New Mexico fishing season begins April 1

SANTA FE – A new fishing season is approaching fast, and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish would like to remind anglers to purchase a 2017-18 fishing license when they go on sale opening day, Saturday, April 1.

Licenses can be purchased 24 hours a day on the department website,, during business hours at department offices and license vendors statewide, or by calling the department Information Center, (888) 248-6866. For anglers’ convenience, Information Center phone lines will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 1, giving everyone a chance to purchase a license on opening day.

The fishing license year runs April 1 to March 31. Anglers can buy a new license over the phone, online or from a vendor any time after 3:30 p.m., March 31. Hunters who purchased combination Game-hunting and Fishing licenses when applying for big-game licenses will be able to download and print their licenses after 3:30 p.m. March 31.

Licenses purchased online or through the Information Center can be emailed, downloaded and printed. Because fishing licenses don’t have a tagging requirement, anglers can download and display them on a smart phone or mobile device. Information Center staff also can sell other licenses and answer general questions.

Fishing licenses cost $25 for state residents. Most anglers are required to purchase a $4 state habitat management and access validation stamp. Anglers intending to fish on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U.S. Forest Service lands will need a $5 federal habitat stamp.

Resident military veterans or active duty members receive a 50 percent discount off their fishing license and stamps.

Children under the age of 12 do not need a license to fish, and anglers age 70 and older qualify for a free license. Resident active and military veterans qualify for free or discounted licenses. Please consult the Fishing Rules and Information Booklet at for more information. Printed versions are available at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish area offices and soon will be at license vendors statewide. For weekly angling and stocking reports please visit