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Fishing Regulations

Buying a license

Fishing and hunting licenses, valid January 1–December 31 annually, may be purchased at:

  • nhfishandgame.com
  • Fish and Game Department Headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH;
  • Fish and Game Region 1, 2, and 4 offices;
  • License agents located throughout the state; and
  • Various town or city clerks.

Lost licenses

Lost licenses can be replaced at Fish and Game’s Concord Headquarters or at the license agency that issued the original license. The cost of a duplicate license is $6.00.


A fishing license is not required for children under the age of 16 (RSA 214:2).

Residency requirements

To obtain a license at resident rates, the person must present to the issuing agent a valid New Hampshire driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification card issued by the NH Department of Safety, Div. of Motor Vehicles. For applicants under 18 years of age, the parent or guardian of the applicant shall be a resident and present their valid NH driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification.

Note: Any person who is no longer a legal resident of the state, but still retains a valid NH driver’s license, is guilty of a misdemeanor if he/she tries to obtain a resident fishing, hunting, or trapping license based on this driver’s license.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing in most New Hampshire lakes and ponds begins at “ice-in” and ends at “ice-out.” Depending on the weather and ice safety, this “season” can be from late December through mid-April. These types of waters support mostly warm water fish populations, including perch, pickerel, black crappie, and bass, with a few waters providing opportunities to catch brook, rainbow, or brown trout through the ice. For specific bag limits for certain species, see the Angler’s Guide to Freshwater Fishing in New Hampshire. Waters managed for lake trout and/or salmon have a defined season of January 1–March 31. Remember: Salmon may not be taken through the ice. Designated trout ponds are closed to ice fishing.

On most NH waters, the general rule is six ice fishing devices (lines) per person when ice fishing, with the following exceptions:

  • Ice anglers are limited to five lines while ice fishing on NH-Maine border waters, except Great East Lake, which has a two-line limit.
  • Only two ice fishing devices (lines) per angler are allowed when fishing the designated lake trout and salmon lakes.
  • Hooks used for bait while ice fishing must have only a single hook with a single hook point per ice fishing device.
  • Bob houses must be removed from public waters, public property, or private property no later than April 1. The owner’s name and address shall be plainly marked on the bob house and shall have 12 square inches of reflective material half-way up on the outside of each side.

Fishing Spots

Echo Lake- Franconia Notch

Brook Trout

  • From I-93 N head toward Littleton
  • Take the RT-18 exit, Exit 34C, toward Echo Lake Beach/Peabody Slopes/Cannon Mountain
  • Turn left onto RT-18/Franconia Rd/Profile Road.

Profile Lake- Franconia Notch

Brook Trout- fly fishing only (special regulations)

  • From I-93 N head toward Littleton
  • Take Exit 34B toward Cannon Mountain Tramway/Old Man Historic Site
  • Turn left onto Tramway Drive
  • Merge onto I-93 S/Franconia Notch Pky/US-3 S via the ramp on the left

Russell Pond- Woodstock

Brook Trout

  • From I-93 N/Senator Styles Bridges Hwy toward Littleton
  • Take the Tripoli Rd. exit, Exit 31, toward RT-175
  • Turn right onto Tripoli Rd
  • Turn left onto Russell Pond Rd

Perch Pond-Campton

Brook Trout, Rainbow, White Perch, Hornpout

  • Take Exit 28 off I-93 onto RT-49/Waterville Rd
  • Turn right onto Livermore Rd/RT-175
  • Turn right to stay on Perch Pond Rd

Peaked Hill Pond- Thornton

(hike in 3 miles)
Brook Trout- Access from Peaked Hill Pond Road limited parking

  • From I-93 N/Senator Styles Bridges Hwy toward Littleton
  • Take the US-3 N exit, Exit 29, toward Thornton
  • Turn left onto US-3/Daniel Webster Hwy
  • Turn left onto Merrill Access Rd
  • Turn left

Hall Pond – Sandwich

Brook Trout, fly fishing only

  • Take Exit 28 off I-93 and right onto RT-49/Waterville Rd
  • Sandwich Notch Rd is 0.3 miles past Chickenboro Rd
  • Turn slight right onto Sandwich Notch Rd (Portions unpaved)
  • If you reach Smarts Brook you’ve gone about 0.7 miles too far

Mad River- Thornton/Waterville

Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout

  • Take Exit 28 off I-93 onto RT-49/Waterville Rd
  • Mad River is off RT-49

Pemigewasset River- Campton/Thornton/Plymouth/Woodstock

Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout

Mirror Lake- Thornton/Woodstock

  • Take Exit 29 off I-93 in Thornton
  • Turn left onto RT-3 , heading North, for 4.8 miles
  • Turn Left onto Mirror Lake Rd. for .5 miles
  • Public beach and small boat launch on the right