Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fish License

Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fish License

By Scott Lenox

Scott Lenox
Scott is the owner of Fish in OC and host of Ocean City's fishing television show Hooked on OC. He has worked in the fishing industry and fished the waters in and around Ocean City for over 25 years.

Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fish License Description:

The recreational fishing license structure changed in the 2010 session of the General Assembly. These changes become effective on January 1, 2011. A description of the license and registration requirements for the tidal waters of the State are as follows:

Resident and Non-Resident Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport (annual) License

allows an individual to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic coastal bays and tributaries from January 1 through December 31.

$15 – Resident Annual
$22.50 – Non-resident Annual
7-day Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport License

allows residents and non-residents to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic coastal bays and tributaries for 7 consecutive fishing days.

$6 – Resident 7-Day
$12 – Non-resident 7 Day
Resident Senior Consolidated Fishing License

allows residents who are 65 years of age or older to fish in the fresh waters of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic coastal bays and tributaries from January 1 through December 31 at a reduced rate. $5

Consolidated Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License

allows everyone on board a vessel used for pleasure to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic coastal bays and tributaries in lieu of individual licenses. However, these individuals must register with the Department (see below). A special complimentary Bay & Coastal sport fishing license, which includes recreational crabbing, will be issued to the boat owner purchasing this license. The $50 Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing Decal is NOT valid as a Recreational Crabbing Boat License (though the purchaser of this decal is given one complimentary individual recreational crabbing license).

FREE Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Registration

Unless individually licensed, registration is required for MD. waterfront property owners, those fishing in a designated free fishing area, and passengers on a vessel displaying a Boat License (decal) from MD,VA, or PRFC. In the Potomac River a registration is required for passengers on a vessel displaying a Boat License decal from MD, VA, or PRFC, and for the owner or owner’s nonpaying guest fishing from private real property or an attached pier in the tidal waters of the Potomac River.

Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Charter Boat License

allows individuals on board chartered vessels operated by MD licensed fishing guides to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic coastal bays and tributaries in lieu of individual licenses. There are separate licenses for charter boats that carry 6 passengers or less and those that carry more than 6 passengers.

$240.00 — up to 6 passengers
$290.00 — more than 6 passengers
Commercial Fishing Pier License

provides for a fee pier to have unlicensed and unregistered individuals fish from the pier. The licensee must submit contact information on all pier anglers as prescribed by the Department. $240.00

Non-Tidal/Freshwater Licenses
Annual Non-Tidal License

The annual non-tidal license allows licensee to fish in the fresh waters of Maryland from January 1 through December 31.

Resident $20.50
Nonresident non-tidal license fees are equal to a $30.50 minimum or reciprocal for state of residence, whichever is greater.
7-day Non-tidal License

The 7-day Non-tidal License allows licensee to fish the fresh waters of Maryland for 7 consecutive fishing days.

Resident $7.50
Nonresident non-tidal license fees are equal to the fee charged a MD resident for a similar license by non-resident’s home state.
3-day Non-tidal License

The 3-day non-tidal license (available to nonresidents only) allows licensee to fish the fresh waters of Maryland for 3 consecutive fishing days.

Nonresident non-tidal license fees are equal to the fee charged a MD resident for a similar license by non-resident’s home state.
Trout Stamp

The Resident Trout Stamp ($5.00) allows Maryland State residents 16 years of age or older to fish in any special catch and return trout management area and to possess trout taken from non-tidal waters of Maryland. (This stamp is not required if you hold a Resident Senior Consolidated License.) The Non Resident Trout Stamp ($10.00) allows non residents of the State of Maryland 16 years of age or older to fish in any special catch and return trout management area and to possess trout taken from non-tidal waters of Maryland. (Non Resident seniors must purchase a trout stamp to possess trout).

Do I need a License?

Natural Resources Article §4-745 Annotated Code of Maryland requires all persons recreationally fishing in the tidal waters of the State to be licensed, except as follows:

If a person;

is less than 16 years of age;
is a registered angler with the State of Maryland and is fishing from a boat holding a valid tidal/salt water license issued by Potomac River Fisheries Commission, the Commonwealth of Virginia or the State of Maryland.
possesses a valid commercial tidal fish license;
is fishing from a licensed commercial fishing pier;
is a registered angler with the State of Maryland and is fishing on a free fishing pier;
is the owner or the owners non-paying guest fishing from private real property or an attached pier in the Potomac River;
is fishing from a licensed charter boat;
is fishing on a free fishing day – the first two Saturdays in June and July 4;
is a registered angler with the State of Maryland and possesses a Virginia Saltwater recreational fishing license; or
possesses a Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing license.
Is a resident of MD, on active duty with the armed forces, on leave with official leave orders;

Reciprocity

Virginia saltwater recreational fishing licenses with a Maryland/PRFC registration honored in Maryland tidal waters are:

Individual annual license
Individual temporary (10-day) license
Private boat license
Charter boat and head boat licenses (covers all persons fishing on boat and a registration is not needed)
Lifetime saltwater Recreational Fishing License
Special Lifetime recreational Fishing License for the permanently and totally disabled
Special Combined (FW/SW) Sportfish License
Rental boat license (covers all persons fishing on boat).
Maryland saltwater recreational fishing licenses with a Virginia registration honored in Virginia tidal saltwaters are:

Annual resident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal sport fishing license
Short-term (7-day) resident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal sport fishing license
Annual nonresident Chesapeake Bay and Coast sport fishing license
Short-term (7-day) nonresident Chesapeake Bay and Coastal sport fishing license
Lifetime Chesapeake Bay and Coastal sport fishing license for former prisoners of war or 100% service connected disabled American veterans,
Combination commercial/recreational (tidal fish license)
Private boat license
Consolidated senior sport fishing license.
Charter boat and head boat licenses (covers all persons fishing on boat and a registration is not needed)
Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing licenses honored in Virginia tidal saltwaters:

Individual annual license
Private boat license (covers all persons fishing on boat with a VA registration)
Charter boat license (covers all persons fishing on boat)
Potomac River Fisheries Commission recreational fishing licenses honored in Maryland tidal saltwaters:

Individual annual license
Private boat license (covers all persons with a Maryland/PRFC registration fishing on boat)
Charter boat license (covers all persons fishing on boat)
Maryland and Virginia saltwater recreational fishing licenses and their registrations are honored in the tidal saltwaters of the Potomac River.

Buy Your License Here

You can find out more information at the MD Department of Natural Resource’s home page.  Maryland DNR

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