Fishing License Information


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued the following information about fishing licenses:

License requirements 

Everyone must have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing or helping someone to fish except: 

• Persons under 16 years of age; 

• NYS-resident owners, lessees and members of their immediate families occupying and cultivating farm lands, when fishing on their own lands; 

• Persons holding farm fish pond licenses and members of their immediate families, when fishing on waters covered by their licenses; 

• Resident patients at Department of Mental Health institutions and Department of Health rehabilitation hospitals, and inmates at Division of Youth rehabilitation centers. License exemptions must be requested for such persons through the hospital/ institution by writing NYSDEC License Sales Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4790, or by emailing; 

• When fishing on licensed fishing preserves. 

Free licenses 

The following individuals are eligible for a free fishing license and may obtain a license at any license issuing outlet: 

• New York state residents who are legally blind and provide a doctor’s note to the License Issuing Agent; 

• New York State residents who are active service members of the NYS Organized Militia (i.e., National Guard), or U.S. Reserve Forces; 

• New York state residents stationed outside of New York who are on full time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and are on leave in NY for no longer than 30 days; 

• Resident patients at U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs hospitals or state-funded facilities can obtain a free fishing license through their hospital or facility; 

• Native Americans who are members of the Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes or the Six Nations residing on reservations in New York State may obtain a free fishing license by contacting their reservation or DEC’s License Sales Office at 518-402-8843. 


To qualify for an annual resident license, a person must live in New York state for more than 30 days immediately preceding the date of application. When purchasing a lifetime license, you must show proof of residency for one full year. 

Land ownership in New York does not make you a resident. Residency is that place where a person maintains a fixed, permanent, and principal home (regardless of where temporarily located), such as where a person is registered to vote. If under 18, the residence of parents or legal guardian shall be deemed such person’s residence. For a complete list of valid residency proof documents, see Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in New York and full-time college students in residence in the state during the school year (proof required) qualify for annual resident licenses

License privileges 

Persons holding a freshwater fishing license may take freshwater fish by angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, nets, traps and tip-ups; take frogs by spearing, catching with the hands, or by use of a club or hook; and take baitfish for personal use, all as permitted by law or DEC. 

• The holder of a license, tag, or stamp shall have such license, tag, stamp, or other valid proof (see below) on his/her person while exercising any privilege of that license. 

• The holder of a license, tag, or stamp shall exhibit it on demand to any police officer, peace officer, or the owner, lessee, or other person in control of the lands or waters on which the license holder is present. 

• No license or stamp authorizes the holder to trespass upon private lands or waters or interfere with property belonging to another person. 

• A freshwater fishing license does not allow for the taking of migratory marine fish. See Recreational Marine Fishing Registry (below). 

Recreational Marine Fishing Registry 

Anglers 16 years of age and older who fish in the Marine and Coastal District of New York or for migratory marine species; such as striped bass, hickory shad, and river herring from all waters of the state, including the Hudson River and Delaware River; must enroll in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry wherever licenses are sold. 

For additional information concerning the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry, contact the DEC Division of Marine Resources at 631-444-0430 or visit the DEC website at 

Free fishing days 

During the following dates, anyone can fish the freshwaters of New York state and no license is required: 

• June 26–27 

• Sept. 25 

• Nov. 11

• Feb. 19–20, 2022 

Since no license is required, it’s the perfect time to take a friend or relative fishing. For a list of DEC-sponsored Fishing Clinics, visit 

License Pricing is as follows: 

Resident Annual Fishing (16–69) * $25 

Fishing (70+) * $5 

7-day (16+) $12 

1-day (16+) $5 

Fishing (military/disabled)** 

$5 Marine Registry * $0 

Non-Resident Annual Fishing (16+) * $50 

7-day (16+) $28 1-day (16+) $10 

Marine Registry * $0 

Lifetime Fishing (available to NYS residents only) 

Lifetime Fishing (0–69) $460 

Lifetime Fishing (70+) $65 

* Valid for 365 days after purchase or effective date provided to issuing agent. 

** Military Disabled persons with a 40% or more service-related disability annually pay $5.00 for the first of the following 3 privileges: fishing, hunting, trapping. Subsequent purchases of the other 2 privileges are free within the calendar year. Questions should be directed to 518-402-8843. 


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here