Key Age Requirements for New York Fishing Licenses: A Summary

  • Anyone 16 years or older needs a fishing license in New York
  • Children under 16 can fish for free when supervised by a licensed adult 18+
  • Free fishing allowed for all during designated free fishing days (June 24-25 and Sept 23, 2024)
  • Disabled veterans and Native Americans on reservations may qualify for free licenses with proper documentation

Why Get a New York Fishing License?

Fishing licenses play a vital role in funding the conservation and management of New York’s lakes, rivers and marine areas. The revenue generated supports critical programs that protect fish populations, maintain habitats and promote sustainable fishing practices. By getting a license, you contribute to preserving these natural treasures for future generations.

Age Requirements for a New York Fishing License

In New York State, a fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older who wishes to fish in the state’s waters. This age requirement applies to both residents and non-residents.

Exceptions to the Age Requirement

While 16 is the general age requirement, there are a few exceptions:

Children under 16: Kids under 16 do not need a license when fishing in New York, but must be accompanied by a licensed adult supervisor who is at least 18 years old.

Free Fishing Days: New York offers several free fishing days each year (June 24-25 and Sept 23 in 2024) when anyone can fish without a license.

Disabled Veterans and Active Military: Disabled veterans and current U.S. military personnel may qualify for free annual fishing licenses if they meet certain criteria and provide proper documentation.

Native Americans on Reservations: Native Americans who are tribe members residing on a reservation are exempt from needing a license when fishing on that reservation land. Additional requirements may apply.

Types of New York Fishing Licenses

New York provides several license options to fit different angler needs:

Annual Licenses

  • Resident: $25 (ages 16-69), $5 (70+)
  • Non-Resident: $50

Short-Term Licenses

  • 1-Day: $5 (res), $15 (non-res)
  • 7-Day: $10 (res), $30 (non-res)
  • 1-Year (ages 16-17 res): $15

Lifetime Licenses

  • Resident: $460 (ages 0-69), $65 (70+)
  • Non-Resident: $860 (ages 0-69), $120 (70+)
Resident License TypeFee
Annual (16-69)$25
Annual (70+)$5
1-Year (16-17)$15
Lifetime (0-69)$460
Lifetime (70+)$65

Additional stamps or permits may be required for certain species like trout. Check the NY DEC Fishing Regulations for your intended fishing type.

How to Buy a New York Fishing License

New York offers a few convenient ways to purchase your fishing license:

  • Online through the NY DEC Online Licensing System – licenses can be printed or stored on mobile devices.
  • In-Person at town clerk offices, sporting goods stores, bait shops and DEC regional offices located across the state.
  • By Phone through the DEC call center, with the license then mailed to you.

Be sure to review the latest NY Fishing Regulations for other rules like catch limits, closed seasons and conservation practices to fish responsibly in New York’s waters.

By understanding the age requirements and getting a proper fishing license, you’ll be playing your part to sustain New York’s world-class fisheries for many years to come. The next time you cast a line, you can enjoy your passion while protecting these natural wonders.

Can I use my fishing license from another state in New York?

No, fishing licenses from other states are not valid in New York. You must obtain a New York fishing license to legally fish in the state’s waters.

Do I need a separate license for saltwater fishing?

Yes, in addition to a regular fishing license, you’ll need to obtain a saltwater fishing permit if you plan to fish in New York’s coastal waters or marine districts.

Can I transfer or renew my fishing license?

Fishing licenses in New York are non-transferable, meaning they cannot be transferred to another person. However, you can renew your license annually or purchase a multi-year or lifetime license for added convenience.

What happens if I’m caught fishing without a valid license?

Fishing without a valid license in New York is considered a violation and can result in fines and penalties. It’s crucial to ensure that you have the appropriate license before engaging in any fishing activities in the state.

Are there any free fishing days in New York?

Yes, New York offers several designated “Free Fishing Days” throughout the year, during which anyone can fish without a license. These days are typically scheduled around holidays or special events and are designed to promote the sport of fishing to new and lapsed anglers.

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