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Maine presents various waterways to fish. There are lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, estuaries and of course the length of the Maine coast facing the Atlantic Ocean. There's a whole range of freshwater and saltwater fish species in Maine but a fishing license is mandatory. There are bass, trout, salmon, chain pickerel, chart, and sunfish for warm and cold water games. Then there is the Atlantic salmon, sturgeon, striped bass, haddock, halibut, and Atlantic Bluefin tuna for saltwater games. Note there are very strict restrictions on most of these saltwater fish.

You can purchase your Maine fishing license from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife website or at any licensed tackle shop or outdoor store in your location. Before packing your gear, it is best that you read up on state regulations regarding fishing season, bag limits and length limits.

Maine has its own set of fishing regulations and laws. Stipulations will greatly depend on whether you intend to ice fish, open water fish or saltwater fish. The rules have to be strictly implemented as failure to do so would result in the depletion of fish, even endangering some species. If everyone fish for just the sake of fishing, there will be no more for future generations to enjoy the sport and up to a point, a source of food. Here are some links for clarification of existing fishing laws in Maine.

There seems to be an increased on anglers in Maine as attested by the increasing number of fishing licenses issued. In relation, this mean the waterways and fish resources are experiencing increased pressure. Part of the money sourced from the issuance of fishing licenses are used to create efficient fish management and protection plans headed by credible scientist and biologists. Everyone can help conserve and preserve these resources by just observing fishing regulations and laws.


Before you go fishing at Rangeley Lake State Park and other bountiful marine and freshwater sites in the State of Maine, the first thing that you need to do is to get yourself a fishing license. With the right license, permit, and tag, you can enjoy Main's abundant biodiversity with rare species of open water fish, ice fish, and saltwater fish.

But purchasing a fishing license is not a pass for any angler to exploit the environment. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is there to design policies and implement regulations involving the fishing activities in the State's waters. However, everyone still has to make sure that the natural resources across the entire Maine are conserved. Otherwise, the natural wonders of the State will only be seen by the next generation in books and photographs.

Not only that, licenses assure that anglers will follow state fishing regulations; the proceeds collected from license sales will also be used to fund the conservation efforts of the DIFW, including research and breeding projects. So, if you are planning to visit the bountiful waters of Maine to catch some trout, then this article will answer all the questions you have regarding the fishing licenses in the State of Maine. 

Who is required to purchase a Maine Fishing License?

As a basic rule, all anglers and fishers, both resident and non-resident, and are 16 years old and older, are required to purchase the necessary licenses and permits to be allowed to fish in inland waters or transport fish taken from inland waters. Similar to other states, residents have special discounts and can purchase special licenses, as well.

Important License Provisions in Maine

All anglers who want to fish in the inland waters of Maine or transport fish taken from these waters must keep their fishing license with them at all times while fishing or transporting fish and must exhibit their license for inspection by any warden, department employee, guide, or landowner upon request. In the absence of a paper license, a digital copy of Maine fishing license and permits can also be displayed in lieu of the paper license.

You also have to understand that mere possession of fishing tackle in the fields or forests or on the waters or ice of this State without the necessary fishing license constitute a violation of the law.

How to purchase a Maine Fishing License?

There are different ways that you can purchase a fishing license in the State of Maine. The most convenient way is to order one online, which you can do by following this link: https://www4.informe.org/cgi-bin/online/moses_v3/index. Moreover, you can also obtain fishing licenses from agents throughout the State. These sales agents include sporting goods stores, many convenience stores, town clerks, and turnpike service centers. You can also opt to purchase your fishing license directly and in person from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife office in Augusta.

Different Fishing Licenses in Maine

Much like other states in the U.S.A., Maine also requires different fishing licenses from anglers who are 16 years old and older. The cost of these licenses also varies depending on whether the applicant is a resident or a non-resident. Here is a summary of different types of fishing licenses that you can purchase in the State of Maine and how much they cost:

Resident

Non-Resident

License

Fee

License

Fee

Season Fishing (16 and older)

$25

Season Fishing (16 and older)

$64

Combination Fishing and Hunting

$43

Combination Fishing and Hunting

$150

Combination Fishing and Archery

$43

15-Day Fishing***

$47

1-Day Fishing*

$11

7-Day Fishing

$43

Serviceman (Resident**) Combination

$3

3-Day Fishing

$23

Serviceman Dependent (Resident) Combination

$20

1-Day Fishing

$11

Serviceman Dependent (Resident) Fishing

$10

Duplicate

(obtained from an agent who issued original)

$2

Duplicate

(obtained from an agent who issued original)

$2

 

 

Superpack

$201

  

Both residents and non-residents who are 16 years old and older are required to purchase a Season Fishing License. If you are a resident, you only have to pay $25.00 for it, and otherwise, you need to pay $64. Combination Fishing and Hunting License, which allows holders to fish and hunt across the state of Maine, is also available for $43.00 (residents) and $150.00 (non-residents). Residents also have the option to purchase a Combination Fishing and Archery License for $43.00. Note that the annual fishing license sold in Maine expires every December 31 of the calendar year for which they are issued.

