You will need a recreational fishing license in Vermont in order to fish or take any wild animals from water in the state. A sport fishing license is required to fish for any water animal that is not considered domestic, although there are many wild fish that may not be taken even if you are licensed.

You should have your freshwater fishing license on your person if you decide to go out fishing or transporting fish in the state of Vermont. You may have to present your freshwater fishing license to a game warden or law enforcement officer, or to an owner of the land on which you are fishing. With the advancement of technology, you are now able to display your license digitally on your phone in such a case, although minor children must still carry paper copies signed by their parents.

Who needs a fishing license in Vermont?

A freshwater fishing permit is required for anyone who wants to take fish from Vermont waters. However, no fishing license is needed if you are under 15 years old. Other exceptions to licensing regulations include landowners who live on property that contains a private pond.

Vermont Fishing License Requirements

You can apply for a recreational fishing license in VT as long as you are at least 15 years old. If you have not had a previous game fishing license, this will not prevent you from obtaining a new license.

However, to buy a resident recreational fishing license you will need to prove that you qualify as a resident of Vermont. A resident fishing license can be obtained if you have lived in Vermont for at least six months immediately before applying for your license. You must also not hold a resident fishing license in any other state. If you are applying for a lifetime sport fishing license, you must have been a resident for at least 12 months. Students enrolled in Vermont high schools or universities also qualify as residents, as long as they have completed two consecutive semesters and have an admission card.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Vermont

The Vermont recreational freshwater fishing license can be purchased in a variety of types, lengths and at different prices. The following fishing licenses are available for purchase in the state of Vermont:

Resident

  • Regular recreational fishing license
  • Youth recreational fishing license (ages 15-17)
  • Short-term fishing licenses
  • Fishing/hunting combination license
  • Youth fishing/hunting combination license (under 18 years)
  • Permanent license (66 or older)
  • Lifetime license
    • Different prices for children under 1, between 1-15, ages 15-24 and 25-64

Non-resident

  • Regular recreational fishing license
  • Youth recreational fishing license (ages 15-17)
  • Short-term fishing licenses
  • Fishing/hunting combination license
  • Youth fishing/hunting combination license (under 18 years)

What types of fish can I catch with fishing licenses in Vermont?

With a freshwater fishing license, you are permitted to catch certain game fish in Vermont such as:

  • Brook trout
  • Rainbow trout
  • Brown trout
  • Lake trout
  • Landlocked salmon
  • Rainbow smelt
  • Yellow perch
  • Walleye
  • Northern pike
  • Chain pickerel
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Bullhead
  • Panfish
  • Crappie
  • Burbot

 

 

However, a game fishing license does not permit you to take or harm any threatened or endangered species from the water. Even with a freshwater license, you are subject to prosecution for violating this policy. Banned species include lake sturgeon, channel darter, eastern sand darter, muskellunge and sauger. You must release these immediately if you catch them.

 

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Vermont?

Freshwater fishing license regulations may vary from Vermont to New York, so be sure to check New York regulations if fishing in certain portions of the states’ shared Lake Champlain.

How long is a fishing license valid in Vermont?

Residents can purchase a freshwater fishing permit for three days, one year, five years or a lifetime. Nonresidents can purchase a freshwater permit for one day, three days, seven days, one year or five years.

How much does a Vermont fishing license cost?

How much is a freshwater fishing license? is a common question from Vermont anglers. You can purchase a recreational fishing license in VT at the following prices:

Resident

  • Regular recreational fishing license – $26
  • Youth recreational fishing license (ages 15-17) – $8
  • Three-day fishing license – $11
  • Five-year fishing license – $124
  • Fishing/hunting combination license – $42
  • Five year combination license – $204
  • Youth fishing/hunting combination license (under 18 years) – $12
  • Permanent license (66 or older) – $60
  • Lifetime license (age: under 1) – Six times current adult cost
  • Lifetime license (1-15) – 16 times current adult cost
  • Lifetime license (16-24) – 31 times current adult cost
  • Lifetime license (25-64) – 26 times current adult cost

Non-resident

  • Regular recreational fishing license – $52
  • Youth recreational fishing license (ages 15-17) – $15
  • One-day fishing – $21
  • Three-day fishing – $23
  • Seven-day fishing – $31
  • Five-year fishing – $254
  • Fishing/hunting combination license – $138
  • Five-year combination license – $684
  • Youth fishing/hunting combination license (under 18 years) – $30
  • Lifetime license (age: under 1) – Six times current adult cost
  • Lifetime license (1-15) – 16 times current adult cost
  • Lifetime license (16-24) – 31 times current adult cost
  • Lifetime license (25-64) – 26 times current adult cost

Related Guides

Are fishing license discounts available in Vermont?

VT fishing permit discounts are available for youth, seniors, nonresident military (at the resident cost) or resident military, disabled veterans, the blind or the paraplegic (no cost).

Where can I get a fishing license in Vermont?

You can purchase a game fishing license in VT online, at a Fish & Wildlife district office or at one of many authorized license agents.

How can I replace my Vermont fishing license?

You can reprint a lost or damaged VT fishing license online.