Fishing Licenses & Permits
Licenses, Stamps and Validations
While fishing in New Mexico, persons 12 years and older must possess a valid New Mexico Fishing License or Game Hunting & Fishing License. (Need a license? Click Here to buy one online.) Fishing-license years begin April 1 and end March 31. Licenses are valid for one license-year only. A New Mexico Fishing License is not required on tribal reservations and private Class-A lakes.
- Licenses are not required for New Mexico resident and nonresident anglers 11 years of age or younger.
- Junior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico resident and nonresident anglers 12–17 years of age.
- Senior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico residents anglers 65–69 years of age.
Free Licenses for New Mexico residents 70 years and older are available at all NMDGF offices and license vendors. Free Senior Fishing Licenses are not available to nonresidents. Free licenses for 100%-disabled veterans are available by application at the NMDGF Headquarters in Santa Fe, NM. These fishing licenses do not require a Habitat Stamp, Habitat Management & Access Validation or a Second Rod Validation.
Handicapped Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico residents with severe physical or developmental disabilities. This license requires the holder to purchase and possess a Habitat Stamp, if applicable, and Habitat Management & Access Validation.
Habitat Management & Access Validation
In addition to a New Mexico Fishing License or Game-hunting & Fishing License, once each license year (April 1–March 31) anglers must purchase a Habitat Management & Access Validation which is purchased separately. The HMAV is not required for anglers under 18 years of age, residents 70 years and older or 100%-disabled veterans in conjunction with their free fishing license.
To fish U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands in New Mexico, anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase a Habitat Stamp. Stamps are purchased separately and valid for one license year (April 1–March 31). This validation is not required for anglers under 12 years of age and New Mexico resident anglers 70 years and older or 100%-disabled veterans. Funds from the sale of the Habitat Stamp are used for projects, including building fish cover, removing sediment from reservoirs and ponds, monitoring and improving water quality, preventing erosion and restoring lakes and trout streams.
Second Rod Validation
To fish with two rods, anglers 12–69 years of age must purchase a Second Rod Validation. This validation is not required for New Mexico residents 70 years and older or 100%-disabled veterans. All other license regulations, such as bag and possession limits, remain the same.
Gila Trout Fishing Permit Free for Select Locations
A Gila Trout Fishing Permit is required to fish in the Special Trout Water reaches of Black Canyon and Mogollon Creek. This permit is free and available online: www.wildlife.state.nm.us and at local NMDGF offices.