No license needed; fish for free July 4 in N.C.


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Not only does July 4 celebrate the country’s independence, it is also a free fishing day when anyone in North Carolina, including residents and non-residents, can fish without a license.

Anyone 16 and older can fish in all public waters, including salt water. However, all other fishing regulations, such as length and daily possession limits, as well as bait and tackle restrictions, apply.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said they stock a variety of fish in public, inland waters across the state throughout the year to give anglers a better chance of catching fish.

Cool mountain waters are stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout, as well as walleye and muskellunge. In warm waters, Commission staff stocks largemouth bass, American shad, striped bass, channel catfish and sunfishes.

In addition to stocking fish, the Commission has interactive fishing and boating maps on its website to make finding a spot to fish easier.

On all other days of the year, a fishing license is not required for anglers 15 years and younger, but anyone age 16 and older must have a fishing license to fish in any public water in North Carolina, including coastal waters.

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