident fee*
|Freshwater 3 Day
|Home state non-resident fee*
|Saltwater 7 Day
*This is equal to the cost of a non-resident fishing license offered by the purchaser’s state of residence.
For those interested in trout fishing, trout stamps are available for purchase at $10 for non-residents and $5 for residents. Senior citizens aged 65+ who are residents of the state can also purchase a combination freshwater and saltwater fishing license for $5.
Maryland also offers free fishing licenses to residents and non-residents who are blind, Maryland resident veterans with 100% service-related disability, and former prisoners of war, provided they have the proper documentation.
Additionally, the state offers three free fishing days during the year (July 4 and the first two Saturdays in June), where anglers are not required to purchase a license.
Where to Buy a Maryland Fishing License
Apart from the online option, Maryland fishing licenses can be purchased by mail or in person at any valid licensing agent or Department of Natural Resources Regional Service Center.
There are nearly 200 licensing agents across Maryland, including sporting goods stores, liquor stores, and Walmarts. Additionally, there are eight Department of Natural Resources Regional Service Centers, with two per region.
By understanding these key aspects of Maryland’s fishing license requirements, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience. Remember, fishing regulations are in place to protect and conserve our fish populations, so always make sure you’re fishing legally and responsibly.