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Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fishing Licence: General Species

Who Needs This Licence?

Fresh-water fishing: Anyone 16 years old or older who wants to fish for any species of fish in provincial waters in Nova Scotia. Residents and non-residents age 16 and 17 years are eligible for a general or fishing licence at no cost. This includes all fresh water sources, such as rivers and lakes.

Please see the Nova Scotia Angler's Handbook for information on fees, bag limits, season dates and size limits including winter angling opportunities.

Note: This licence is not valid for salmon; see Fishing Licence: Salmon

Salt-water fishing: You do not need a licence to fish in tidal or salt water in Nova Scotia. However, you must respect Canadian federal and provincial fishing seasons, bag limits and gear restrictions (if applicable). See Additional Information, below.

Issuing Department / Agency:
This licence is made available to the public through nearly 700 Authorized Vendors, and at District Offices of the N.S. Department of Natural Resources, on behalf of the N.S. Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Where can you get this Licence and / or further information?

Authorized vendors (including most sporting goods stores).


Any Access Nova Scotia Centre


Service Delivery Division
Business Registration Unit
Service Nova Scotia

Phone: 902-424-4467 or 902-424-4821
Fax: 902-424-0602

Office Location:
Maritime Centre
9th Floor, Reception Area
1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1529
Halifax, NS  B3J 2Y4

NOTE: The Maritime Centre is located at the intersection of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road (the Aliant Building at the foot of Spring Garden).

Any of the District Offices of the N.S. Department of Natural Resources

Application Process:

Applicants must provide proof of age and residency to the person issuing the licence and pay the fee directly to the authorized vendor or government office. It is the responsibility of the license holder to sign the license to make it valid.

It is the sole responsibility of the vendors to fill out the required information on the licence.  If the requirements are met the licence is issued. Season licences become effective April 1 of a given year, and remain valid until March 31 of the following year.

Waiting Period:
Price:  (HST* included)

Resident $27.60
Resident Senior (65 years and above) $6.80
Resident and Non-Resident (16 to 17 years): No Charge

Non Resident (Annual) $34.80
Resident and Non-Resident 1 Day Licence $13.10

Replacement cost: $5.75

*Harmonized Sales Tax

This licence is good for one season only (April 1st of the current year to March 31st of the following year). Once it expires, it is invalid, and you have to buy a new one.
Related Requirements:
Additional Information:
  1. Each licence fee, except the Resident Senior, includes a $5.91 fee that is deposited into a Sportfish Habitat Fund to be used for volunteer projects to conserve and enhance fish habitat and improve public access.  The Fund is administered by Fisheries and Aquaculture. For more information, contact the Inland Fisheries Division, PO Box 700, Pictou, NS B0K 1H0. Phone: 902-485-5056, Fax: 902-485-4014, E-mail:
  2. See also Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture home page at:

  3. In tidal or salt-water, which is federal jurisdiction in Canada, seasons and bag limits vary from place to place within the province. For more information, contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Halifax at 902-221-7264 (weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), or the Department 24-hour phone at 1-800-565-1633, or this web site:

  4. Fishing in Canadian National Parks requires a transferable National Parks Fishing Licence, which is available in park offices.  For more information on National Parks see the National Parks website at:


Legislative Authority:

Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act, Chapter 25 of the Acts of 1996.

Wildlife Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 504

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