New Hampshire Fishing License

New Hampshire

Whether you prefer freshwater fishing to saltwater fishing, New Hampshire offers them both. Smallmouth bass flourishes in Piscataquog River while shore fishing in the Atlantic affords a great promise of catching flounder. The important thing is to read up on the fishing laws and regulations applicable to specific fish species and bodies of water.

It is quick and easy to purchase a New Hampshire fishing licenses as this can be done online or by phone. For those who prefer to buy theirs personally, they can do so at any legitimate fish licensing outlet at tackle shops or outdoor sports shops. There are distinctions on resident and non-resident fishing licenses, between annual and lifetime fish licenses. Knowing the differences will save time and money.

No two states have the same exact fishing laws and regulations as they are formulated based on specific needs of a particular state. Nebraska offers both freshwater and saltwater fishing so it's fishing rules and regulations must encompass this fact. Fishing regulations include specifics on bag limits, size limits, fishing seasons, methods of fishing, and more. These laws help in the conservation of different fish species so that future generations of anglers are assured on enjoying the sport.

To help in the protection and conservation of Nebraska's waterways and fish populations, each and every one must do his part and share in the effort. An experienced angler can show a novice the correct catch and release practice to ensure that a fish will survive. Each one must be a good steward of nature and its fish and game inhabitants. Fishing laws may be modified to accommodate current assessment of the fish population, e.g. spawning, or over-fished waterways.


Planning for a weekend fishing trip to New Hampshire is a tedious process, but once you get there, you’ll know that all the hard work is going to be worth it. Every angler has dreamed of experiencing the thrill of reeling in a feisty smallmouth bass on the Piscataquog River in Manchester or a flounder from the saltwater shores of the Atlantic. 

But before going to New Hampshire for a fishing trip, you have to make sure that you have read all the important fishing regulations adopted in the state, and you have purchased the necessary fishing licenses and permits to fish in state waters legally. 

If you still don’t know how to do that, we have put together a simple guide to explain everything that you need to know about the fishing license requirements in the state of New Hampshire.

Here are the basics: 

What kind of license do you need when fishing in the state of New Hampshire?

There are different types of licenses that can be purchased in the state of New Hampshire. As a general rule, any person who wishes to fish or take fish within the jurisdiction of the state, sans some exemptions, are required to purchase either one of the following licenses: 

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

This type of license allows the taking of all species of fish in the freshwaters of the state. Temporary 1-, 3-, and 7-day Fishing Licenses are available to non-residents, dates for the use intended will be requested at the time of purchase, and the dates must be consecutive. One-day licenses are also available for NH residents. These are the different freshwater licenses available in New Hampshire: 

  • Resident Hunting & Freshwater Fishing (Proof of hunter ed. course or previous hunting license required)
  • Resident 1-Day Freshwater Fishing 
  • Resident Freshwater Fishing (Annual)
  • Senior Freshwater Fishing (Available to NH residents born in 1948 or later, and at least 68 years of age at the time of purchase. Must be purchased annually)
  • Senior Combination Hunting and Fishing (Available to those born in 1948 or later, and at least 68 years of age at the time of purchase. Must be purchased annually. Proof of hunter education course or previous hunting license required)
  • Newborn Lifetime NH Hunting & Freshwater Fishing (Parent/legal guardian must be NH resident. Child’s birth certificate is required. Available from birth to the day before the first birthday. Purchase at Fish and Game headquarters or by mail)
  • Nonresident Hunting & Freshwater Fishing (Proof of hunter ed. course or previous hunting license required)
  • Nonresident Freshwater Fishing1 (all species) 
  • Nonresident 1-Day Freshwater Fishing
  • Nonresident 3-Day Freshwater Fishing (consecutive days only) 
  • Nonresident 7-Day Freshwater Fishing1 (consecutive days only) 

Saltwater Fishing License

An NH Recreational Saltwater Fishing License is required, with a fee of $11, for individual anglers age 16 and older participating in recreational saltwater fishing for finfish from coastal and estuarine waters of New Hampshire. Please note that both residents and non-residents are required to purchase a Recreational Saltwater Fishing License. 

Who is considered a resident of New Hampshire? 

A New Hampshire resident is someone who holds a valid NH Driver’s license or Non-Driver Photo Identification issued by the State of NH Division of Motor Vehicles and does not claim a residence in any other state for any purpose. Furthermore, full-time students attending school in New Hampshire may purchase non-resident fishing or hunting licenses at resident rates. Students may be in high school, college, or graduate school; they must be registered for at least 12 credit hours per semester. To qualify, the student must show a valid, current school ID. 

Where are New Hampshire Fishing Licenses sold? 

You can purchase a New Hampshire Fishing License with any of the following convenient ways: 

Online. You can purchase your New Hampshire Fishing License through the state’s licensing website. The portal accepts major credit and debit cards like Visa, Discover, and Mastercard as payment options. Please note that purchasing your license online will incur a $2.75 transaction fee. 

In-Person through the NHFG Office. You can also opt to buy your fishing license from the New Hampshire Fishing and Games office at 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. A $2 transaction fee is charged for each license form. 

Through license agents. Another convenient way of purchasing a fishing license is to buy them from the 185 friendly license agents statewide. The locations and addresses of these agents are listed in the FishNH website. A $2 transaction fee may also be charged. 

