New Mexico Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
New Mexico’s rivers, creeks, tributaries, dams, and even high mountain meadow creeks offer the best fly fishing in the country year round. There is a wide variety of freshwater fish, especially trout species. The Rio Grande Cutthroat and Gila are local species of trout that are highly sought after by anglers. Cochiti Lake has a rich population of largemouth bass as well as rainbow trout and brown trout. But before you can cast your line, you must purchase a New Mexico fishing license.
You don’t have to go to a fishing store or outdoor sporting goods store to buy a fishing license from a legitimate supplier. You can simply visit the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish website for online transactions. The fees collected serve as additional funding for the state’s habitat development efforts and conservation programs.
New Mexico Laws, and Regulations
Fishing laws and regulations are formulated and consistently implemented to preserve and protect fish stocks and waterways. Without these guidelines, certain fish species are most likely to be exhausted or extinct. Changes to existing laws and regulations are possible to meet the current needs and situations of a particular waterway or species of fish. These regulations also specify pocket restrictions, size restrictions, tackle requirements, fishing times, and more.
Everyone can contribute to the preservation and maintenance of fish populations and their habitats. If every angler takes care of his fishing spot by not littering and populating the water, that is a step towards nature conservation. If you practice the correct capture and release technique, a released fish has a chance of survival.
Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations in new Mexico
New Mexico is unique. It has beautiful scenery and city life like no other. However, one thing that has made New Mexico a worthy weekend destination is its fishing areas, home to various notable species of fish. The state prides itself on Eagle Nest Lake, which is great for boaters, campers, hikers, and nature lovers. This alpine lake is regularly stocked with trout and salmon, so fishing here will not disappoint.
And then there is Ute Lake. This lake is famous for water sports and is definitely on the bucket list of many anglers. But before you can enjoy the beauty and excitement of fishing in any of these locations, you must first get a New Mexico fishing license.
However, getting a fishing license can be a tedious and confusing task for some. That’s why we’ve put together this quick and easy guide to help you better understand the fishing license requirements in the state of New Mexico.
We will talk about various topics related to fishing licenses, such as: B. Where to get one, what the requirements are and what you have. So let’s get started!
Why do anglers need a fishing license?
The state of New Mexico sells fishing licenses to eligible anglers through the Department of Game & Fish for a variety of reasons. Licenses are one of the ways the state can account for how many people fish in its waters. In addition, the money from the state-sold fishing licenses goes into many of their conservation programs, such as breeding projects, research, technology acquisition, and conservation education. For this reason, getting a fishing license in the state also means that you are contributing to these programs that ultimately ensure that a healthy fish population is maintained.
Who Needs a Valid Fishing License in the State of New Mexico?
The state of New Mexico requires all anglers 12 years of age and older to have valid fishing permits prior to fishing or fishing in state waters within its jurisdiction. Some licenses are made available to multiple people free of charge because of the following:
- Free licenses for New Mexico residents 70 and older are available from all NMDGF offices and license providers.
- Free licenses for veterans with 100% disability are available upon application from NMDGF headquarters in Santa Fe, NM.
- Free senior fishing permits are not available to non-residents.
- Disabled fishing licenses are available to New Mexico residents with severe physical or developmental disabilities.
If you are in possession of one of the licenses described above (with the exception of the license for disabled residents), you are also exempt from other requirements such as the Habitat stamp, Habitat Management & Access Validation or a Second Rod Validation. Some individuals are also granted other exemptions as described in the law. You do NOT need to obtain a fishing license prior to fishing in New Mexico waters if you are one of the following:
- New Mexico resident and non-resident anglers under 12 years of age.
In the meantime, special licenses are being given to the following people at reduced prices:
- Junior fishing licenses are available to New Mexico resident and non-resident anglers ages 12-17.
- Senior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico residents aged 65 to 69 years.
Where to Buy a Fishing License in the State of New Mexico
There are several ways to shop in the state of New Mexico. Here are the practical ways you can buy a fishing license for yourself or as a gift.
- On-line. You can buy your fishing license online by using the New Mexico licensing website. The online platform accepts all major credit and debit cards such as Visa, Discover and Mastercard as payment options.
- In person via the NMDFG office. You can also call any New Mexico Department wildlife and fish bureau to obtain your fishing license in person.
