Rock fishing at sunrise/sunset

Recreational Fishing

For Recreational Fishermen

Dear fishermen,

Please have patience with us as we work toward migrating all our regional content into this new website and improving your user experience.  We will do our best to point you to all current content whether it lives in this new site or is still on one of our regional office or science center websites. If you get a message to take our ForeSee customer satisfaction survey, we'd appreciate your feedback on how we're doing so far. 

Thank you,

The NOAA Fisheries Web Team

Federal Fishing Permits

Since January 1, 2011, a saltwater recreational fishing license or registration from any state or U.S. territory except Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, automatically registers you in the National Saltwater Angler Registry and you do not need to take further action. Otherwise, please visit the registry to ensure you are registered. If you plan on fishing anywhere for highly migratory species—such as tunas and billfish, or for bottomfish in Hawaii, check out the links below to get the permits you need.

Federal Rules & Regulations 

In partnership with the regional fishery management councils, interstate marine fisheries commissions, international fisheries management organizations, and under the guidance of the Magnuson Stevens Conservation and Management Act, NOAA Fisheries plays a key role in the implementation and enforcement of federal fishery rules and regulations in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (3 to 200 miles off shore). 

State Regulations and Licenses 

If you are fishing in state waters (generally 0 to 3 miles off shore), you will need to reach out to your state fish and wildlife agency for a fishing license.

Fishing Access Points

We provide a comprehensive, online database of public recreational fishing sites on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts (Maine through Mississippi) and Puerto Rico.

Responsible Fishing Practices

Learn what you can do to be a responsible steward of our ocean resources.

Research and Funding Opportunities

Find out how you can get involved in monitoring the health of our oceans and fish resources.

Other Resources