Things to Know About New Mexico Fishing Regulations

New Mexico Fishing Regulations

New Mexico is home to plenty of prime fishing spots, but before you arrive, you need to know what to expect. In order to keep New Mexico’s fish populations and perfect waters in good shape, there are regulations in place. Like other states, you will need to know which fishing licenses to get and what kind of rules apply when you are fishing with a license.

Who Needs a License When Fishing in New Mexico? 

In the state of New Mexico, any angler over the age of 12 must have their own fishing license. Anglers between the age of 12-17 qualify for a junior fishing license at a discounted rate. In addition, there are discounted rates for seniors ages 65-69. Anyone over age 70 who is also a resident of New Mexico qualifies for a free license, but must go to a licensing facility to pick up this license and carry it with them.

How to Get A License

Anyone heading into New Mexico for fishing can pick up a fishing license at the nearest Department of Wildlife. Many sporting goods stores are also license vendors so you can pick up your license while you are shopping for the rest of your tackle and bait. You will need to pay the appropriate fee, which varies depending on whether you are an in-state resident and the length of your fishing stay. One day and five day passes are available at a reduced rate from the annual fee.

Fishing Limitations

It is imperative for the Department of Wildlife to protect the region’s trout and salmon supplies. As such, a daily bag limit of five fish applies to any trout and salmon species combined. In addition, tighter regulations are in place on lake trout and cutthroat trout. You are not allowed to have more than two of these fish in your possession at any time. You will also need to check the Department of Wildlife website for specific regulations for any lake or stream you intend to fish which may be impacted by restocking.

Special Validations

For anglers who wish to fish on USDA land, a wildlife management stamp can be added to your license for a nominal fee. If you would like to fish with dual rods, a second stamp is needed as well.

As always, it is best to consult the Department of Wildlife website or your local license vendor regarding your plans and any questions you may have about fishing in New Mexico. Most of the laws are easy to follow, but for those unfamiliar with local lakes, the extra guidance can be helpful. To learn more about fishing in New Mexico, visit Reservations Unlimited today and start planning your trip.


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