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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Fishing License Details

Marine Fisheries

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North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License

License types, fees and details

North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License

Purchase Coastal Recreational Fishing License

View license types and fees

North Carolina’s Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL), administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), is effective Jan. 1, 2007. This license can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis, or combined with a variety of licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC).

Sales Agents
The new license is available from WRC license agents throughout the state and at any DMF office. The number of license agents will be increased in coastal areas.

Please Note: Blanket Licenses are ONLY available at DMF offices

Purchase Commemorative Prints Marking the first year of the Coastal Recreational Fishing License (Red drum artwork)

Requirements

The license allows recreational fishermen to take finfish for personal consumption; finfish harvested under this license cannot be sold. Fishermen using this license are held to the state’s recreational size and possession limits. The license cannot be assigned or transferred and is required for ANY type of recreational finfish taken not included under the Recreational Commercial Gear License. Fishermen holding the CRFL are required to comply with all DMF sampling and survey programs.

The license is required to recreationally take finfish in the Coastal Fishing Waters, as defined by N.C.G.S. § 113-129 (4). Recreational fishing in Joint Waters (areas managed by both the Marine Fisheries and the Wildlife Resources commissions) will also require either the CRFL or a WRC inland fishing license.


Exemptions
Individuals under 16 years of age.
Individuals who purchase any of the following WRC licenses prior to Jan. 1, 2006:

· All categories of Lifetime Sportsman licenses;
· Lifetime Resident Comprehensive Fishing License;
· Lifetime Combination Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Resident Sportsman;
· Disabled Resident Sportsman;
· Lifetime Fishing License for the Legally Blind; and
· Adult Care Home Resident Fishing License.

Blocks of 10 Ten-Day Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses
Beginning January 1, 2009, vessel owners or operators may purchase a block of 10, Ten-Day Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses to cover anglers fishing aboard their boat. Each block contains ten licenses. Each license may be issued to one person and is valid for 10 consecutive days from the date first used. This block of licenses costs $150 and is available to owners of private vessels, or the responsible party of a business owned vessel. The boat must be 23 feet or more in length and either registered in North Carolina or documented with the U.S. Coast Guard. These licenses cannot be used aboard a vessel licensed for, or engaged in, for hire (charter) fishing. There is no limit on how many blocks of licenses an individual can purchase. The licenses are not transferable or assignable – they must be used on the vessel for which they were issued. Each license, once issued and expired, must be returned to the Division in a postage paid envelope provided with each license. Each block of licenses is valid for two years from date of purchase. Blocks of 10 Ten-Day Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses are only available from the Division of Marine Fisheries license offices or by mail.

Blanket Licenses
For-hire vessels and ocean fishing piers have the option to purchase a blanket license to cover their fishing patrons. When purchasing a Blanket License, vessel operators must provide a copy of the U. S. Coast Guard license that allows taking people for-hire. Please Note: Blanket Licenses are ONLY available at DMF offices.

Waivers
A free license waiver is available for subsistence anglers from their local Department of Social Services.


Marine Resources Funds
Proceeds from the sale of this license will go into two marine resources funds managed by the state’s Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources commissions. Revenues must be used to manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate, conserve and/or enhance North Carolina’s marine resources.

For more license information see Frequently Asked Questions.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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