National Saltwater Angler Registry
NOAA Fisheries uses this “address book” of recreational anglers to distribute its mail Fishing Effort Survey. Most anglers do not need to register with NSAR.
The National Saltwater Angler Registry is an “address book” of recreational anglers developed in response to the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act. Today, NOAA Fisheries uses information collected through NSAR to distribute our recreational Fishing Effort Survey. By following state and federal fishing license and permitting requirements, anglers can support our work to collect recreational fishing data and sustainably manage U.S. fish stocks.
Do You Need to Register with NSAR?
Most anglers do not need to register with NSAR. Answer our questionnaire to determine whether you need to do so.
If you are a private recreational angler, you do not need to register with NSAR if:
- You have a current, valid saltwater recreational fishing license, registration, or other permit that conveys saltwater fishing privileges issued by a U.S. state or territory other than Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Depending on the state, such licenses or permits may include a lifetime saltwater fishing license, a combination freshwater and saltwater license, or a combination hunting and saltwater fishing license.
- You are fishing in a state whose law does not require you to hold a saltwater recreational fishing license or permit (e.g., because you are under 16 years of age, or are fishing on a state or federally licensed or permitted for hire fishing vessel).
If you are a private recreational angler, you might need to register with NSAR if:
- You’re a U.S. resident;
- You’re 16 or older;
- You plan to fish in state or federal waters in which you may catch anadromous fish (e.g., salmon, striped bass, shad, and other species that live in the ocean but migrate into rivers to spawn);
- You plan to fish (engage in angling or spearfishing) in federal waters from a private or rental boat; and
- You do not have a valid saltwater recreational fishing license, registration, or permit from a U.S. state or territory.
If you are a for-hire vessel owner or operator, you might need to register with NSAR if:
- You do not have a valid for-hire permit from NOAA Fisheries;
- You do not have a valid for-hire license or permit from a U.S. state or territory; and
- You will be fishing in federal waters or there is a chance your passengers will catch anadromous fish in state tidal waters. (Anadromous fish include salmon, striped bass, shad, and other species that live in the ocean but migrate into rivers to spawn.)
Unless you are exempt, registering with NSAR is the law. Your registration is valid for one year from the date on which you registered.
Register and Fish the Same Day
Most anglers do not need to register with NSAR. For those who do, the NSAR registration fee is $29. (This fee is waived for some people of Native American and Western Pacific Island descent.) We are not able to provide any refunds for bank account (ACH) debits.
Note: Your temporary registration number will serve as your proof of your registration status until you receive your registration card in the mail. Your NSAR registration does not supersede state licensing and registration requirements or serve as a license or permit to fish anywhere.
Most coastal states share information about their saltwater fishing license, registration, or permit holders with NOAA Fisheries. Recreational anglers who possess valid fishing licenses, registrations, or permits from these states do not need to register through NSAR. State registries can be found below.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Frequently Asked Questions
Privacy Act Statement
The collection of this information is authorized under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C 1801 et seq.
In order to manage U.S. fisheries, the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requires the use of registrations by anglers and for-hire fishing vessel owners or operators in the United States. Information on NOAA Fisheries registrations and renewing holders includes the following. For anglers: name, address, date of birth, e-mail address, telephone number, and intended fishing location. For for-hire fishing vessel owner or operator: vessel name, vessel number, primary contact's name, address, date of birth, e-mail address, telephone number, and home port or principal area of operation. Registration information may be used as sampling frames for surveys, as part of NOAA or Fishery Management Council (FMC) analysis to support NOAA and FMC decisions.
The Department will use this information to determine registration eligibility and to identify fishery participants. Disclosure of this information is permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Section 552a), to be shared within NMFS offices, in order to coordinate monitoring and management of sustainability of fisheries and protected resources, as well as with the applicable State or Regional Marine Fisheries Commissions and International Organizations. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all of the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/NOAA-19, Permits and Registrations for the United States Federally Regulated Fisheries.
Furnishing this information is voluntary; however, failure to provide complete and accurate information will prevent the determination of eligibility for a registration.
Public Burden Statement
A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with an information collection subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 unless the information collection has a currently valid OMB Control Number. The approved OMB Control Number for this information collection is 0648-0578. Without this approval, we could not conduct this information collection. Public reporting for this information collection is estimated to be approximately 3 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the information collection. All responses to this information collection are mandatory to obtain benefits.
Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this information collection, including suggestions for reducing this burden to the Fisheries Statistics Division, Office of Science and Technology, 1315 East-West Highway, 12th Floor, Silver Spring, MD, 20910; telephone (301) 427-8197; or email David.Bard@noaa.gov.