Recreational Fishing
Potomac River Sport Fishing License Requirements

Man holding a largemouth bass
  • If you are fishing in the Potomac River:

  • Below the 301 Bridge - you are required to have one of the following:
    1. Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing License, or
    2. Virginia Saltwater Recreational License, or
    3. Maryland Bay (Tidal) Sport Fishing License.
    Above the 301 Bridge - you are required to have one of the following:
    1. Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing License, or
    2. Virginia Saltwater Recreational License, or
    3. Maryland Bay (Tidal) Sport Fishing License, or
    4. Virginia Statewide Freshwater Fishing License.
    Above the Woodrow Wilson Bridge:
    1. You are required to have a District of Columbia Fishing License.
  • Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing Licenses are also valid in:

    1. All Maryland tidal waters, and
    2. All Virginia tidal saltwaters, and
    3. All Virginia tidal freshwater tributaries of the Potomac River downstream of points designated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
    4. For More Details SeeMbr /> SPORT FISHING LICENSE RECIPROCITY GUIDELINES
  • A Potomac River sport fishing license is not required if you:

    1. Are less than 16 years of age.
    2. Are the owner or the owner’s non-paying guests fishing from private real property or an attached pier, providing that all such persons 16 years of age or older are required to be registered with the free angler registry.
    3. Are fishing the day before, the holiday itself, and the day after Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.
    4. National Fishing and Boating Week (1st full week of June).
    5. Hold a valid individual tidal/saltwater sport fishing license issued by MD or VA.
    6. Are fishing from a boat holding a valid license issued by PRFC, MD or VA, providing that all such persons 16 years of age or older are required to be registered with the free angler registry ( http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/service/ or, http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/FIP or call (800)723-2728.
The Potomac River Fisheries Commission coordinates regulations with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, (DGIF) and with the other Atlantic coastal states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).