- In person through license agents. There are literally hundreds of fishing license agents across the state including fishing shops, fishing shops, and even grocery stores like Walmart.
What Different Fishing Licenses Can I Buy In New Mexico?
New Mexico offers various types of fishing licenses to eligible individuals, whether residents or non-residents. The cost of these licenses varies depending on the applicant’s age, purpose, residence status and period of validity of the license. Here is a roundup of all the types of fishing licenses you can buy in the state of New Mexico:
|Fishing license fees||Residents||Not resident|
|Annual fishing license – 12 years and older||$ 25.00||$ 56.00|
|One day fishing||$ 12.00||$ 12.00|
|Five days of fishing||$ 24.00||$ 24.00|
|Junior year fishing (12-17)||$ 5.00||$ 15.00|
|Senior year fishing (65-69)||$ 8.00||Not available|
|Age 70 and over. Annual fishing||$ 0.00||Not available|
|Annual fishing for the disabled||$ 8.00||Not available|
|Second rod validation||$ 4.00||$ 4.00|
|Habitat Improvement Stamp||$ 5.00||$ 5.00|
|Habitat management and access validation||$ 4.00||$ 4.00|
An annual fishing license can be purchased for residents over the age of 12 for just $ 25.00, while non-residents of the same age can purchase it for $ 56.00. Note that the annual fishing license is valid for a fishing year that starts on April 1st of each year and ends on March 31st of the following year. If you also don’t fish all year round and an annual license seems impractical or unnecessary to you, there are also short term licenses that are sold in New Mexico. Residents and non-residents can purchase a one-day fishing license for just $ 12.00 or a five-day fishing license for just $ 24.00.
As already mentioned, several people are granted special tariffs. Anglers ages 12-17 can purchase an annual license for just $ 5.00 (residents) and $ 15.00 (non-residents). Meanwhile, seniors ages 65 to 69 and disabled residents can also get an annual fishing license for just $ 8.00 acquire.
Second rod validation
A second rod validation is required for all anglers aged 12-69 if they wish to fish with two rods. Residents and non-residents can purchase this permit for just $ 4.00 per year. Please note this is not required for New Mexico residents 70 years of age or older or veterans with 100% disability.
Gila trout fishing permit for selected locations
A Gila trout license is required to fish in the Special Trout Water areas of Black Canyon and Mogollon Creek. This permit is free and available online and at local NMDGF offices.
Day and Property Restrictions in New Mexico
Aside from the fact that anglers have to buy a fishing license, the state of New Mexico also observes fishing restrictions for its natural resources. With this in mind, it’s important to note the following restrictions when fishing in the state of New Mexico:
|Trout and Kokanee Salmon||5 per day, 10 owned|
|Lake trout||2 per day, 4 owned|
|Cutthroat Trout||2 per day, 2 owned|
|Gila trout||Willow and Gilita Creeks: 2 per day, 2 owned|
|Black bass||5 per day|
|catfish||15 per day|
|Crappie||20 per day|
|Striped bass||1 per day|
|Northern pike||10 per day|
|Tiger Muskie||1 per day|
|Pikeperch||5 per day, at least 14 inches|
|White bass||25 per day|
|Yellow perch||30 per day|
|All other hot water gamefish||
20 per day
Please also note the following rules:
- The pocket limit of 5 fish applies to any combination of trout and / or salmon, with the exception that no more than 2 lake trout and / or 2 cutthroat trout may be included in the limit.
- In Tingley Beach Central Pond and Children’s Pond, a maximum of 4 fish are allowed for the trout bag.
- Kokanee salmon ownership is not permitted at Heron Lake and Willow Creek during the closed season from October 1st to November 12th.
frequently asked Questions
Q: When does my annual fishing license expire?
An annual fishing license is valid for one (1) fishing year from April 1st to March 31st of the following year. This means that your license will expire every March 31st, regardless of the purchase date.
Q: Who needs to buy the Habitat Stamp, Habitat Management & Access Validation, or Second Rod Validation?
All anglers fishing in the state of New Mexico must obtain the above permits when fishing in the state, except for the following:
- New Mexico residents 70 and older
- 100% disabled veterans
Q: Are there any additional costs to purchasing a New Mexico fishing license?
Yes, there is a mandatory $ 4.00 Habitat Management Access Stamp and a $ 1.00 Seller Fee when purchasing a New Mexico fishing license.