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Vermont Fishing Licenses

Vermont fishing licenses are required for all anglers who plan to take fish from state public waters. To buy fishing licenses in the state, follow the fishing license application process outlined by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Though Vermont is an inland state with no direct access to the ocean, it still provides some of the best places to fish in fresh water, with a wide range of freshwater fish to choose from. As a result of this diversity, the Fish and Wildlife Department offers a variety of options for anglers getting a fishing license in Vermont. All state-issued fishing licenses fit into either the recreational fishing license category or the commercial fishing license category. Depending on whether you plan to fish for fun or for the purpose of selling commercial bait, you will need to complete the appropriate Vermont fishing license application. Commercial fishing licenses in Vermont come with a wide range of regulatory restrictions to ensure the fish species in Vermont remain unharmed. Prior to applying for a VT commercial fishing permit, make sure you understand the Fish and Wildlife Department rules. The application processes vary depending on which type of license to fish you are purchasing. However, one constant in the application process is that you will need to establish your Vermont residency if you would like to get the discounted resident rate for your license. To learn more about the various options for fishing licenses in Vermont, read the corresponding informational sections below:

  • Recreational fishing licenses
  • Commercial fishing licenses


New Vermont Fishing Licenses

Anglers in Vermont must buy a fishing license to enjoy fishing in state public waters. To do so, you must complete the fishing license application process through the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Since Vermont is an inland state, there are no opportunities to fish in saltwater. As a result, there are no fishing license options for saltwater fishing. However, a number of freshwater fishing licenses are available to both residents and non residents.

Prior to completing a Vermont fishing license application, you will need to first establish with the Fish and Wildlife Department whether or not you are a Vermont resident. To establish Vermont residency, you must have lived in Vermont for at least six consecutive months directly prior to submitting your application for a permit to fish. Additionally, you will need to provide proof of residency by showing your Vermont driver’s license or state-issued ID card.

Classes of licenses are based on many factors such as the age of the applicant and the length of time the license is valid for. Vermont fishing licenses are not necessary for children younger than 15 years of age. The available license options include:

  • One-day recreational fishing licenses.
  • Three-day licenses.
  • Seven-day licenses.
  • Standard annual licenses.
  • Five-year licenses.
  • Youth licenses (ages 15 to 17).
  • Combination fishing and hunting licenses.

Additionally, the Fish and Wildlife Department offers options for purchasing lifetime fishing licenses for an increased fee. Lifetime Vermont fishing license fees are based on the age of the applicant at the time of purchase. Reduced-fee license options are also available for senior citizens, military personnel and persons with disabilities.

To get a fishing license in Vermont, visit the Fish and Wildlife Department website and apply through the Online License Purchase System. You also have the option of printing the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Sporting License Application from the website and mailing it in along with the appropriate fee.

Vermont Commercial Fishing Licenses

Getting a commercial fishing license is required for Vermont anglers who fish in state waters for business purposes. To get a commercial license, complete the commercial fishing license application and submit it to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

To apply for a commercial fishing license for bait dealers, print and complete the Commercial Bait Dealers Permit Application, which is available on the Fish and Wildlife Department website. Enter your personal information on the form and check the appropriate box for the type of bait dealing you plan to conduct (i.e. waterbody-specific dealer or statewide baitfish dealer). Applicants will also need to indicate the water source and water discharge for their bait shop. Vermont commercial fishing permits expire annually, at which point commercial anglers must pay the appropriate renewal fee to keep their license up to date. All persons holding a bait dealer permit are required by the Fish and Wildlife Department to operate a place of business that sells baitfish to the general Vermont public. Restrictions on the type of fish you are allowed to sell as bait are available on the Fish and Wildlife Department website.

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.
This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.