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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - License FAQ

Marine Fisheries

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If I hold a CRFL can I keep all the fish and seafood I catch?
No, you will be held to the state’s recreational size and possession limits.

Can I transfer my CRFL to a family member or other person if I’m not using it?
No, it is unlawful to buy, sell, lend, borrow, assign, or otherwise transfer a license to any other individual.

I am a member of the military currently stationed in North Carolina, but my legal residence is in another state.  Do I have to purchase a nonresident license?
Nonresident members of the armed forces, including their spouses and children under 18 will be considered residents of North Carolina for the purposes of purchasing and using a Coastal Recreational Fishing or Unified License.

Why do I have to participate in the DMF’s biological data sampling and survey programs?
The purpose of the CRFL is to gather better data about North Carolina’s coastal recreational fishing activity so the DMF can manage fish stocks more effectively. Fisheries managers need to have better estimates on how many people are recreationally fishing and how many and what types of fish they are catching. Sampling and surveys help provide this information.

How will the CRFL money be spent?
It will go into two marine resource funds and be distributed through the Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources commissions. It must be used to manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate, conserve and/or enhance North Carolina’s marine resources.

I sometimes have migrant workers that help me on my farm, are they entitled to a CRFL?
Yes, a migrant farm worker who has in their possession a temporary certification of their status from the Rural Employment Service of the N.C. Employment Security Commission on a form provided by the WRC is entitled to the privileges of a resident of the state.

Are any free fishing days associated with the CRFL?
Yes, every July 4 has been declared a free fishing day, but people still have to abide by recreational size and possession limits.

I am an out-of-state student attending East Carolina University; do I have to buy a nonresident license?
Nonresident students attending a university, college, or community college in the state are considered to be residents and are eligible for resident fishing licenses.

For more license information, please call the DMF at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632, or email Brenda.Clark@ncdenr.gov

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

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