Decoding New Hampshire Fishing License Exemptions: Who Qualifies?

Who is Exempt from New Hampshire Fishing License?


If you’re planning a fishing trip to the beautiful state of New Hampshire, it’s important to understand the regulations and requirements regarding fishing licenses. While obtaining a fishing license is generally mandatory for most anglers, there are certain exemptions that apply to specific groups of individuals. In this blog post, we’ll explore who is exempt from needing a fishing license in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Resident Exemptions

New Hampshire residents have the privilege of exemption from purchasing a fishing license under certain circumstances. The following categories outline those who do not require a fishing license:

Aged 68 or Older

Residents aged 68 years or older can enjoy their favorite pastime without worrying about obtaining a fishing license. This exemption applies regardless of whether they are freshwater or saltwater fishermen.

Military Personnel on Leave

Active-duty military personnel who are currently on leave can fish in New Hampshire waters without requiring a license. It’s essential for these individuals to carry proper identification verifying their active-duty status.

Landowners and Family Members

Resident landowners and their immediate family members (spouse, children, grandchildren) do not need to purchase a fishing license when angling within the boundaries of their land.

Non-Resident Exemptions

While non-residents typically need to obtain an out-of-state fishing license in order to fish legally in New Hampshire, there are some scenarios where they may be exempted:

Aged 15 or Younger

Children aged 15 years old and younger do not require an out-of-state fishing license while casting lines into the waters of New Hampshire.

Fishing Derbies/Special Events Participants

Non-resident anglers participating in authorized fishing derbies or special events that are supervised by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department do not need to obtain a regular fishing license. However, it’s important for participants to confirm that the event they are attending meets these criteria.

Free Fishing Day

New Hampshire designates several “Free Fishing Days” throughout the year when both residents and non-residents alike can legally fish without obtaining a fishing license. These designated days are an excellent opportunity for beginners or occasional fishermen to experience the joy of angling without any cost.


Understanding who is exempt from needing a fishing license in New Hampshire is crucial before planning your next fishing adventure in this picturesque state. Remember, exemptions only apply under specific circumstances outlined by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. It’s essential always to stay up-to-date with current regulations to ensure compliance with state laws while enjoying your time on the water.