Saltwater Fishing Guide

Licenses and Permits

Fishing and hunting licenses, stamps, and permits can be purchased 24/7 on the DEEP’s Online Outdoor Licensing System. These items can also be purchased at outdoor equipment retailers and some town halls (please check with your local town hall to find out about availability or any restrictions).

Fishing and hunting licenses purchased through CT's Online Outdoor Licensing System are signed electronically at the time of purchase, allowing you to keep a digitally signed copy on your smartphone instead of needing to have a signed, printed copy! Licenses purchased through a license agent location must still be printed and signed to be valid.

The Wildlife Division’s Franklin (North Franklin; directions) Field Office and DEEP's Western District Headquarters (Harwinton; directions) are open for fishing and hunting license sales, on Monday – Friday, from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, and on Monday - Friday, from 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM at DEEP’s Eastern District Headquarters (Marlborough; directions).The Marine District Headquarters (Old Lyme) and Sessions Woods Field Office (Burlington) are CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Fisheries Licenses, Permits and Related Products

Marine Water Fishing Licenses - Recreational | Youth Fishing Passport | Personal Use Marine Licenses | Commercial Licenses | Vessel Permits/Registrations | Dealer Licenses | Hunting and Fishing Guide Registration

Thank you for your purchase. Fishing fuels conservation! 100% of your investment comes to the Bureau of Natural Resources to support DEEP's programs that feed your passion. Examples include land acquisition for conservation and fishing access, maintenance of boat ramps, restoration of migratory fish species, monitoring of resident fish populations (marine and freshwater), and education to share the many benefits fishing has to offer. Looking for more information, visit this link: Fishing fuels conservation.

Marine Waters Fishing Licenses - Recreational

Marine Waters Fishing Licenses are:

  • Required for anyone 16 years of age or older fishing from shore or from a boat in the marine district or landing marine fish or bait species in Connecticut taken from offshore waters;
  • Issued on a calendar year basis and expire on December 31st;
  • Are discounted by 50% for Connecticut Residents of age 16 or 17.

Please see Marine Waters Fishing License FAQ page for more information.


Dates for FREE fishing:

No Fishing License is required on Saturday, May 13, 2023; however, all other rules and regulations still apply.

 A free one-day license is valid on

  • Sunday, June 18, 2023
  • Saturday, August 12, 2023

The free one day license is available through the online license system three weeks prior to each date.

Marine License Type and Fee

License Type CT Resident Age 16-17 CT Resident 18+ Non Resident
Sport Fishing Licenses
All waters (freshwater and saltwater) $16 $32 $63
Marine Fishing (saltwater only) $5 $10 $15
1-Day (saltwater only) $3 $5 not available
3-Day consecutive (saltwater only) not available not available $8
Group Fishing License Available to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations wishing to conduct group fishing programs and events for qualified:
  • Veterans with a service-related or other disability.
  • Persons receiving mental health or addiction services from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and associated programs and facilities.
  • Individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities receiving services from the Department of Developmental Services or a facility licensed by DDS.
  • Persons receiving care from the Department of Children and Families, DCF receiving homes, or certain licensed DCF care facilities or programs.

License is for up to 50 events per year for up to 50 persons per event. Contact DEEP Fisheries for an application.

not available $125 not available
Combination Licenses
All Waters Fishing and Firearms Hunting $20 $40 $120
Marine Waters and Firearms Hunting $13 $25 $94
All Waters Fishing and Bow and Arrow Permit to Hunt Deer and Small Game $33 $65 not available
Free Licenses
Age 65 and older not available Free to those age 65 or older not available
1 day fishing license (dates selected by CT DEEP) two dates per year two dates per year two dates per year

Waiver for High School Fishing Curriculum

A fishing license waiver can be granted to all students participating in a fishing field trip, provided the field trip is part of the school curriculum (call 860-424-3474 for details).

Intellectually Disabled or Blind-Inland Fishing

Issuance of a free license to the blind or intellectually disabled requires proof of disability in the form of a certificate provided by any person licensed to practice medicine in this state.

Free Free not available

Physically Disabled Persons-Inland Fishing

Any resident with the loss of one or more limbs or the permanent loss of the use of one or more limbs and a doctor’s certificate may be issued a free license. Qualified nonresidents who are residents of states which allow CT residents the same privileges are also eligible.

Free Free may be available

Physically Disabled Persons-Inland Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting

Any resident with the loss of one or more limbs or the permanent loss of the use of one or more limbs and a doctor’s certificate may be issued a free license. Qualified nonresidents who are residents of states which allow CT residents the same privileges are also eligible.

Free Free may be available

Free Lifetime License for Seniors (Age 65 and older): The free LIFETIME RESIDENT INLAND FISHING LICENSE-AGE 65+ became ANNUAL licenses effective October 1, 2009. All age 65+ licenses will need to be renewed at no cost each year.

