Unveiling the Exemptions: Who Doesn’t Need a New York Fishing License?

Who is Exempt from New York Fishing License?

Fishing in the beautiful state of New York has always been a popular recreational activity, attracting both locals and tourists alike. However, many individuals wonder whether they need to obtain a fishing license before casting their lines into the abundant waters of this diverse region. The good news is that certain groups are exempt from acquiring a fishing license in New York. In this blog post, we will explore who these exemptions apply to and under what circumstances.


If you are a resident of New York State, congratulations! You do not require a fishing license to engage in recreational fishing within the state’s boundaries. This exemption applies regardless of your age or residency status within specific regions such as cities or counties.

Native Americans

The Native American tribes that have treaties with the United States government also enjoy an exemption from obtaining a fishing license in New York. These tribal members can fish freely on reservations or other land held by recognized tribes without requiring any additional permits.

Aged 70 and Above

In recognition of their contributions and dedication throughout their long lives, individuals aged 70 years and above are not required to purchase a fishing license in New York. Whether you’re retired or still actively exploring life after reaching this milestone age, you can freely enjoy the tranquil art of angling without worrying about purchasing an annual permit.

Military Personnel

New York honors its military personnel by granting them an exemption from needing a fishing license while on official leave or furlough during their active service period. Whether you serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard units ordered into active service by the President for federal purposes – all branches qualify for this exception.

Blind Individuals

In a commendable effort to ensure inclusivity, New York State exempts blind individuals from requiring a fishing license. Blindness should not hinder anyone’s ability to enjoy the peaceful and therapeutic nature of recreational fishing.

Patient Rehabilitation Programs

Individuals participating in patient rehabilitation programs operated by recognized hospitals or other medical institutions are also exempt from purchasing a fishing license during their therapy period. This exemption offers patients an opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation as they recover physically and emotionally.


New York State has thoughtfully provided exemptions within its fishing regulations to cater to specific groups of people who would benefit from enjoying recreational angling without the need for a license. Whether you’re a resident, Native American, senior citizen, military personnel on leave, blind individual or participating in patient rehabilitation programs – casting your line into New York’s abundant waters is an accessible activity for all. So grab your gear and make cherished memories amidst the state’s stunning natural beauty.