New Mexico Fishing License | Update 2024

New Mexico fishing license is the way to get the opportunity to fish such a great state. Besides, it will allow you to catch fish in quality water for reel or trout. A fishing license not only protects the population of fish but also ensures quality fishing experience.

Before you go out, you have to know some rules and regulation of fishing in New Mexico. That's why we prepare this article with broad research. So, you get all the knowledge that you need for batter experience in New Mexico. So, let's check it out!

Like Montana fishing regulations and Alaska Fishing regulations, there also some regulations in New Mexico. Persons are 12 years old, and even above must have a New Mexico fishing license. But the angler of 11 years or younger doesn't need a fishing license. Besides, fishing license nm do not require private class lakes and tribal reservations. Though New Mexico fishing license for veterans is free of cost, others have to pay according to the time limit. So how much is a New Mexico fishing license?

Angling License Fees


 Non resident

Annual Fishing License – 12 Years and elder



One Day Fishing



Habitat Improvement Stamp



Junior Annual Fishing (12 years-17 years)



Habitat Management and Access Validation



Handicapped Annual Fishing


Don’t need

Five Day Fishing



Senior Annual Fishing (65 years-69 years)


Don’t need

Second Rod Validation



New Mexico Fishing License Information

According to the New Mexico fishing report, the licenses years begin from April 1 to March 31. Moreover, the licenses are valid for one license year. Conversely, Resident angler of 70 years old can get a free permit from NMDGF office or license vendors.

Notably, it doesn't need Habitat Management & Access Validation, Habitat Stamp, or a Second Rod Validation. But what about New Mexico fishing license for non-residents? They have to pay for the fishing license.

Additionally, Handicapped Fishing Licenses are also available for New Mexico residents who are physically and developmentally abnormal. Additionally, this license needs the holder to get and possess a Habitat Stamp and Habitat Management & Access Validation.

Gila Trout Fishing Permit Free for Select Locations

A Gila Trout Fishing Permit need to fish in the Special Gila River Water reaches of Mogollon Creek, Gilita Creek, and Black Canyon. It's also known as special trout water. Moreover, you can get this free license for Mostly or local NMDGF office. Especially, it's open for some select locations with time limits.

General Limits:


Daily Limits

Gila Trout

2 per day, 2 in possession

Cutthroat Trout

2 per day, 2 in possession limits

Black Bass

5 per day

Northern Pike

10 per day

Striped Bass

1 per day


5 per day, 14-inch minimum

State and Federal Fishing Waters

Among lots of lakes and rivers, these are the most popular fishing place. You will get the experience of the best fishing in New Mexico.

  • Alto Lake: it is public water full of catfish. The lake has excellent water quality. It is also going to be stock with trout.
  • Bonito Lake: the lake it temporary close for little bear fire. Moreover, the fishing season starts here from April 1 to November 30. Additionally, you can fish here from 5 am until 10 pm.
  • Carrizo Creek: you will find here brown trout. But you have to get a hook and be careful about handling while practicing catch and release.
  • Grindstone Reservoir: It open to fishing yearly, and it is a village water reservoir near the forest. Besides, you can fish here in the summer from sunrise until 10 pm. Additionally, it allows Non-motorized boating from April 1 to October 31 but don't allow overnight camping. You have to get a permit from The Ruidoso Parks and Recreation office at 535 Resort Drive.

Instructions for obtaining an NM Fishing License

New Mexico is proud of Eagle Nest Lake. Mostly, it is great for campers, boaters, hikers. But Before getting an NM fishing license, you have to be sure about not littering and populating the water. You have to focus on proper catch and release skills.

Fishing Regulations for State and Federal Waters 

For fishing in state and federal water, you need a New Mexico fishing license. It is available for 12 years old and older. Additionally, you can get permission from Western Auto and Wal-Mart. However, the permit is no need for Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. But it would help if you took a daily pass.

Game and Fish Department are seeing a boom in Fishing License Sales in Current Years

It suddenly increases the number of selling NM licenses over the last few years. A pandemic may be the reason behind it. As per the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, they sold more than 128,000 fishing licenses in these years. It is up more than 6,000 if you compare it with last year. Besides, the other reason is, it is easy to maintain social distance while fishing. Again, it's an excellent way to spend time during a pandemic. That's why the Department of Game and Fish sold 109,000 fishing licenses just between April and July. It's more than 19,000 from the last season.


Where to purchase a fishing license in the State of New Mexico?

You can get your New Mexico fishing license online. Also, you can get through a licensed agent or Department of New Mexico Fish and Game offices. Additionally, you can get renew the fishing license from here. You must have your fishing license all times while fishing in the State.

Who requires a valid fishing license in the State of New Mexico?

Mostly, a valid fishing license needs for all anglers who are 12 years or above. Moreover, In the State of New Mexico fishing license, resident people who are above 70 years old don't need a fishing license.

What are the main different fishing licenses that can get in New Mexico?

New Mexico provides different types of fishing licenses for the people who are residents or nonresidents. Additionally, these licenses' price varies depending on the applicant's age and residency status. It also depends on purpose, and the period of the license's validity.

Why do anglers need to get a fishing license?

The angler needs to get a fishing license for some reason. Through the right, the State can count the number of fisheries in its water. Besides, the collection is invested in various programs like research, breeding projects, technology acquisition, and conservation education. It finally ensures to maintain a healthy fish population.

Final word

These are the penalty for New Mexico fishing license. But why get punished when a fishing license is so cheap? Most importantly, it's not free. It's a contribution. Significantly, the fund helps to develop conservation programs and habitat development efforts. Hope you find all the answer to be precise. Still, have a further question? Please leave it in our comment box. We will review this guide again for your benefits.

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