new mexico fishing regulations and license costs

New Mexico Fishing Regulations and License Costs

The New Mexico fishing regulations have one standard set of limits for the entire state with some special regulations that apply to protected waters like the San Juan river below Navajo Dam. Junior and senior residents also receive a discount on their fishing licenses.

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New Mexico Fishing License Costs

Angling License Fees Resident Nonresident
Annual Fishing License – 12 Years and Older $25.00 $56.00
One Day Fishing $12.00 $12.00
Five Day Fishing $24.00 $24.00
Junior Annual Fishing (12-17) $5.00 $15.00
Senior Annual Fishing (65-69) $8.00 NA
70 Years and Older Annual Fishing $0.00 NA
Handicapped Annual Fishing $8.00 NA
Second Rod Validation $4.00 $4.00
Habitat Improvement Stamp $5.00 $5.00
Habitat Management and Access Validation $4.00 $4.00

General Information

While fishing in New Mexico, persons 12 years and older must possess a valid New Mexico Fishing License or Game Hunting & Fishing License. Fishing-license years begin April 1 and end March 31. Licenses are valid for one license-year only. A New Mexico Fishing License is not required on tribal reservations and private Class-A lakes.

  • Licenses are not required for New Mexico resident and nonresident anglers under 12 years of age.
  • Junior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico resident and nonresident anglers 12–17 years of age.
  • Senior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico residents anglers 65–69 years of age.

Free Licenses for New Mexico residents 70 years and older are available at all NMDGF offices and license vendors. Free licenses for 100%-disabled veterans are available by application at the NMDGF Headquarters in Santa Fe, NM. These fishing licenses do not require a Habitat Stamp, Habitat Management & Access Validation or a Second Rod Validation. Free Senior Fishing Licenses are not available to nonresidents.

Handicapped Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico residents with severe physical or developmental disabilities. This license requires the holder to purchase and possess a Habitat Stamp and Habitat Management & Access Validation.

Second Rod Validation

To fish with two rods, anglers 12–69 years of age must purchase a Second Rod Validation. This validation is not required for New Mexico residents 70 years and older or 100%-disabled veterans. All other license regulations, such as bag and possession limits, remain the same.

Gila Trout Fishing Permit Free for Select Locations

A Gila Trout Fishing Permit is required to fish in the Special Trout Water reaches of Black Canyon and Mogollon Creek. This permit is free and available online and at local NMDGF offices.

General Limits:

See below for exceptions.
Species Daily Limits
Trout and Kokanee Salmon 5 per day, 10 in possession
Lake Trout 2 per day, 4 in possession
Cutthroat Trout 2 per day, 2 in possession
Gila Trout Willow and Gilita Creeks: 2 per day, 2 in possession
Black Bass 5 per day
Catfish 15 per day
Crappie 20 per day
Striped Bass 1 per day
Northern Pike 10 per day
Tiger Muskie 1 per day
Walleye 5 per day, 14 inch minimum
White Bass 25 per day
Yellow Perch 30 per day
All Other Warmwater Gamefish 20 per day


Other General Regulations for New Mexico
  • Bag limit of 5 fish is considered any combination of trout and/or salmon with the exception that no more than 2 lake trout and/or 2 cutthroat trout may be included in the limit.
  • Trout bag limit is 4 fish at the Tingley Beach Central Pond and the Children’s Pond.
  • Possession of kokanee salmon not permitted at Heron Lake and Willow Creek during the closed season, October 1-November 12.

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