News from the DNR Office of Communications

New License Requirements For Maryland Anglers Go Into Effect January 1

Changes Will Allow Maryland to Comply with New Federal Law

Annapolis, Md. (December 14, 2010) — Effective January 1, 2011, anglers who fish in Maryland will see significant changes to sportfishing license requirements. Enacted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), many of these changes are being implemented to allow the State to comply with Federal law calling for a national database of saltwater anglers.

“Marylanders are blessed with exciting, abundant recreational fishing opportunities,” said DNR’s Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “These changes will help us gather information critical to managing these fisheries for the long term.”

Notable changes include:

  • A single comprehensive saltwater sport fishing license has been created to replace the one in effect since 1985. The new Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License will now cover Maryland waters off the Atlantic coast, including the coastal bays, in addition to Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
  • The NOAA National Saltwater Angler Registration will no longer be valid for anglers fishing in Maryland waters. DNR will provide angler contact information to NOAA obtained through State licenses and registration.
  • A new recreational sport fishing license fee structure has been adopted and registration for certain unlicensed anglers will be required. The license fees for several non-resident categories of Maryland’s recreational fishing licenses have been changed and five-day licenses have been extended to seven days.
  • We strongly encourage everyone who plans to fish in Maryland to take the time to learn about these changes and how residents and visitors – including those exempt from holding a license – will be impacted,” added O’Connell.

Specific details on the changes, new fee structure and exemptions are available at Anglers with questions can email or call (410) 656-9526.

   December 14, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at