Aside from the annual fishing licenses, both residents and non-residents also have the option to purchase a 1-day fishing license for $11.00. Maine residents are also entitled to exchange their 1-day license for a season fishing or combination hunting and fishing license upon payment of the difference between that fee and the fee for the season license, plus the agent's fee.

Meanwhile, non-residents have the option of procuring a 3-day, 7-day, or 15-day fishing license for $23.00, $43.00, and $47.00, respectively. Non-residents who previously purchased a 15-day license also have the option to exchange it for a non-resident season fishing license upon payment of $17 plus the agent's fee.

Members of the military are also entitled to a discounted license fee upon presentation of the necessary proof of active duty. Maine residents who are permanently stationed out of the state are also entitled to the same benefits. Furthermore, non-resident between 18 and 24 enrolled full-time in a college in Maine may be eligible for a resident rate license for fishing, hunting, & trapping.

Special Licenses and Permits

Maine Lifetime License

You can also purchase a Lifetime Fishing License for yourself and as a gift to someone else, which would allow the bearer to fish, trap, and/ or hunt for their lifetime, regardless of where they will live in the future. Here's a matrix of the rates of the Lifetime Licenses that you can purchase in the state of Maine:

Residents

Fishing

Hunting

Archery

Trapping

Combination
of any two*

Combination of any three*

5 years& under

$150

$150

$150

$150

$250

$400

6 – 15 years

$300

$300

$300

$300

$500

$800

65 years of age

$50

$50

$50

$50

$80

$110

66 years of age

$40

$40

$40

$40

$64

$94

67 years of age

$30

$30

$30

$30

$48

$78

68 years of age

$20

$20

$20

$20

$32

$52

69 years of age

$10

$10

$10

$10

$16

$26

70 and older

$8.00 — Covers all authorities that you are qualified to receive, see below.

Non-Residents

5 years & under

$450

$450

$450

$450

$750

$1,200

6 – 15 years

$900

$900

$900

$900

$1,500

$2,400

Special Privilege Licenses

Members of the military are also entitled to a discounted license fee upon presentation of the necessary proof of active duty. Maine residents who are permanently stationed out of the state are also entitled to the same benefits. Furthermore, non-resident between 18 and 24 enrolled full-time in a college in Maine may be eligible for a resident rate license for fishing, hunting, & trapping.

Military currently stationed in Maine. Anyone serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and permanently stationed at a military base in Maine (including spouse and dependent children if they permanently reside with that person) may purchase a resident license to hunt, trap, or fish.

Maine Resident Military currently stationed outside Maine. Residents who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and permanently stationed outside of Maine may purchase either hunting, fishing, trapping, or combination hunting and fishing license for the Maine Resident Serviceman combination price upon verification that Maine is their home of record and that they are permanently stationed outside of Maine. Their spouse and any dependent children residing with them are also entitled to discounted rates. See the matrix of discounted rates here

Exchange Students. Any citizen of a foreign nation under age 21 who is living with a family in Maine for a cultural or educational exchange program may purchase a resident license to hunt or fish.

Daily Fishing Limits

The state of Maine has set a specific daily fishing limit for different regulated species that can be found on the waters of the state. For a complete guide of the different daily fishing limits, as well as other fishing regulations across the state, please visit this free resource.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do disabled veterans get a discount?

Yes. Maine resident and nonresident veterans (if reciprocal privileges exist in their home state) who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard and have a service-connected disability of 50% or more will be issued, upon application, a complimentary license to fish, trap, or hunt (including all necessary permits and other permissions, and upon meeting qualifications, a guide's license) as well as one expanded archery either sex permit and one expanded archery antlerless deer permit.  

Q: What are the special privileges of Native Americans?

Native Americans are also entitled to a complimentary lifetime hunting, archery, trapping and fishing license, including permits and other permissions needed to hunt, trap and fish. Any person who is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, or the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, if the person presents certification from the respective reservation governor or the Aroostook Micmac Council stating that they are an enrolled member of that federally recognized nation, band or tribe, shall be granted the said privilege by the commissioner.

Q: How much is the cost of reprinting lost/damaged licenses?

Lost and damaged licenses can be reprinted for a fee of $2 but can only be obtained from the agent who issued the original copy of the license.