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Massachusetts Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

Massachusetts Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

Massachusetts fishing licenses are a necessary requirement for all anglers with plan to remove fish from state lakes, rivers and streams. Issued by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), Massachusetts licenses to fish are categorized based on the applicant’s age, residency status, and whether or not the applicant will fish in freshwater or saltwater. Additional educational resources for beginning anglers are administered by the Game and Fish Department, while experienced anglers are encouraged to join fishing organizations to meet other fishing enthusiasts. Browse the sections below to learn more about Massachusetts fishing permits:

Types of Fishing Licenses in Massachusetts

Recreational fishing licenses in Massachusetts are available to both residents and visitors to the state. Individuals are considered residents once they have lived in the state for at least six consecutive months, at which point they are eligible for discounted fishing licenses. Fishing permits are classified based on the applicant’s age, as well as the type of fishing being conducted. Two overarching categories of licenses to fish are issued by the DFG:

  • Freshwater fishing licenses
  • Saltwater fishing licenses

All sport anglers ages 15 and older are required to have a recreational fishing license when taking fish out of state waters. To apply for a MA fishing permit, you must submit an application through the DFG using one of the following methods:

  • Buy a fishing license in person at a local DFG office.
  • Buy a fishing license in person at select city and town clerk offices.
  • Buy a fishing license in person at select sporting goods stores.
  • Buy a fishing license online at the Massachusetts Fishing and Hunting License Purchase page.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Massachusetts freshwater fishing licenses are available from the DFG for anglers who plan to catch fish from inland state waters. Depending on the applicant’s residency status and the type of marine wildlife they would like to catch, fishing permit application fees may vary. Available freshwater fishing licenses include:

  • Freshwater Residential Fishing License: $27.50
  • Freshwater Youth Residential Fishing License (ages 15 through 17): Free
  • Freshwater Senior Residential Fishing License (ages 65 through 69): $16.25
  • Freshwater Senior Residential Fishing License (ages 70 or older): Free
  • Freshwater Residential/Non Resident Paraplegic Fishing License: Free
  • Freshwater Non Resident Fishing License: $37.50
  • Freshwater Non Resident Three-Day Fishing License: $23.50
  • Freshwater Residential Three-Day Fishing License: $12.50
  • Freshwater Youth Non Resident Fishing License: $11.50
  • Freshwater Residential/Non Resident One-Day Fishing License (Quabbin Reservoir): $5.00
  • Residential Sporting License: $45.00
  • Senior Residential Sporting License (Age 65-69): $25.00
  • Senior Residential Sporting & Trapping License (Aged 70 or Over): Free

Freshwater fishing licenses may be subjected to a change of fees without notice.

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Aside from freshwater fishing licenses, the Massachusetts DFG also offers saltwater fishing licenses to anglers fishing off the coast. Saltwater fishing permits are available to both residents and visitors to the state with varying fees depending on the applicant’s age and the type of wildlife they plan to catch in the ocean:

  • Saltwater Residential Fishing Permit: $10
  • Saltwater Non Resident Fishing Permit: $10
  • Saltwater Residential Fishing Permit (ages 60 and older): Free
  • Saltwater Non Resident Fishing Permit (ages 60 and older): Free
  • Saltwater Residential Lobster Permit: $55

Fees for recreational fishing licenses are subject to change without notice. Purchase MA saltwater fishing licenses either online or in person at a local authorized licensing agent.

Fishing Education in Massachusetts

The Department of Fish and Game aims to educate anglers of all ages to become better at the craft once they have received their Massachusetts fishing licenses. One of the main methods for achieving this task is through the Angler Education Program (AEP). Serving as a social organization that brings together anglers both young and old, the AEP pushes curriculum that teaches students about state aquatic wildlife and conservation options. The AEP also strives to motivate citizens to take advantage of the many fishing opportunities in Massachusetts by bringing attention to waterways present throughout the state. With regularly scheduled family fishing festivals, fishing clinics and a fishing gear loaner program, the AEP is dedicated to furthering fishing education throughout the state.

Fishing Organizations in Massachusetts

One of the best ways to foster an increasing awareness and appreciation of angling in Massachusetts is by joining one of several fishing organizations operating throughout the state. MA fishing organizations accept members of all ages and skills levels. Popular fishing clubs include:

  • The Massachusetts Bass Federation
  • The Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association
  • The Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership

The Massachusetts Bass Federation (MBF) is one of the state’s oldest fishing organizations, dedicated to promoting sport fishing, wildlife conservation and youth fishing awareness. Aside from the many tournaments held by MBF each year, the group has a number of youth programs such as Junior Anglers and Reel Kids. The Student Angler Federation is also a subsidiary of MBF, in which high school students are urged to get involved in fishing activities through promotional events and educational seminars.

The Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association (MLA) operates throughout the state to promote the efforts of lobster fishermen and women, both commercial and recreational. The MLA aims to encourage the sport of fishing and works alongside state agencies to provide a voice for the concerns of lobster anglers.

The Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership (MFP) is a conglomeration of numerous fishing organizations throughout the state. Focused on the promotion of a healthy angling community, MFP works to improve state ocean policy and social networking between anglers, as well as continued research in marine conservation.