A person is required to Register with the state of Maine annually in order to engage in recreational saltwater fishing unless that person meets one of the following exemptions. Proof of being Registered or documentation of exemption from the Registry requirement must be carried at all times while recreational saltwater fishing or transporting caught fish.
You are exempt from Registering if:
- You are under 16 years of age.
- You hold a valid Maine freshwater fishing license (not a Lifetime License*).
- You hold a valid ME DMR Commercial fishing license.
- You are a Maine resident and are recreational saltwater fishing only on Memorial Day weekend, July 4th or Labor Day weekend.
- You are a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians or the Aroostook Band of Micmacs.
- You are fishing as a passenger on a for-hire vessel (charter or head/party boat) captained by an individual who possesses a valid recreational saltwater fishing Operator's License.
- You are fishing from a dock, pier or wharf that is owned by someone who possesses a valid recreational saltwater fishing Operator's License.
- You are renting a smelt fishing camp from someone who possesses a valid recreational saltwater fishing Operator's License.
- You are registered/licensed to engage in saltwater recreational fishing in another state, or with the National Registry.
*If your Maine freshwater fishing license is a Lifetime License, then you are not covered by that license for saltwater recreational fishing in Maine. You will need to check to see if you qualify for any of the other exemptions, above, and if you do not, then you are required to annually Register for recreational saltwater fishing.
The full Regulation on Saltwater Fishing Registry can be found in Chapter 85 of the DMR Regulations.
Registering can be done in one of 4 ways:
- Online for $1 through the Maine DMR LEEDS licensing system
- By mail: Download an application form, print it, fill it out, and mail it in with $1 payment.
- In-person for $1 at the ME Department of Marine Resources' (DMR) Licensing office in Augusta, at 32 Blossom Lane (in the old AMHI Complex on the east side of the Kennebec River) (directions).
- In-person at any ME Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife appointed license agent for $2. ME DIF&W license agents include all Town Offices, larger tackle shops, major outdoor stores, and other outlets such as country stores. (Please clarify with the agent if it's only the saltwater fishing Registration you wish to purchase.)