Fishing License Requirements in Maine

Who Must Have a Fishing License?

In Maine, anyone aged 16 or older is mandated to possess a valid fishing license to engage in fishing in inland waters or to transport fish taken from such waters. This requirement is in place to ensure responsible fishing practices and the conservation of the state's aquatic resources.

Obtaining Your Fishing License

Fishing licenses are accessible to both residents and nonresidents and can be acquired through a variety of channels for convenience. Authorized agents across the state, including sporting goods stores, select convenience stores, town clerks, and turnpike service centers, offer licenses for purchase. Additionally, licenses can be obtained online or directly from the Department office in Augusta, providing flexible options to suit different needs. It's important to note that not every town clerk may issue licenses to nonresidents, so it's advisable to check availability beforehand.

Key Regulations and Provisions

Upon obtaining a fishing license, there are essential rules to follow:

  • License Display: License holders are required to carry their license at all times while fishing or transporting fish. Upon request, they must present their license for inspection by wardens, department employees, guides, or landowners. Nowadays, displaying an electronic license on a mobile device is permissible as an alternative to a physical paper license.

  • Tackle Possession: Having fishing tackle in the state's fields, forests, waters, or ice without a license is considered prima facie evidence of illegal fishing. This rule underscores the importance of obtaining and carrying a license to avoid legal complications.

  • Complimentary Licenses: Special provisions are in place for those who receive a complimentary fishing license. These individuals may have someone accompany and assist them in fishing without the need for the assistant to obtain a separate license. However, this privilege is limited to assisting with no more than one fishing rod and reel, and the assistant must stay close to the licensee during fishing activities.

Maine Fishing License Fees Overview

License Types and Costs

Maine offers a variety of fishing license options to accommodate both residents and nonresidents, with fees structured to reflect the duration and breadth of fishing activities. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the available licenses and their respective fees:

For Residents:

  • Season Fishing (16 and older): $25
  • Combination Fishing and Hunting: $43
  • Combination Fishing and Archery: $43
  • 1-Day Fishing: $11
  • 3-Day Fishing: $23
  • Serviceman (Resident) Combination: $3
  • Serviceman Dependent (Resident) Combination: $20
  • Serviceman Dependent (Resident) Fishing: $10
  • Duplicate License (from original issuing agent): $2
  • Super Pack: $207

For Nonresidents:

  • Season Fishing (16 and older): $64
  • Combination Fishing and Hunting: $150
  • 15-Day Fishing: $47
  • 7-Day Fishing: $43
  • 3-Day Fishing: $23
  • 1-Day Fishing: $11
  • Duplicate License (from original issuing agent): $2

Special Provisions

  • License Upgrades: 1-day and 3-day fishing licenses for Maine residents can be upgraded to a season fishing or combination license by paying the difference in fees plus an agent's fee.
  • Serviceman Eligibility: Maine residents stationed outside the state qualify for special serviceman rates.
  • Nonresident College Students: Those aged 18-23, enrolled full-time in a Maine college, may qualify for resident rate licenses.
  • Lake & River Protection Sticker: Required for nonresidents operating motorized watercraft or aircraft equipped with pontoons on inland waters, in addition to a valid boat registration.

Free Fishing Days

Maine designates specific days where anyone (aside from individuals with suspended or revoked licenses) can fish without a license, promoting fishing as an accessible and enjoyable activity. These days are:

  • February 17-18, 2024
  • June 1-2, 2024

During these free fishing days, all other fishing laws and regulations remain in effect, ensuring that the activity remains sustainable and respectful of Maine's aquatic ecosystems.

Additional Notes

  • Agent Fee Exclusion: The listed fees do not include additional agent fees.
  • Alien License Discontinuation: As of January 1, 2019, Alien licenses are no longer available. Nonresidents from outside the country must purchase a nonresident license at the standard fee.
  • License Display: Licensees must carry their license while fishing and present it upon request for inspection.

Maine Lifetime Fishing and Hunting Licenses

A Gift for a Lifetime

Maine's Lifetime License Program offers a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to secure lifelong fishing, trapping, and hunting privileges. This investment not only grants the license holder lifetime access to Maine's rich natural resources but also contributes to the conservation and support of the state's fish and wildlife populations. Funds from the sale of these licenses are allocated to a special trust, ensuring long-term financial backing for wildlife conservation efforts.