What is the cost of fishing licenses in New Hampshire? 

There are a variety of fishing licenses that you can purchase in the state of New Hampshire. The cost of these licenses depends on several factors like your age, how long do you need them to be valid, or your residency status. To help you find out which one you should purchase, please refer to the matrix below. 

Residency

Type of License

2020 Fee

Age

N.H. RESIDENTS

Resident Hunting & Freshwater Fishing

Proof of hunter ed. course or previous hunting license required.

$56.00

16–67

Resident 1-Day Freshwater Fishing

$10.00

16–67

Resident Freshwater Fishing

$45.00

16–67

Recreational Saltwater Fishing

$11.00

16+

Senior Freshwater Fishing

Available to N.H. residents born in 1948 or later, and at least 68 years of age at the time of purchase. Must be purchased annually.

$7.00

68+

Senior Combination Hunting and Fishing

Available to those born in 1948 or later, and at least 68 years of age at the time of purchase. Must be purchased annually. Proof of hunter education course or previous hunting license required.

$7.00

68+

Newborn Lifetime NH Hunting & Freshwater Fishing

Parent/legal guardian must be N.H. resident. Child’s birth certificate is required. Available from birth to day before first birthday. Purchase at Fish and Game headquarters or by mail. 

$304.50

Under one year

NON-RESIDENTS

Nonresident Hunting & Freshwater Fishing

Proof of hunter ed. course or previous hunting license required.

$151.00

16+

Nonresident Freshwater Fishing1 (all species)

$63.00

16+

Recreational Saltwater Fishing

$11.00

16+

Nonresident 1-Day Freshwater Fishing

$15.00

16+

Nonresident 3-Day Freshwater Fishing (consecutive days only)

$28.00

16+

Nonresident 7-Day Freshwater Fishing (consecutive days only

$35.00

16+

Please note that all prices include a $1.00 agent fee. On top of that, a $1.00 Fisheries Habitat Fee is also included in all Freshwater Fishing Licenses. All these charges are on top of the $2.00 per license application form, which is charged whenever purchasing a fishing license. 

Furthermore, if you are a New Hampshire resident who was born before 1948, you are entitled to acquire a free and permanent Milestone license or a combination hunting & fishing license. Please contact the Fish and Games Headquarters for more information. 

Miscellaneous Licenses

Aside from general saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses, you also may need one of the following depending on its purpose.

Selected Miscellaneous Licenses

2020 Fee

Resident Guide, Hunting or Fishing

$100.00

Nonresident Guide, Hunting or Fishing

$100.00

Bait Dealer’s Retail

$26.00

Bait Dealer’s Wholesale

$76.00

Please note that the permits listed above are available only in person or by mail at the N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. (603) 271-3422.

Daily Limits and Other Fishing Regulations in New Hampshire

Please observe the following fishing regulations to protect the waters of New Hampshire and to maintain a healthy fish populations: 

Species

Season

Bag Limits & Minimum Lengths

Black Bass (Smallmouth Bass & Largemouth Bass)

Jan. 1 to March 31

2 fish daily limit; only 1 fish >16 inches

April 1 to May 14 and June 16 to June 30

2 fish daily limit; no length limit.

May 15 to June 15

Catch and release only

July 1 to Dec. 31

5 fish daily limit; no length limit

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and their hybrids

Open water (ice-out to ice-in)

5 fish or 5 pounds daily limit, whichever is reached first; no length limit.

Through the ice

2 fish daily limit; no length limit

Lake Trout

Jan. 1 to Sept. 30

2 fish daily limit. Minimum length 18 inches. Daily bag limit for lake trout and salmon is 2 fish (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each).

Landlocked Salmon

April 1 to Sept. 30

2 fish daily limit. Minimum length 15 inches. Daily bag limit for lake trout and salmon is 2 fish (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each).

Chain Pickerel

No closed season.

10 fish daily limit; no length or weight limits.

Northern Pike

No closed season.

1 fish daily limit; minimum length 28 inches

Walleye

No closed season.

2 fish daily limit; minimum length 18 inches; no weight limit.

White and Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Sunfish, Horned Pout

No closed season.

25 fish each species daily limit; no more than 50 fish total combined; no length or weight limits.

Rock Bass

No closed season.

No closed season.

Carp

No closed season.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

Cusk

No closed season.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits.

River Herring

No closed season.

 

American Shad

No closed season.

Catch and release only

Lake Whitefish

Jan. 1 to Sept. 30

2 fish daily limit; no length or weight limits.

Round Whitefish

No open season.

 

Suckers

No closed season for angling, ice fishing or traps.

No daily limits; no length or weight limits

March 1 to May 31 

No daily limits; no length or weight limits

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a license if my child (under 16 years) fishes while I watch them?

No, you do not need a license, but you cannot assist the child in any way, which includes baiting the hook, casting the line, and netting or taking the fish off the hook.

Q: Is it legal to fish at night in New Hampshire? 

Fishing for most species is allowed at any time of the day or night. The exception is trout and salmon can only be taken from one hour before sunrise until two hours after sunset. Some sections of rivers allow brown trout to be taken from two hours after sunset to one hour before sunrise.

Q: When is the Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire?

Free fishing days are offered on:

  • The first Saturday in June, and
  • The third Saturday in January