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New Mexico Fishing Licenses
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Fishing licenses in New Mexico must be obtained by residents and non residents alike in order to enjoy one of the most popular activities in the state. The state is home to many rivers, lakes and streams that contain a variety of warm-water catch and is considered one of the best places to fish in the region. A new fishing license is required to take catch in the state, and the most convenient method to buy a fishing license is through the web. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish allows both residents and visitors to obtain a license to fish online in a few steps. Fishing licenses in NM may also be procured by visiting an NMDGF office or an authorized license agent in person. The Department of Game and Fish issues annual New Mexico fishing permits that are valid for the period of one year between April 1 and March 31. Anglers who are 12 years of age and younger are not required to get a fishing license. The state also makes it mandatory for those anglers with a regular NM fishing license to buy a Habitat Management and Access Validation once a year, as long as they have the appropriate fishing credentials. However, seniors 69 years of age and older, disabled veterans and fishermen younger than 18 do not need to get this type of validation document. For more information on how to get a fishing license in New Mexico, click this link. Both residents and visitor must obtain a license to fish in New Mexico from either of the following main categories:

  • A new license to fish
  • A commercial fishing license

New Mexico Recreational Fishing Licenses

One of the most convenient methods to get a New Mexico recreational fishing license is through the state’s fishing department website. To utilize this application method, you will need to create a username and password on the NMDGF website. Make sure a PDF reader is installed on your computer in order to print your recreational fishing license. The online system accepts payment by credit card only. Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express credit or debit cards are accepted.

Certain individuals are eligible to receive fishing licenses at no cost. Those applicants who qualify are encouraged to visit a New Mexico Department of Game and Fish representative at a local office by speaking to the proper representative. For example, if you are a disabled military veteran, you can easily get a fishing permit at the department’s headquarters in Santa Fe. Similarly, senior residents who are 70 or older may also obtain a free NM license to fish at a physical location. Ensure that you have a correct form of identification on hand when applying for a fishing credential in person.

The process to obtain a freshwater fishing permit in New Mexico is simple, though if you intend to fish with two rods, you will be required to get a Second Rod Validation. This requirement specifically applies to individuals between 12 and 69 years of age.

New Mexico Commercial Fishing Licenses

To buy commercial licenses to fish in the state, interested applicants must contact the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Only through the department will you obtain exact information pertaining to fees and the New Mexico commercial fishing license application process. To send a written request via mail, address your letter to the following:

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
1 Wildlife Way
Santa Fe, NM 87507

You may also call the department at 505-476-8000 or send a message with your question about commercial licensure to the following email address: ispa@state.nm.us.

Applicants are required to adhere to state rules and regulations, such as commercial annual bag limits and the methods of legal taking. The current fee for commercial fishing licensing is $25. However, this amount is subject to change without any prior notice. To inquire about the latest rates, directly contact the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for clarification.

Note: If you are not interested in catching fish but, instead, you would like to collect amphibians and reptiles for commercial profit, you may do so as long as you apply for the appropriate collecting permit from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. A commercial collecting permit is only good for the period of a year, from April 1 to March 31.

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

Oftentimes you can buy a fishing license through your state’s fishing department website. You will most likely need to create an account on the webpage and have a printer nearby to finalize your transaction. Make sure to also have a valid credit card on hand, as no other form of payment is accepted by state departments online. Take note that, as proof of your residency, you may be required to enter your driver’s license number.
In a general sense, a good number of states offer the following types of fishing licenses: a regular fishing license and a commercial fishing license. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to get a saltwater license to fish, if you are by coastal waters. In addition to these permits, you may be required to buy a fishing stamp, depending on the specific type of fish species you intend to catch.
A regular fishing permit is often valid for the period of a full year. However, you may also have the option to obtain a license to fish that is good for 24 hours or 72 hours, for example. In some instances, a weekly fishing license or a lifetime license may also be available. Lifetime licenses to fish are the most suitable option for those anglers who intend to fish for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that if you would like to continue fishing after the expiration date of your current licensure, you will be required to get a new permit to fish.
The fees related to a state fishing license may vary, depending on a few factors. But senior residents and military veterans can usually get a fishing license that is free of charge, as long as they can present official documentation that supports their residency or military service. Resident licenses to fish are often more affordable than nonresident licenses. The most costly licenses are for those who would like to get lifetime credentials.
In the event that you have lost your fishing license or it was stolen, the most common way to obtain a duplicate is through your state’s fishing department. You may be required to make an in-person visit to a nearby office or to contact a licensed agent directly. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to order a fishing permit replacement online. But, to be sure, it is important that you double check with your state department first, as you may also need to bring in certain documentation, such as your driver’s license or ID card.
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