MASSACHUSETTS FISHING LAWS AND REGULATIONS
It is crucial for anglers to be aware of and adhere to fishing regulations in Massachusetts as they play a vital role in protecting and preserving fish populations. Each state has its own set of regulations, which are often updated seasonally or monthly.
It's Not a Fee, It's a Contribution
Imagine the impact on lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and oceans if there were no fishing regulations in place. Fish populations would face depletion or even extinction. Considering the joy and satisfaction fishing brings to millions of people, it is our responsibility to contribute to conservation efforts by understanding and respecting state fishing laws before embarking on fishing trips to the top fishing spots in Massachusetts.
Fishing License Information
In Massachusetts, anyone aged 15 and older must possess a fishing license. All licenses remain valid from the time of purchase until the end of the year.
Where to Purchase
Fishing licenses can be obtained online through the MassFishHunt system. Licenses can be displayed on smartphones or printed as a hard copy. Alternatively, licenses can be purchased in person at authorized license agent locations, including select retail stores and MassWildlife Offices. Paper copies of licenses are provided at these locations, and high-quality photos are also acceptable. Assistance is available for individuals with disabilities.
For Massachusetts residents, the fees for freshwater licenses are as follows:
- Free for 15–17-year-olds
- $26 for regular licenses (excluding the $5.00 Wildlife Conservation Stamp, which is added to all first licenses purchased)
- $13 for ages 65-69
- Free for individuals with certain disabilities (preapproval required; call (508) 389-6300)
A three-day pass for freshwater fishing is available for $10.
Non-residents can obtain a fishing license for $26 (preapproval required; call (508) 389-6300). The fee for non-resident minors is $6.80. A three-day license is available for $20.90.
A Quabbin 1-day fishing license specifically for Quabbin Reservoir is priced at $5.
For saltwater fishing, permits are priced at $10 for anglers under 60 and are free for those 60 and over.
Additional administrative fees may apply depending on the license purchase location. Online transactions include an administrative fee of $1.45 per license plus a 2% convenience fee. When purchasing licenses at vendors such as sporting goods stores, bait shops, city/town offices, or clerk's offices, the administrative fee is $1.45 per license plus an agent fee of $1. Licenses purchased at MassWildlife locations of the Division of Marine Fisheries do not incur additional fees and can be paid with cash or check.
Over the next five years, fees for Massachusetts freshwater fishing licenses, permits, and stamps will gradually increase to support MassWildlife's programs and services.