|The Day, Connecticut
Published on 12/24/2008
By Michael Naughton
Saltwater Fishermen Get More Time Before They Must Register
By Michael Naughton
Recreational saltwater anglers now have a little more time before they are required to register under a new federal rule.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, the federal agency that manages fishing, announced Tuesday its final rule to help create a saltwater angler registry by 2010.
The announcement comes after agency officials reviewed the hundreds of comments it received from fishermen since it announced the proposed plan for the registry in June.
The rule requires that recreational saltwater fishermen be included in the national registry by 2010. Its proposed rule last summer had required registration by next month, but after public comment, the federal agency decided to allow another year for states to get their data collection systems in place.
”It gives us 12 months now. It'll save a lot of confusion for the public wondering how they are supposed to comply in the coming year,” said David Simpson, the director of the state's marine fisheries division.
The purpose of the registry, officials said, is to conduct more complete surveys and collect more accurate data on the amounts of fish caught and the size of fish stocks.
”Better national surveys of the more than 15 million saltwater anglers will help us demonstrate the important contributions of recreational anglers to both local economies and to the nation's,” Jim Balsiger, acting assistant administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service, said in a news release.
Fishermen will be required to register annually, carry a certificate when fishing and pay a fee, likely to be no more than $25 under the federal rule. The fee would not be collected until 2011.
Saltwater fishermen who register with state fishing agencies would be exempt from registering with federal agencies. State agencies would supply information from their registries to the national registry.
State marine fishing officials expect to testify before the state legislature during the next session as the group works to get the state's version of the registry requirement in place.
If the legislature implements its version of the registry rule for saltwater fishing, Connecticut anglers would have to begin paying the fee when they are required to register starting in 2010.
By registering with the state, the money collected from the fees would be kept in Connecticut instead of being collected into the federal pot where the funds could be used for various projects.
”The logic naturally is if you pay a fee, you'd want to keep the money local rather than send it to the general treasury,” Simpson said.
All recreational anglers who fish in federal waters will be required to register, according to NOAA. Anglers must register if they fish in tidal waters for migratory fish, such as striped bass and salmon, that spawn in rivers and spend their adult lives in estuaries and oceans.
However, anglers who fish recreationally for migratory fish inland of tidal waters would not have to register.
Anglers who fish on licensed party or charter boats, have permits to fish for highly migratory species, such as tuna, or are 16 years old or younger would be exempt under the federal rule.
Most of the 23 coastal states already have a license program for saltwater fishing. Only Hawaii and the states stretching from New Jersey to Maine don't require a permit.
R E A D E R'S C O M M E N T S
Posted - 12/24/2008 10:52:49 AM
So let me get this straight-you made me register my gun(s)now, you want me to register my fishing? When are you coming after my toilet tissue?
Walter R Dzukola
Posted - 12/24/2008 10:46:13 AM
ENOUGH, already!!! I got rid of my boat, & all my salt water fishing gear! You thieving bureaucrats will have to think up ANOTHER way to get more of my $$. (I have faith in you-you can do it)
Walter R Dzukola
Posted - 12/24/2008 9:24:04 AM
This is" to conduct more complete surveys and collect more accurate data on the amounts of fish caught and the size of fish stocks."? It's all about the money. At 25 dollars a pop that's about $375,000,000 a year. To collect data? This is just another TAX. The cost of my fishing Lic. doubled this year all ready. So at this rate I'll be paying $100 a year to go out & fish in 2010. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying out of pocket for something that helps out but this is something that that we are all ready paying taxes for. "The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, the federal agency that manages fishing,"
Posted - 12/24/2008 9:01:07 AM
Does this mean I need both fresh and saltwater licenses?
Posted - 12/24/2008 8:58:05 AM
So let me get this straight, we will have to pay a mere $25.00 a year so that a federal agency can gather data because ”Better national surveys of the more than 15 million saltwater anglers will help us demonstrate the important contributions of recreational anglers to both local economies and to the nation's,” Wow, I get to pay a bunch of no-load government employees to gather data to prove we spend money fishing. No fishery management, no stocking, no enforcement, no boat launch maintenance, no fishing piers, just data. What a crock of chum.
Posted - 12/24/2008 8:47:29 AM
I think that these feds should go back to drawing board. Monies s/b kept in the state but I wonder how often this fee (yearly?)will have to be paid and how does a fisherman know what "waters" he/she is in ie: NY, RI, MA or CT with the states being so close. Will each state need to collect a separate fee ?
Posted - 12/24/2008 8:45:45 AM
Looks like just another way for the government to take money from you and .... it away. This will mean more regulations, more regulations means more state jobs to enforce these regulations. More state jobs requires more money to fund them, which means more regulations and yes more fees. Looks real simple to me. Government bureaucrats are all about more, more, more. There never seems to be enough to satisfy them. Does it realy matter which layer of government pisses it away if end game is the same?
Posted - 12/24/2008 8:05:06 AM
I SURF CAST IN R.I. AND NEW YORK AND LIVE IN CT. WOULD I HAVE TO PAY 3 FEES TO FISH FOR THE SAME BASS?
Posted - 12/24/2008 7:16:06 AM
I do a lot of hunting & fishing and with all these license's & permit fee's I'm going to need a part time job to pay for them.
Arthur C. Howard II
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