Connecticut fishing license: Cost, Who Needs one & How To Buy

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Connecticut fishing license: Cost, Who Needs one & How To Buy

Tackle Village is reader supported. If you buy a product through links on the site we may make a small commission

Updated on:

Connecticut has some of the best inland fishing in the northeast of the US and some great sea and river fishing for striped bass.

In this article we explain how to buy the appropriate license to enjoy the great fishing on offer in this region, whethe you are a resident or a visitor.

Before we discuss the relevant licenses available, a few brief words on what to expect fishing in Connecticut.

Fishing in Connecticut

Connecticut has more than 180 public lakes and ponds and thousands of miles of rivers and streams with trout and panfish in them. The Farmington and Housatonic Rivers are the most renowned for trout fishing.

Pike, bass and walleye are other popular targets for freshwater anglers in Connecticut.

Connecticut also boasts great saltwater fishing for striped bass, sea bass and other species.

Who Needs a Fishing License In Connecticut?

In Connecticut, a fishing license is required for anyone 16 and older for fishing, both inland and on marine waters, whether fishing from the shore or a boat. 

Who is Exempt from Needing a Fishing License in Connecticut?

  • legally blind and mentally disabled
  • angler with the loss of a limb or use of a limb
  • Residents 65 and older 
  • Active duty members of the military

Fishing License Types in Connecticut

Connecticut offers several license types for both resident and non resident anglers, as well as members of armed forces and anglers with disabilities. One can choose from fresh and saltwater licenses or purchase an all-purpose license if you’re planning to fish the coastal waters and some of Connecticut’s rivers, lakes, and ponds. 

A free one-day license is valid on Saturday August 6, 2022 (new date as of 2/14/2022). The free one day license is available through the online license system three weeks prior to each date.

The following are the most popular fishing licenses in Connecticut:

  • All Waters: All-purpose license perfect for fishing in both fresh and saltwater (inland and marine) with one license. You never have to worry about having the right license.
  • Inland Only: Perfect for those who fish freshwater exclusively. This license is free for CT residents who are age 65 or older.
  • Marine Only: Perfect for those who fish saltwater exclusively. This license is free for CT residents who are age 65 or older.
  • Trout and Salmon Stamp: an optional product to add to your fishing license. It is required for all anglers over the age of 16 who:
    1.) Keep (harvest) trout or salmon, and/or
    2.) Fish in waters under one of these four designations; Trout Management Area, Wild Trout Management Area, Trout Park, or Atlantic Salmon Management Area. Learn more about the Trout and Salmon Stamp.

Cost: How Much is a Fishing License in Connecticut?

Resident Fishing Licenses

Just for clarity, a Connecticut resident is an individual that is domiciled in Connecticut for the entire tax year. If you maintained a permanent place of abode in Connecticut and spent more than 183 days in the state, you are also considered to be a resident. 

There’s a 50% discount for 16 and 17-year old residents for all types of licenses and the Trout and Salmon Stamp. Here’s the table below that shows all the available options for Connecticut residents.  

Fishing License Type (Resident)Cost
Inland Fishing Age 18-64
Age 16 and 17
$28.00
$14.00
All Waters Fishing Age 18-64
Age 16 and 17
$32.00
$16.00
Marine Waters Fishing Age 18-64
Age 16 and 17
$10.00
$5.00
1-Day Marine Fishing Age 18-64
Age 16 and 17
$5.00
$3.00
Trout and Salmon Stamp Age 16 and 17
Age 18-64
Age 65 and Older
$3.00
$5.00
$5.00
Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/General-Information/Fisheries-Licenses-and-Permits

Non Resident Fishing Licenses

Non resident licenses are typically more expensive and you’re not eligible for certain types of licenses and discounts. However, you still have some options to choose from, including Season All Waters and 3-Day types, which are not available for residents. 

If you are an active, full-time member of the armed forces, you can purchase your Connecticut fishing license for the resident fee. 

Fishing License Type (Nonresident)Cost
Season-Inland Fishing$55.00
Season-All Waters Fishing$63.00
3-Day Inland Fishing$22.00
Marine Waters Fishing$15
3-Day Marine Waters Fishing$8.00
Trout and Salmon Stamp (16+)$5.00
Armed Forces Inland Fishing$28.00
Armed Forces Marine Fishing$10.00
Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/General-Information/Fisheries-Licenses-and-Permits

Who Can Purchase Discounted Connecticut Fishing Licenses?

Those exempt from needed a Connecticut fishing license are the legally blind and mentally disabled, and angler with the loss of a limb or use of a limb.

Special Fishing Licenses in Connecticut

Commercial License, Vessel Permits / Registrations, and Dealers License are also being offered. To know more about other licenses and permit, please browse here

Where Can I Buy An Connecticut Fishing License?

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Prorection

Connecticut fishing licenses are available for purchase in person at more than 100 places in DEEP field offices, town halls, and retail shops.

Online

Connecticut Fishing License and stamps can be purchased through the online portal Online Sportsmen Licensing System.

What Happens with Connecticut Fishing License Fees?

All the license fees go to the Bureau of Natural Resources to support the Department of Energy and  Environmental Protection’s various conservational and educational programs. Some of these include land acquisition for conservation and fishing access, rearing and stocking of trout, restoration of migratory fish species, and much more.

The Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection receive the majority of their funding through federal grants. Two grant programs, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration and the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration, have been particularly important. These programs were initiated by sportsmen and conservationists to provide states with funding for fish and wildlife management and research, habitat acquisition, and sportsmen education programs. Another important funding program is State Wildlife Grants, which is aimed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered.

Does Connecticut Have Reciprocal License arrangements with neighboring states?

Connecticut has reciprocity agreements with Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, where anglers holding a valid Marine Waters Fishing License in any of these states may fish in the marine district and land marine fish in this state (CT). Connecticut residents holding a valid Marine Waters Fishing License for CT may also fish in the marine district of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.

Check out our state-by-state guides to fishing license costs, discounts for seniors and veterans and where to buy.

Does Connecticut offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?

Yes. A free lifetime license for seniors (age 65 and older) is available and is needed to be renewed at no cost each year.

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AUTHOR
Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water.