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Commercial Fishing License

Statutory Authority: ECL 11-1501 to 11-1521, and 6 NYCRR Part 35, Part 36, and Part 175

The Department, at its discretion, may issue a Commercial Fishing License that authorizes a person to take fish for commercial purposes with nets and devices, except in waters where their use is expressly prohibited. Commercial Fishing Licenses are issued for a few species of fish in the Hudson River.

There are several types of Commercial Fishing Licenses.

Commercial Fishing Licenses for Lake Erie or Lake Ontario:

  • DEC will not be issuing any new commercial licenses for Lake Erie or Lake Ontario for the foreseeable future.

Eel Weir and Eel Pot Licenses:

  • The Commercial Fishing of eels is authorized with either the Eel Weir license, or Eel Pot License, depending on capture methods.
  • The fees vary depending on gear licensed, and resident/nonresident status.
  • New applicants must go through review processes to be considered.
  • Catch reports must be submitted annually.
  • A tag will be issued for each licensed piece of equipment.
  • Licenses Expire annually on December 31.

Please contact the Special Licenses Unit with any questions or concerns; or to find out how to apply for any of these licenses.

Special Licenses Unit
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4752

List of applicable Laws and Regulations

New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL): visit the Department of State website at http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS.

  • 11-1501 to 11-1521

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (6NYCRR)

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    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
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