Fee Fishing Lake Permits

The Fee Fishing Lake Permit grants permission to provide fishing opportunities for pay on privately-controlled lands and waters. The permit allows paying customers to catch and keep fish (to the limits of the pond or lake rules) without needing to obtain a Maryland Recreational Fishing License. 

The conditions and authorizations of this permit are as follows, and are subject to change:

  1. The Annotated Code of Maryland, § 4-11A-20, states that the Department of Natural Resources may issue a permit authorizing a person to establish and operate an artificial or man-made pond or lake which they own, lease, or control, where fishing is permitted for payment of a fee, and in which fish stocked are artificially propagated by commercial hatcheries, or purchased from persons licensed to sell fish. The conditions in state law and regulations are hereby made a part of this permit. All activities authorized herein must be carried out in accordance with and for the purposes described in the application submitted. Continued validity, or renewal, of this permit is subject to complete and timely compliance with all applicable conditions, including the filing of all required information and reports, and strict observance of all applicable foreign, federal, local or other state laws.

  2. All fish removed under the terms of this permit shall be identified by a metal tag or if transported by tank, by a bill of sale.

  3. Invasive/Nonnative Species. If a species listed in COMAR 08.02.19 is found in any permitted pond or lake, the species shall be euthanized onsite at the time of capture and not returned to any body of water in Maryland. Additional information about aquatic nuisance species can be found here: https://dnr.maryland.gov/Invasives/Pages/default.aspx 
    1. Please fill out the Maryland Invasive Species Tracker (link also in webpage above).
    2. Contact the permit coordinator: (410) 260-2403 or paylakes.dnr@maryland.gov.

  4. The fish may be taken without regard to seasons, creel, or possession limits.

  5. Maintain shipping and receiving records by species. All records shall be maintained at the facility, or at a specified location other than the facility and be made available to the Department of Natural Resources for inspection upon request. All fish received for stocking in the permitted enclosure shall be from an approved supplier:

  6. A fish stocking permit must be obtained prior to stocking additional fish:

  7. Notify the Department of Natural Resources immediately upon discovery of any disease affecting the fish at the facility. Contact the permit coordinator: (410) 260-2403 or paylakes.dnr@maryland.gov.
An application form for the Fee Fishing Lake Permit is available below, and can be submitted electronically. A map of the fishing location must be included with an initial permit application. Permits are issued annually, for a $25 fee payable by check or money order, or electronically through our online payment system. The organization receiving the permit must be listed on an electronic payment.