Licenses are required to fish in the Carmel River and Lagoon either for steelhead or for rainbow trout. Steelhead fishing is only during the months of November through April and only on certain days (these regulations change periodically so you need to check before fishing--see link below), and only catch and release is allowed using barbless hooks. Rainbow trout can be fished in the upper Carmel River, especially above Los Padres Dam, during open trout fishing season.
California Freshwater Fishing Regulations
Last Updated 5/29/16