Massachusetts is a bevy of lakes, ponds and rivers. From Crooked Pond in Plainfield in the west to Walden Pond in historic Concord in the east, avid fishermen spend pleasant summer days casting their rods into the warm waters of Massachusetts. Over eighty various types of fish live in the rivers and lakes including Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, Bluegill and the native Pumpkinseed.
Fishing licenses are available throughout the state from the beginning of January each year. The average price is $28.50 and, in fact, make an excellent gift for the fisherman in your life. Some licensing bureaus receive their yearly quota before Christmas for the oncoming year. Children under 15 years of age are not required to obtain a license. From 15 to 17 years old, the cost is $11.50; over 18 the price is $27.50. From 65 to 69 years old the price is $16.25, while those over 70 years old are issued a free license. City and Town Clerks are allowed to charge an additional $1.00 “clerical fee.” The holder of the license is not required to display it on their clothing, but only to have it on their person. Not all cities and towns are required to issue Fishing Licenses. If interested, a call should be made to the Clerk’s office of a particular town or check the MassWildlife website at www.mass.gov/dfwele. The MassWildlife website, along with stores such as Walmart, K-Mart and L. L. Bean, sell fishing licenses as well as tackle shops throughout the state. For a complete listing of all locations, visit the MassWildlife website.
Once online, you will be able to view one of five districts throughout Massachusetts; each district lists all seller locations in that particular area. The districts are as follows: the Western, Connecticut Valley, Central, Northeast and Southeast Districts. Massachusetts residents must pay an additional fee of $5.00 for the first license purchased in a calendar year. This money goes toward the Wildlands Conservation Stamp. Revenue from this fund is used to purchase land used for fishing, hunting and other wildlife recreation. For each additional license purchased by Massachusetts residents, such as hunting, trapping or sporting, the Wildlands fee is waived. All non-residents must pay a fee for every license purchased.
The Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife holds an “Angler Education Program” for all people from children to senior citizens. The program teaches about various types of fish, skills of fishing and safety techniques. In 2008, over 6,000 children were taught basics of fishing. Numerous other programs and opportunities are offered, such as the “Free Fishing Weekend” on June 6 and 7, 2009.
Fishing is an outdoor activity enjoyed by fathers and sons, husbands and wives, friends young and old. Fishing is an outdoor activity which can last a lifetime and through which bonds are established which can never be broken.
Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife