Everyone must have a valid fishing license in their Possession while fishing EXCEPT:
- Persons under 16 years of age.
- NYS-resident owners, lessees and members of their immediate families occupying and cultivating farm lands, when fishing on their own lands.
- Persons holding farm fish pond licenses and members of their immediate families, when fishing on waters covered by their licenses.
- Resident patients at Dept. of Mental Health institutions and Dept. of Health rehabilitation hospitals, and inmates at Divison of Youth rehabilitation centers. License exemptions must be requested for such persons through the hospital/institution by writing NYSDEC license Sales Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4790, or by e-mailing FW.Information@dec.ny.gov.
- When fishing on licensed fishing preserves.
The following individuals are eligible for a free fishing license:
- New York State residents who are legally blind and provide a doctor’s note to the License Issuing Agent.
- New York State residents who are active service members of the NYS Organized Militia (i.e., National Guard), or U.S. Reserve Forces.
- New York State residents stationed outside of New York who are on full time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and are on leave in NY for no longer than 30 days.
- Resident patients at U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs hospitals or state funded facilities can obtain a free fishing license through their hospital or facility.
- Native Americans who are members of the Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes or the Six Nations residing on reservations in New York State may obtain a free fishing license by contacting their reservation or DEC’s License Sales Office at (518) 402-8843.