NY Plan Reduces Costs of Fishing Licenses

The changes will help streamline hunting and fishing licenses, and reduce license fees to support tourism.

February 25, 2013

New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo wants to streamline hunting and fishing licenses, and reduce license fees to support tourism and sportsmen, according to a new Open for Fishing and Hunting proposal. The proposal is part of the 30-day amendments to the 2013-14 Executive Budget and would reduce fees paid by hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers and trappers while maintaining support for the state’s fish and wildlife programs.

The proposal simplifies the current license structure to foster recruitment and retention of resident and non-resident hunters, anglers and trappers. The State would greatly reduce the number of licenses offered and lower many fees for both resident and non-resident holders under the proposal. The proposal also will make permanent a free marine fishing registration, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2013.

“I know the recreational and economic value hunting and fishing bring to New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “The sporting community bolsters tourism across the state. According to a national survey, more than $8.1 billion of economic activity is created as a result of sporting activity in New York. Under my proposal, it will be easier for more New Yorkers and visitors from across the country to take advantage of New York’s rich sporting tradition.”


The current license process is confusing due to the number, type and potential combinations of hunting and fishing licenses. In addition, fees are presently higher in New York than in many neighboring and comparable states.

The proposal would:

Reduce by 11 the number of licenses available while maintaining all current hunting and fishing privileges and opportunities

Reduce the price of a hunting license by 24 percent from $29 to $22

Reduce the price of a fishing license by nearly 14 percent from $29 to $25

Make fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase

Create a non-resident license structure which is the same as the resident license structure

Reduce fees for non-resident hunting and fishing licenses to attract more out-of-state participants

Retain discounted licenses for youth, seniors, military disabled and Native Americans.

Previously, a fishing license was only valid from the date of purchase through the end of the season, and anglers who bought a license in mid season did not get a full year’s worth of use. Under the new plan, anglers will get a full year of fishing no matter when they purchase the license. Also, the proposal consolidates both small-game and big-game license privileges into a single hunting license. In addition, the proposal creates a non-resident license structure which affords the same license privileges as resident licenses.


The proposal also makes the marine fishing registration permanent. It was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2013, which would have required anglers fishing in the marine district to purchase a license for $10. Under Governor Cuomo’s bill, marine fishing will continue to be free.

License Current Proposed

NYS Residents


Annual Fishing License $29 $25

Annual Hunting License $29 $22

Annual Bow Hunting Privilege $21 $20


Annual Muzzleloading $21 $11

Out-of-State Residents

Annual Fishing License $70 $50

Annual Hunting License $140 $100

Annual Bow Hunting Privilege $140 $40

Annual Muzzleloading $140 $30

Annual Turkey $50 $20

One-day Fishing $15 $10

New York State Department of Environment Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Hunters and anglers are the foundation of the state’s conservation community, concerned about caring for the state’s habitats, forestland and waterways. Governor Cuomo’s proposal will make it simpler for people to purchase licenses, help attract newcomers to hunt and fish in New York and ensure that the programs that the hunting and fishing communities enjoy continue to be funded.”

In addition, DEC has made substantial progress in both the rehabilitation of existing boat launch facilities and construction of new facilities. By the start of the 2013 boating season, five new boat launching facilities will be open: Chaumont Bay and Point Peninsula Isthmus on Lake Ontario, Upper Hudson River in Fort Edward, Lake Champlain in the City of Plattsburgh, and Cuba Lake Boat Launch in Allegany County. Work is underway for a boat launch on Round Lake in Saratoga County.

Significant boat launch rehabilitation efforts include: the complete upgrade of the “Crusher” Boat Launch of the Raquette River and lengthening of the Horicon launch ramp on Schroon Lake. Plans are underway for expansion of the Second Pond boat launch on Lower Saranac Lake, repairs to the Peru Boat Launch site on Lake Champlain, reconstruction of the Northville launch ramp, and installation of a new boarding dock at the Saratoga County Boat Launch, both on Great Sacandaga Lake.

Governor Cuomo’s proposal aims to improve New York’s position as a destination for both resident and out-of-state hunters. According to a 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation, over 90 million U.S. residents ages 16 years and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011. Wildlife recreationists spent about $145 billion on their ventures.


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