Senior Lifetime License for Maine Residents

For Maine residents aged 70 and over, a one-time payment of $8.00 unlocks a Senior Lifetime License. This comprehensive license encompasses a wide range of privileges, including hunting, fishing, trapping, and archery. Additionally, it covers specific permits such as bear hunting, migratory waterfowl, and more, although annual applications for antlerless and moose permits are still required.

License Options and Pricing

Lifetime licenses are available for both residents and nonresidents, with pricing structured according to age groups. The program offers individual licenses for fishing, hunting, archery, and trapping, as well as combination licenses for those interested in multiple activities.

For Residents:

  • Ages 5 and under: $150 for individual licenses; $250 for any two; $400 for all three.
  • Ages 6–15: $300 for individual licenses; $500 for any two; $800 for all three.
  • Ages 65–69: Graduated pricing from $50 to $10 for individual licenses; discounted rates for combinations.
  • Age 70 and older: A single fee of $8.00 covers all qualified activities.

For Nonresidents:

  • Ages 5 and under: $450 for individual licenses; $750 for any two; $1,200 for all three.
  • Ages 6–15: $900 for individual licenses; $1,500 for any two; $2,400 for all three.

Additional Information

  • Senior Lifetime License: If purchased before turning 70, the $8.00 fee is waived for seniors, with all listed permits included from the year they reach 70.
  • Application Process: Lifetime license applications are available in PDF format for both residents and nonresidents, with an option to upgrade from a Junior to an Adult Lifetime License.

Super Pack License

This exclusive license is designed for Maine residents, offering comprehensive hunting and fishing privileges across the state. The Super Pack License enables holders to pursue all legal game and fish, adhering to Maine's fishing, hunting, and archery regulations. Included within this license are specific permits for muzzleloader, crossbow, migratory waterfowl, pheasant, spring and fall turkey, bear hunting, and a coyote night hunt, along with three permits for expanded archery antlerless deer. Additionally, it grants a dog training and hunting permit, available through direct contact with the MDIFW Augusta office. Licensees also benefit from a complimentary entry in the moose lottery and a special category for the antlerless deer permit lottery. Eligibility for utilizing various hunting methods is contingent upon completing the requisite safety courses.

Keep Your License With You

License holders must carry either an electronic or paper copy of their fishing license at all times while engaged in fishing activities or transporting fish within the state. Compliance requires presenting this license upon request for inspection by any warden, law enforcement officer, MDIFW employee, guide, or landowner on whose property fishing is conducted. This mandate ensures lawful fishing practices and supports the state's efforts in conserving its aquatic resources.

Special Licenses

Special Privilege Licenses

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 Anywhere: Residents who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and permanently stationed outside of Maine may purchase either a 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.

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.

Complimentary Licenses

A free fishing license will be issued, upon application, to the following (these free licenses may be obtained at the Department Office in Augusta):

  1. Any Maine resident who is blind (Title 12, §10853-2);
  2. Any Maine resident (or nonresident, if reciprocal privileges exist in the home state of the nonresident) who is suffering from the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities (Title 12, §10853-3);
  3. Any person with a developmental disability (as defined in Title 5, §19503) (Title 12, §10853-10);
  4. Any person with a head injury (as defined in Title 22, §3086) (Title 12, §10853-12); and
  5. Any resident 16 or 17 years old in the custody of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (Title 12, §10853-16).
  6. Any person or entity that allows a group of persons with disabilities to fish in a location for a period of time as specified on the license (Title 12, SS10853-17).

To apply for a complimentary fishing license, please complete the Complimentary Hunting and Fishing Application form (PDF).

Disabled Veterans: 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. Veterans must still apply for any-deer & moose permits each year.

These licenses can be obtained at Maine Bureau of Veterans Services Central Office located at (Camp Keyes) 194 Winthrop Street Augusta, ME 04333 or emailing mainebvs@maine.gov Their hours are 7:30am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday.

Licenses can also be obtained by completing and mailing in the application form (PDF).

Native Americans: The commissioner shall issue a complimentary lifetime hunting, archery, trapping and fishing license, including permits and other permissions needed to hunt, trap and fish, to a person, who is an enrolled 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.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.