Licenses, Stamps and Validations: Online and Over-the-Counter
While fishing in New Mexico, anglers 12 years and older must possess a valid New Mexico Fishing License or Game-hunting & Fishing License. Licenses are valid April 1 through March 31 of the following year. A New Mexico Fishing License is not required on tribal reservations and private Class-A lakes.
- Licenses not required for resident and nonresident anglers 11 years of age or younger..
- Junior Fishing Licenses are available to resident and nonresident anglers 12–17 years of age.
- Senior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico resident anglers 65–69 years of age.
- Free Licenses for New Mexico residents 70 years and older are available online, by phone and at license vendors and all NMDGF offices. Free fishing licenses are not available to nonresidents. Free licenses for 100%-disabled resident veterans are available by application through the NMDGF Headquarters in Santa Fe, NM. Free 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 a permanent disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants must have one or more disabilities that substantially limit major life activities. Handicapped fishing licenses require 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. The HMAV is not required for anglers 17 years of age or younger, or in conjunction with any free fishing license. The HMAV will automatically be added to the shopping cart with your first purchase of a fishing, hunting or trapping license for persons 18 years of age and older.
To fish on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in New Mexico, anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase a Habitat Stamp. Stamps are valid for one license year (April 1–March 31). This stamp is not required for anglers 11 years of age or younger or in conjunction with any free fishing license. Funds from the sale of the Habitat Stamp are used for improvement projects, including building fish cover, removing sediment from reservoirs and ponds, monitoring and improving water quality, preventing erosion and restoring lakes and trout streams. The habitat stamp fee is $10.
Second Rod Validation
To fish with two rods, anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase a Second Rod Validation. This validation is not required in conjunction with any free fishing license. All other license regulations, such as bag and possession limits, remain the same. Three rods cannot be used at anytime.
Gila Trout Fishing Permit Free for Select Locations
A Gila Trout Fishing Permit is required to fish Black Canyon, Gilita Creek, Mineral Creek, Mogollon Creek, Sapillo Creek, West Fork Gila River (headwaters to East Fork confluence), Whitewater Creek, and Willow Creek (including tributaries). This permit is free and available online: www.wildlife.state.nm.us, by phone, and at all license vendors and NMDGF offices. Please do not obtain this permit unless planning to fish in one of the waters listed above.