Fishing laws in Maine are strict to conserve fish populations for future generations of anglers. The state deposits revenues generated from these licenses in a special trust fund to support of fish and wildlife in Maine.

An increase in the number of fishermen translates to an increase in the amount of pressure on natural resources. In a bid to assess and manage the pressure on fish population, the state employs fishery biologists to design effective fish management plans – and fishing licenses are one of them.

Who Qualifies for a Fishing License in Maine?

Whether you are intending to hit Maine’s lakes or coastlines with your lush bow rider or basic pontoon boat, obtaining a Maine fishing license is imperative. 

Licenses are sold to residents, non-residents, servicemen, and people with disabilities. A license applicant is required to be at least 16 years of age or more to fish or transport fish from Maine’s inland waters. Any person who is 12 to 15 years can fish without the license.


If you are a resident, below are some requirements you need to meet:

  • Reside in Maine for three consecutive months before applying for a license.
  • Be registered to vote in Maine.
  • Be compliant to Maine Income Tax Laws.
  • If you are a licensed driver, you should possess a Maine Driver’s License or have made an application to possess it.

Non-Residents and Aliens

alien driving a taxi

There are 1-day, 3-day, 7-day, and 15-day fishing licenses for non-residents to choose from.

A non-resident who is 18 years or older and below 24 years enrolled to a full-time college or university in Maine can apply for a resident license for fishing, hunting, and trapping.

This should be obtained from the main office in Augusta.

People Over 70 years

seniors smiling

Residents over the age of 70 years can get complimentary Maine fishing licenses. They can apply for it at any time of the year that they are turning 70, without having to wait for their exact birth date. This license does not expire.

People with Disabilities

kid holding a basketball on a wheelchair

A veteran with service-related disabilities needs a special letter from the Veteran Administration proving that he or she has a service-connected disability.

Paraplegic people can get a physician’s statement certifying their loss of extremities.

Blind Maine residents with 16 or more years are also eligible to apply for a fishing license. To qualify, tests are run to prove that their acuity for distant vision is below 20/200. Their widest field of vision diameter subtending an angle should also be equal to or less than 2 degrees.

A mentally handicapped Maine resident is also eligible to apply for a Maine fishing license as long as they have a psychologist’s certification. This should prove that the applicant has completed a general intelligence test as stipulated by the Department of Mental Health.


four military men

Any person serving in the Armed Forces and placed permanently at a Maine military base is eligible to apply for a Maine fishing license, regardless of whether they are permanent residents or not. Their spouses and children can also get the license if they are living in Maine.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Maine

using a fishing rod

There are a number of fishing licenses to choose from:

Superpack License

To qualify for this license, you must to be a permanent Maine resident. This license allows anyone who has met the eligibility criteria to catch all fish species and hunt legal game.

The superpack license is inclusive of the crossbow, muzzleloader, pheasant, migratory waterfowl, bear, coyote night hunt, and spring/fall turkey hunting. It also comes with three extended archery antherless permits and one free entry into the yearly any-deer permit lottery.

Lifetime License    

Investing in a lifetime Maine fishing license will allow you to fish, trap, or hunt in Maine for the rest of your life, regardless of where you will live in the future.

Apart from fishing, the license is inclusive of bear, pheasant, migratory waterfowl, coyote, spring and fall turkey, muzzleloader, and crossbow hunting. You also will get one expanded archery deer permit and one expanded archery either-sex permit.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about getting a Maine fishing license. We hope these questions and answers can help you out. 

How Long is a Fishing License Valid in Maine?

Where You Can Purchase or Renew a Fishing License in Maine?

What are the Provisions for Fishing License Holders in Maine?

How Much Does a Fishing License Cost in Maine?

How Much is a Lifetime Fishing and Hunting License in Maine?

Getting Your Maine Fishing License is Easy

If you are a Maine local with more than 70 years, you can pay a onetime $8.00 fee to get a lifetime fishing, hunting, trapping, and archery license. In case you had purchased the lifetime license prior to turning 70, you will not be required to cater for the $8.00.

Also, all residents and non-residents operating motorized boats on Maine’s inland waters should have their Lake and River Protection sticker and a current boat registration sticker properly displayed when fishing. 

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