Fishing License in New Mexico

In order to legally fish in New Mexico, anyone over the age of eleven must possess a fishing license unless fishing on private lakes or Native American tribal reservations. All fishing licenses are valid from April 1 to March 31 and must be carried by all anglers while fishing. 

In this article, we will discuss the different fishing licenses available for purchase for New Mexico waters as well as additional permits which may be required to fish in certain areas or under special circumstances. We will also provide all of the available options for purchasing a fishing license for the state of New Mexico. 

What Are the Different Fishing Licenses Available for New Mexico?

Fishing licenses in New Mexico are available as a one-day, five-day, or annual license. Junior licenses for anglers 12 to 17 years old and senior licenses for anglers 65 to 69 years old are also available at a discounted price. Handicapped fishing licenses can be purchased at a lower price as well provided the applicant has a documented permanent disability which greatly limits physical capabilities. 

Free fishing licenses are available to New Mexico residents who are older than 70 years of age and veterans who claim 100 percent disability. Free licenses are not available to non-residents. 

For those wishing to hunt game as well as fish, a dual hunting and fishing license is also available for purchase. 

What Other Special Permits Might You Need to Fish in New Mexico?

Along with a valid fishing license for New Mexico, all anglers 18 years or older are also required to purchase a Habitat Management and Access Validation. For those possessing a free fishing license – i.e., seniors over the age of 70 and 100 percent disabled veterans, the Habitat Management and Access Validation is not required. 

A Habitat Stamp is also required for anyone over the age of eleven wishing to fish in bodies of water under the jurisdiction of the U. S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. As with Habitat Management and Access Validation, Habitat Stamps are not required for those holding a free fishing license. 

If an angler over the age of eleven wants to fish with two rods, he or she must purchase a second-rod validation unless they possess a free fishing license. Three rods are not allowed at any time. 

Lastly, a Gila Trout Fishing Permit is necessary in order to fish in Gilita Creek, Mogollon Creek, West Fork Gila River, Willow Creek, Whitewater Creek, Sapillo Creek, Mineral Creek, and Black Canyon. The permit is free to anyone wishing to obtain it. 

Where Can You Purchase a Fishing License in New Mexico?

Fishing licenses can be purchased online at the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s website: They can also be purchased over the phone at 1-888-248-6866. Additionally, all New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offices and licensed local vendors also sell fishing licenses. For the full vendor list, visit this website: