05 June 2009

Connecticut's New Recreational Saltwater Fishing License

Was just over to visit Rich and Jan at Newtown Bait & Tackle, and it's for real. Governor M. Jodi Rell has signed HB 5875 which will require most persons fishing in state marine waters to have a saltwater fishing license starting 15 June 2009. Rich and Jan are selling them at NBT.

The bill establishes, with certain exceptions, a sports fishing marine waters fishing license for anyone over age 16 who takes, attempts to take, or assists in taking any fish or bait species in the marine district by any method or who lands marine fish and bait species in the state, regardless of where the marine fish or bait species are taken (e. g. , anadromous fish species, such as striped bass, swim from saltwater to freshwater to spawn). The law requires a recreational license for inland (freshwater) fishing and a commercial license for commercial fishing in the marine district.

Under the bill, the sports marine license fee is $10 for residents and $15 for nonresidents. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) commissioner may issue people age 65 and older who have been state residents for at least one year an annual marine waters fishing license for free. The bill requires town clerks to retain a $1 recording fee for each marine waters fishing license they issue.

Exceptions: The bill creates several exceptions to the recreational marine water fishing license requirement. The following people do not have to have a license:

1. people rowing a boat or operating the motor of a boat from which other persons are taking or attempting to take fish;

2. anyone fishing as a passenger on a registered party, charter, or head boat operating solely in the marine district; and

3. state residents participating in a fishing derby that the DEP commissioner authorized in writing if, (a) no fees are charged for the derby, (b) it lasts one day or less, and (c) it is sponsored by a nonprofit civic service organization. These organizations are limited to one derby in any calendar year.

Additionally, the DEP commissioner may designate one day in each calendar year when no license is required for sport fishing in the marine district.

By law, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York residents may fish for free in certain Connecticut waters without a nonresident license, if their state allows the same (reciprocal) privilege for Connecticut citizens. The bill specifies that this law refers to inland waters that lie both in Connecticut and the reciprocating state. It also creates a reciprocal arrangement for marine water licenses should Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, or Rhode Island enact reciprocal laws or regulations for marine water fishing licenses (none of these states currently has a marine water license). Under the bill, as under current law, residents of other states are subject to other applicable federal or state fishing laws under any reciprocal agreements.

The bill allows any nonresident who resides in the other New England states or New York to obtain this marine license for the same fee or fees as a Connecticut resident if he or she is a resident of a state that has a reciprocal provision that extends the same privilege to Connecticut residents.

Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

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