Fishing License Requirements for Private Property in Vermont: What You Should Know

Do You Need a Fishing License for Private Property in Vermont?


Fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers often wonder whether they require a fishing license while angling on private property in the beautiful state of Vermont. Understanding the regulations regarding fishing licenses is crucial to ensure compliance with local laws and preserving Vermont’s natural resources. In this blog post, we will delve into the specific guidelines surrounding fishing licenses for private property in Vermont, providing you with all the information you need.

Fishing Licensing Laws in Vermont

In Vermont, like many states across the United States, fishing licensing laws aim to conserve fish populations and maintain sustainable fisheries. Typically, individuals engaging in recreational or sport fishing activities must acquire a valid fishing license unless exempted under certain circumstances.

Fishing License Exemptions

While most anglers are required to possess a valid fishing license before casting their lines into public waters, there are exemptions for private property owners:

1. On Your Own Private Waterbody

If you own a private waterbody within your property boundaries that has no direct connection with public waters – such as rivers or lakes accessible by others – you generally don’t need to obtain a separate fishing license. This exemption applies as long as your privately owned body of water remains isolated from any public access points.

However, it is important to note that if your private waterbody does have an inlet or outlet connected to public waters where fish can migrate freely (e.g., through creeks or streams), obtaining a regular state-issued permit will be necessary.

2. Immediate Family Members on Your Private Property

Immediate family members (spouse, parents, children) who reside on your private property may also engage in recreational angling without needing individual licenses when done exclusively within the boundaries of your land.

It’s essential to remember that this exemption exclusively applies to private property fishing and does not permit fishing in public waters adjacent to your land. If you plan on fishing outside your private waterbody or along the shoreline of a nearby river, lake, or stream accessible by others, a valid license is required.

Non-Resident Fishing License Requirements

If you do not reside in Vermont but wish to fish on privately owned property within the state, different rules apply:

1. Non-Resident Property Owners

Non-residents who own private property in Vermont may enjoy fishing without acquiring a separate license solely on their owned property. This exemption allows non-residents to experience the joy of angling while respecting their rights as landowners.

However, if non-resident anglers decide to venture beyond their privately owned waterbodies onto public waters within Vermont’s borders, they must obtain an appropriate out-of-state fishing license.

2. Renting/Private Access Arrangements

Suppose you are a non-resident renting or granted access to someone else’s privately-owned property for recreational purposes. In that case, it is crucial to understand that being on private land does not exempt you from obtaining either an individual resident or non-resident fishing license when casting lines into public waters.

By following these regulations and ensuring proper licensing whenever necessary, both residents and non-residents can enjoy the incredible sport of fishing while maintaining ecological balance throughout Vermont’s pristine natural environment.

Fishing License Fees and Application Process

To obtain a valid Vermont state fishing license – whether for residents or non-residents – interested individuals must follow these steps:

1. Visit the official website of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
2. Navigate through their user-friendly online portal.
3. Select the appropriate type of license based on residency status (resident/non-resident) and duration (annual, 1-day, multi-year).
4. Complete the required application form.
5. Pay the applicable fees securely using various online payment options provided.

It is crucial to note that fishing licenses in Vermont are affordable and contribute directly to various conservation efforts aimed at preserving fish populations and their natural habitats.


As an angler in Vermont, understanding the fishing license requirements for private property ensures compliance with local regulations while allowing you to enjoy all that nature has to offer. While exemptions exist for both residents and non-residents within their privately owned boundaries, it’s vital to obtain a valid fishing license when venturing into public waters accessible by others. By doing so, we can preserve our rich ecosystems and continue fostering sustainable recreational opportunities for generations to come.