Massachusetts Increases Fishing & Hunting License Fees

Fishing license fees in Massachusetts will increase for the first time in 26 years.

News Release

Following a thorough review by MassWildlife staff and the Fisheries and Wildlife Board, and an extensive public engagement program that allowed the agency to gather feedback from hunters, anglers, and trappers, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance has approved MassWildlife’s proposed freshwater fishing and hunting license fee increases. The fishing and hunting license fee increases are the first such increases in 26 years.

The approved fee structure is designed to address MassWildlife’s current revenue shortfall, sustain the Inland Fish and Game Fund for another decade, fund core operations, and maintain MassWildlife’s popular, high-quality programs and services.

An initial proposal was introduced in January 2021, and MassWildlife provided stakeholders opportunities to offer feedback through six online information sessions in February and March.

Additionally, MassWildlife collected feedback from stakeholders through emails, letters, and a webform. Although many stakeholders expressed support for MassWildlife’s programs and services and an understanding of the need to raise fees after so many years, there was a strong desire to see fee increases phased in over time, and to lower the proposed increases to hunting permits and stamps.

In response, MassWildlife and the Department of Fish and Game worked with the Baker-Polito Administration to revise the original fee proposal. Recognizing that all Massachusetts residents benefit from MassWildlife’s work to conserve wildlife, protect open space, and preserve clean water and air, the Baker-Polito Administration and legislators worked to diversify MassWildlife’s funding and reduce the burden on the fee-paying sporting community by providing monies in the fiscal year 2022 budget to reimburse statutory free licenses and to partially fund MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

The revised list of fees reflect stakeholder input by phasing fee and stamp increases over five years, beginning in 2022. Additionally, most fee increases are lower than originally proposed. MassWildlife held three formal public hearings in June 2021 via Zoom to provide the public with opportunities to comment on the final proposal. Following those hearings, MassWildlife submitted the proposed fee increase package to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance for approval and final promulgation. Final approval of the fee increase package is expected in October 2021, after which the increases will take effect for the 2022 calendar year.

Click here for a table of fees for the next five calendar years.

7 on “Massachusetts Increases Fishing & Hunting License Fees

  1. Cape

    It’s never enough money.
    Take take take and they spend spend spend.
    Love to know exactly where the money goes to?
    They don’t hire more Officers in the field.
    I remember when they said the salt water fishing licenses won’t go up and be inexpensive.
    Only $10!!!! Lol

  2. Harbear

    If you are smart enough to post your comments. Look it up yourself. I believe you can.

  3. Mark

    if the cost increases 2X we should expect 2X the adventure! stock some paddle fish or Gar or something interesting

  4. MarkB

    So for a 65+ fishing license, I pay $13. Plus a $5 Wildlands stamp. Plus a $1.45 Administrative Fee. Plus a 2% Convenience Fee. So for a $13 license, I’m up over $20. And unlike the last time I got a fishing license, I can’t avoid the ‘convenience’ of doing it online and just go to Town Hall, which would be convenient for me, and save the $1.45 plus 2%. Isn’t the Internet wonderful – what did we ever do without it?

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