License for Fishing in Maryland

License for Fishing in Maryland

2024 Maryland Fishing License

If you plan to target trout in Maryland, you will need to purchase a trout stamp in addition to your fishing license. The trout stamp is a separate permit that allows anglers to fish specifically for trout in designated trout management areas across the state. It’s important to note that the trout stamp must be carried along with your fishing license while fishing for trout to comply with Maryland’s fishing regulations. You can purchase both the fishing license and trout stamp online through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website or at authorized license vendors throughout the state. Be sure to check the 2024 Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing for the most up-to-date fishing regulations, size and creel limits.



Annual Non-Tidal Sport*

Trout Stamp







*License is valid 365 days from date of purchase.


License for Fishing in Maryland

A Comprehensive Guide to Getting a Fishing License in Maryland

Fishing isn’t just a hobby; it’s a way of life for many Marylanders. With its picturesque coastlines, tranquil rivers, and abundant wildlife, Maryland offers a haven for anglers of all levels. However, before you cast your line into the Chesapeake Bay or venture into the nontidal waters, there’s an essential step you must take: obtaining a fishing license. Let’s dive into the details of how to navigate the waters of fishing regulations in Maryland.

Understanding Fishing Licenses, Stamps, and Registration

Fishing in Maryland requires adherence to specific regulations, including the procurement of licenses, stamps, and registrations. These permits are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and come with varying fees depending on residency and duration. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key licenses and fees:

– Resident Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $20.50
– Non-Resident Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $30.50
– Resident 7-Day Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $7.50
– Non-Resident 7-Day Nontidal Sport Fishing License: $7.50
– Resident Trout Stamp: $5
– Non-Resident Trout Stamp: $10
– Resident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License: $15
– Non-Resident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License: $22.50
– Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration: Free

Additionally, certain exemptions and discounts are available for specific groups, such as Purple Heart recipients, disabled veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Navigating License Exemptions

While licenses are generally required for fishing in Maryland, there are exemptions based on age, residency, and location. For instance, individuals under 16 years of age, active-duty military personnel, and anglers fishing on designated license-free fishing days are exempt from purchasing licenses. Moreover, residents fishing in certain areas or from specific locations may not need a license, provided they comply with all fishing rules.

Ensuring Compliance and Avoiding Penalties

Failure to adhere to fishing regulations can result in penalties, including the suspension of fishing privileges. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Maryland’s fishing rules and regulations to avoid any violations. These rules encompass various aspects, such as catch limits, gear restrictions, and designated fishing areas.

How to Obtain a License or Registration

Obtaining a fishing license or registration is a straightforward process in Maryland. You can apply online through the Department of Natural Resources’ Compass Portal, visit a Licensing and Registration Service Center, or approach a licensed agent, such as a tackle shop or outdoor outfitter.

Exploring Reciprocal Fishing Privileges

Maryland has reciprocal fishing agreements with neighboring states, allowing anglers to fish across state lines without obtaining additional licenses. These agreements extend to the Potomac River, Virginia waters, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania reservoirs, among others.

Discovering License-Free Fishing Areas

Maryland boasts numerous license-free fishing areas where anglers can cast their lines without purchasing a license. These areas are spread across the state and offer ample opportunities for recreational fishing.


Securing a fishing license in Maryland is the first step towards unlocking the state’s bountiful fishing opportunities. By understanding the licensing requirements, exemptions, and regulations, anglers can enjoy a seamless fishing experience while preserving the state’s aquatic ecosystems. So, whether you’re casting for trout in nontidal waters or angling for stripers in the Chesapeake Bay, don’t forget to get your Maryland fishing license and embark on your next fishing adventure with confidence. Happy fishing!