Licenses and Permits
Recreational Saltwater Fishing License Requirement
All persons age 16 and older recreationally fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of the state must purchase a N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types who wish to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold.
Available for online purchase
Resident Softshell Clam (NH residents only)
Resident Oyster (NH residents only)
NOTE: If you need a paper application by mail, contact the Marine Division at (603) 868-1095 or the Licensing Desk at Fish and Game headquarters at (603) 271-3422 between 8:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
Lobster and Crab License and Lobster Helper's License:
- License to take lobster and crab from state waters. This link includes: a) the application form for a lobster and crab license, b) a notice regarding annual requirements for maintaining eligibility for the commercial or limited commercial licenses, and c) the affidavit used to maintain eligibility for the commercial or limited commercial license instead of purchasing a license if you don’t intend to fish this year or opt to fish this year under the open access part-time commercial license or the recreational license.
- An applicant can apply for only one type of license: Recreational (up to 5-traps), Part-Time Commercial (up to 100-traps), Limited Commercial (up to 600-traps), or Commercial (up to 1,200-traps).
- Limited Commercial and Commercial Lobster and Crab licenses are limited access licenses. For qualification criteria, see gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XVIII/211/211-18.htm.
Affidavit for Limited Access Lobster and Crab Licenses:Click here for the affidavit used to maintain eligibility for the commercial or limited commercial license instead of purchasing a license if you don’t intend to fish this year or opt to fish this year under the open access part-time commercial license or the recreational license.
Commercial Lobster Trap Tag Order Form:
- NEW 2014 Commercial Lobster Trap Tag Order Form (June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2015)
- 2013 Commercial Lobster Trap Tag Order Form (June 1, 2013 - May 31, 2014)
Commercial Saltwater License
Required to take, possess, land, or transport marine species for the purpose to sell. This license is issued to an individual. Lobsters and crabs may not be taken with this license.
Lobster and Crab Landing License
License to transport in state waters and crabs taken outside the jurisdiction of the state via ship, vessel or similar craft. This license is issued to an individual.
Retail Trade of Lobster and Crab
Required to buy, sell, process, ship and transport. Separate license required for each additional market, store, vehicle or other facility.
New Hampshire Wholesale Marine Species License
Required to engage in the wholesale trade of buying, selling, processing and transport of Marine Species. A separate license is required for each additional market, store, vehicle or other facility.
Saltwater Fishing Vessels
Needed for party and charter boat vessels to provide recreational saltwater fishing opportunities for persons taking finfish from coastal or estuarine waters.
Lifetime Limited Saltwater License
Persons holding a valid Lifetime Fishing or Lifetime Combination Hunting and Fishing License issued prior to January 1, 2011, may apply for a saltwater license for the following species only: saltwater smelt, saltwater shad and saltwater salmonoids. No charge. Must be applied for each year.
What do I need to allow me to land lobsters that were harvested outside of state waters in NH?
You will need either a Commercial Saltwater License (click for application) or a Lobster and Crab Landing License (click for application). The Commercial Saltwater license allows for the landing of any marine species. The Lobster and Crab Landing License only allows for the landing of lobster and crab.
Do I need a license to fish in saltwater?
Yes. As of January 1, 2011, all persons age 16 and older recreationally fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of the state must purchase a N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types who wish to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold. Click here for more information and a Q&A about the saltwater license. Federal permits may also be required - see www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/neropermits.
Can children fish without a license?
Children under the age of 16, resident or nonresident, are not required to purchase a NH fishing license.
Where can I find how much marine licenses cost?
Costs can be found in the N.H. Saltwater Fishing Digest; click here and on the publication cover at right to download the current Digest.
Where can I get marine licenses?
Print-and-mail applications for many marine licenses are available online (click here); licenses can also be purchased through N.H. Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord, N.H. Recreational saltwater fishing licenses may be purchased online (click here) or from local fish and game license agents (click here for agent list).
Do you sell Fish and Game licenses at the Region 3 Office?
Licenses are not sold at Fish and Game's Region 3 Office.
Are applications for marine licenses available through Region 3?
Does Fish and Game’s website have a list of licensing agents?
Yes - click here.
Do I need any kind of license to net baitfish?
You will need a Coastal Harvest Permit. Click here to download an application (PDF) or contact the Marine Division for more information at 603-868-1095. You will be required to report monthly if issued this permit.