Maine, known for its stunning coastline, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife, is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, if you plan to fish in Maine’s waters, you’ll need to obtain a valid fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of getting a fishing license in Maine for the year 2024.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Maine?

In Maine, anyone aged 16 or older must have a valid fishing license to fish in the state’s inland waters or marine waters. This applies to both residents and non-residents. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Children under the age of 16 can fish without a license.
  • Maine residents who are 70 years or older can obtain a free lifetime fishing license.
  • Individuals fishing on their own land for domestic use only.

It’s important to note that even if you fall under one of these exceptions, you must still adhere to all fishing regulations, such as daily bag limits and size restrictions.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Maine

Maine offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to different needs and preferences. Here are the main categories:

Resident Licenses

  • Resident Fishing (16 and older): Allows fishing in inland waters and marine waters for individuals who have lived in Maine for at least 3 months prior to applying.
  • Resident Combination Fishing & Hunting (16 and older): Covers both fishing and hunting privileges for Maine residents.
  • Resident Serviceman Combination Fishing & Hunting (16 and older): Available to Maine residents who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Non-Resident Season Fishing (16 and older): Allows fishing in inland waters and marine waters for the entire season.
  • Non-Resident 15-Day Fishing (16 and older): Valid for 15 consecutive days from the date of purchase.
  • Non-Resident 7-Day Fishing (16 and older): Valid for 7 consecutive days from the date of purchase.
  • Non-Resident 3-Day Fishing (16 and older): Valid for 3 consecutive days from the date of purchase.
  • Non-Resident 1-Day Fishing (16 and older): Valid for 24 hours from the time of purchase.

Other License Types

  • Alien Season Fishing (16 and older): For non-U.S. citizens who are not Maine residents.
  • Lifetime Fishing (5 and older): Available to both residents and non-residents, valid for the lifetime of the license holder.

Fishing License Costs in Maine (2024)

The prices for fishing licenses in Maine may vary slightly from year to year. As of 2024, here are the costs for some of the most common license types:

License TypeResidentNon-Resident
Season Fishing$25$64
Combination Fishing & Hunting$43N/A
15-Day FishingN/A$47
7-Day FishingN/A$43
3-Day FishingN/A$23
1-Day FishingN/A$11
Lifetime Fishing (5-15 years)$150$450
Lifetime Fishing (65 and older)$50$50

Prices are subject to change. Please check the official Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife website for the most up-to-date information.

Where to Purchase a Maine Fishing License

There are several convenient ways to obtain your Maine fishing license:


The easiest and quickest method is to purchase your license online through the official Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife website. You can complete the process from the comfort of your home and print out your license immediately.


You can also buy your fishing license in-person at various locations throughout the state, including:

  • Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife main office in Augusta
  • Regional offices of the Maine Warden Service
  • Many town clerks’ offices
  • Authorized license agents, such as sporting goods stores, bait shops, and convenience stores

To find a license agent near you, use the Maine Fishing License Agent Locator.

By Phone

If you prefer to purchase your license by phone, you can call the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife at (207) 287-8000 during regular business hours.

Fishing Regulations in Maine

Before casting your line, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Maine’s fishing regulations to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and legal fishing experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Fishing Seasons: Maine’s fishing seasons vary depending on the type of fish and the body of water. Always check the current fishing laws and regulations book for specific dates and any seasonal closures.
  • Bag Limits: Pay attention to the daily bag limits for each fish species. These limits help maintain healthy fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices.
  • Size Restrictions: Some fish species have minimum length requirements. Make sure to measure your catch and release any fish that don’t meet the size criteria.
  • Prohibited Methods: Certain fishing methods, such as snagging or using dynamite, are strictly prohibited. Stick to legal fishing techniques to avoid fines and protect the environment.
  • Invasive Species: Be aware of invasive fish species and take steps to prevent their spread, such as cleaning your gear and not releasing live bait into the water.

For the most current and detailed information on Maine’s fishing regulations, consult the Maine Fishing Laws & Rules published by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

Supporting Maine’s Conservation Efforts

By purchasing a fishing license, you’re not only gaining access to Maine’s incredible fishing opportunities but also contributing to the state’s conservation efforts. The revenue generated from fishing license sales helps fund various initiatives, including:

  • Fish stocking programs
  • Habitat restoration projects
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Fisheries research and management
  • Educational programs promoting responsible fishing practices

Your fishing license is an investment in the future of Maine’s aquatic resources, ensuring that generations to come can enjoy the same fantastic fishing experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fish in both inland waters and marine waters with a single license?

Yes, most Maine fishing licenses cover both inland and marine waters, allowing you to explore a wide range of fishing spots across the state.

Do I need a separate license for ice fishing?

No, your regular fishing license also covers ice fishing in Maine. However, be sure to check the specific regulations for the body of water you plan to ice fish on, as some may have additional restrictions.

Can I purchase a fishing license for someone else? 

Yes, you can buy a fishing license as a gift for another person. Just make sure to have their correct personal information, such as name, address, and date of birth, when making the purchase.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you purchased your license online, you can easily reprint it from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife website. If you bought your license in-person or by phone, contact the department for assistance in obtaining a replacement.


Obtaining a fishing license in Maine is a simple process that grants you access to some of the most spectacular fishing destinations in the United States. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying informed about the state’s fishing regulations, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a memorable and rewarding fishing adventure in Maine. Remember, your fishing license is not just a permit to fish but also a contribution to the conservation and preservation of Maine’s invaluable aquatic resources. Happy fishing!

For the most up-to-date information on fishing licenses and regulations in Maine, always refer to the official Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife website.

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