Armed Forces: Any active full-time member of the U.S. armed forces may purchase a Connecticut hunting, fishing, or trapping license for the same fees as a resident. Proof of full-time membership during the calendar year must be carried while using the license. These licenses are only issued at DEEP or town clerk offices.

Lost License: If you purchased your license through the Online Outdoor Licensing System, you can reprint your license at any time by logging on with your CT Conservation ID, last name, and date of birth. After logging in, there is a link for reprinting your license on the top right of the page. If you purchased your license at a participating license vendor or DEEP Office, you can ask for them to reprint your license.

Youth Fishing Passport

Get Details: FREE to anyone (resident or nonresident) who is of age 15 or younger is available through our Online Outdoor Licensing System. Note: you will need to create a new user profile for any youth obtaining the passport for the first time (drivers license, social security are NOT REQUIRED fields).

Personal Use (not for sale) Marine Licenses

A Personal Use Lobster License is required for taking lobsters by the use of up to 10 pots or SCUBA diving, for personal use (not for sale). Guidelines for Personal Use Lobster Fishing in Connecticut.  Recreational License Application (Fillable PDF). Reports required. Fee $60.00

Lobster Reporting Form (Fillable PDF)

A Personal Use Gillnet License is required to take menhaden with a single gillnet, not more than 60 feet in length, for personal use (not for sale), from marine waters only. Guidelines for Personal Use Gill Net for Menhaden in ConnecticutRecreational License Application (Fillable PDF) Reports required. Fee $100.00

Gillnet Reporting Form (Fillable PDF)

Commercial Licenses

A commercial license is required to take and land (regardless where taken) for sale, fish, lobsters, blue crabs, squid, sea scallops and bait species from both the inland and marine districts. For further information on commercial fishing contact DEEP Fisheries Division at 860-434-6043 or write to Marine Fisheries Office, P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or e-mail at

For Marine and Inland Commercial Bait Fishing License, Commercial Shad Fishing License, Commercial Blue Crab Fishing License, Commercial Landing Vessel Operator’s License (Landing License), Restricted Commercial Fishing License (New), Restricted Commercial Lobster Pot Fishing License (New) and Commercial Whelk (Conch) Fishing License use the: Open-Access License Application (Fillable PDF)

For Principal Commercial Fishing License, Commercial Lobster Pot Fishing License, and General Commercial (Finfish) Fishing License and for Endorsements to take summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass: Limited Access License Application (Fillable PDF)

Multi-State Flounder Possession Limit Application (Fillable PDF)

Commercial Tautog Tag Request Form (Fillable PDF)

Tautog Tagging Program Report Form

Vessel Permits/Registrations 

A Commercial Fishing Vessel Permit is required for all vessels used for activities authorized under commercial fishing licenses (e.g. use of commercial fishing gear, even if for personal use purposes). This permit is not required for vessels used only for activities associated with the Restricted Commercial Fishing License, Restricted Lobster Pot Fishing License, Commercial Whelk Fishing License, Inland Commercial Bait Fishing License, Marine Commercial Bait Fishing License, Commercial Blue Crab Fishing License, or Commercial Shad Fishing License. Vessel Permit Application (Fillable PDF)

A Party / Charter Vessel Registration is required for the operation of a vessel for a fee for the purpose of transporting and providing a fishing platform for sport fishermen in the marine district or for marine species in the inland district. Vessel Permit Application (Fillable PDF)

Dealer Licenses

A Seafood Dealer License is required to purchase, for resale, fish, lobsters, blue crabs, squid, and sea scallops from Connecticut Licensed Commercial Fishermen. Dealer License Application (Fillable PDF). For further information, contact DEEP Fisheries Division at 860-434-6043 or write to Marine Fisheries Office, P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or e-mail at

A Bait Dealer License is required to sell Bait Species. Dealer License Application (Fillable PDF). For further information contact DEEP Inland Fisheries Division at 860-424-3474 or write to Inland Fisheries Office, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 or e-mail at

For information on Connecticut regulations governing the taking of lobsters, marine and anadromous finfish, and crabs by commercial and recreational fishermen, see Marine Fisheries Information Circular.

Hunting and Fishing Guide Registration

Individuals providing fishing and hunting guide services in Connecticut must register annually with the DEEP. The registration is valid for the calendar year. The registration fee is $100 and can be purchased through the Online Outdoor Licensing System or in person at DEEP offices and other vendors where hunting and fishing licenses are available.

Please note: Any hunting or fishing guide carrying paying passengers on a vessel on marine waters, or on the Thames River, Connecticut River south of the Bulkeley Bridge (Route 84) in Hartford, or on the Housatonic River below the Derby Dam is required to hold a current passenger-for-hire license issued by the United States Coast Guard.  Operators and crew of vessels registered in Connecticut as a charter, party or head boat are exempt from the guide registration when providing guide services on the registered vessel. Please refer to the Marine Fisheries Information Circular if you are considering purchasing a Fishing Guide Registration to take marine species.


DEEP Permits and Licenses main webpage


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Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions. 

Phone: 860-434-6043

Content last updated November 2023.