FISHING SEASON BEGINS
SANTA FE – Fishing season has begun and anglers are required to purchase 2014-2015 annual fishing licenses to fish in New Mexico state waters. Last year’s 2013-2014 fishing licenses expired March 31.
Anglers can purchase their licenses online at the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us, toll-free at (888) 248-6866, at all department offices or at local vendors. Children age 11 and under may fish without a license and New Mexico residents 70 years and older qualify for free annual fishing licenses and are not required to purchase a Habitat Improvement Stamp, a Habitat Management & Access Validation or a second-rod validation. Discounted licenses for disabled and military anglers also are available.
“Spring has sprung, and warmer temperatures mean thawing ice, emerging insects, hungry fish and great fishing!” Department Fisheries Chief Mike Sloane said.
Residents have several options when making their license purchases:
- Annual fishing license: $25.
- Game-hunting and fishing combination license: $30.
- Junior annual fishing license (age 16 to 17): $5.
- Senior annual fishing license (for residents age 65 to 69): $8.
- One-day fishing license (resident or nonresident): $12.
- Five-day fishing license (resident or nonresident): $24.
A nonresident annual fishing license is $56, and a nonresident junior annual fishing license for anglers 12 to 17 years of age costs $15.
Anglers also must purchase a Habitat Management & Access Validation, which costs $4. This once-per-license-year fee is used to: lease private lands for public use; provide public access to landlocked public land; and provide improvement, maintenance, development and operation of property for fish and wildlife habitat management. The fee is waived for individuals under 18 years of age, residents 70 years and older or one hundred percent disabled veterans in conjunction with their free licenses.
A Habitat Improvement Stamp is mandatory to fish on all USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management properties. The stamp costs $5.
Anglers and small-game hunters are advised to carry a printed version of their license while in the field. Customers can print their own licenses or they can contact the department toll-free for assistance, (888) 248-6866.
New Mexico offers abundant fishing opportunities for species including bass, tiger muskie and walleye in local reservoirs and Rio Grande cutthroat, Gila and rainbow trout in high mountain streams. The department annually stocks more than two million fish statewide.
The department uses revenue from fishing licenses to manage and improve fisheries, including stocking fish, rehabilitating streams and lakes and improving boat and angler access.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish receives no general fund tax dollars, but operates solely from the funds anglers, hunters and trappers provide through licenses and fees.
For more information about fishing in New Mexico and fishing licenses, visit www.wildlife.sate.nm.us,or call the department at (888) 248-6866.