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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-18-2000 01:56 PM
Pete
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Steve and board,

I am also a bit confused about the idea that we will lose the privilege to fish in certain areas if we institute a license, but perhaps that could happen, so it is something to consider.

I do not think a new license would change the access laws, because I was under the impression that those laws applied to all people - not just people participating in hunting or angling activities. If you wanted to walk a stream or the inter-tidal area of a beach looking for cool rocks or shells I don't think you'd be considered trespassing. So I guess I can't see the connection. I don't see the difference between freshwater where you need a license and the salt where you don't.

I would think that anyone concerned with access issues would welcome a license - if some of that money could be used to obtain access or improve existing access. It'd be nice to have some dough to get access right of ways to beaches so your not shut out of even more areas.

We've pretty well beat this one around, how many days till May 1st??????????

Pete
03-18-2000 10:46 AM
steve moore
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

I'm sorry and maybe I'm missing something,but Tom's arguement makes absolutley no sense to me. Where is it stated that fishing is a right in Massachusetts? I understand that people are protected from legal action against them if they are traveling below the mean high tide line for the purposes of fishing or fowling, but ow does that translate into a right? How would requiring a license affect this statute? Is fishing from a boat a right too? So how come you need all sorts of licences to fish commerically?

The fact is the fishing & fowling law has been challenged over and over in courts. It will probably continue to be challenged in the future too,and someday a judge may rule in favor of the landowners who brought suit. How does licensing change anything? As mike pointed out, you need to be licensed to hunt and take advantage of the protection of the F&F law. This hasn't had any effect on the stautus of hunting or the law.
03-17-2000 11:37 PM
ssully
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Just to keep things in perspective of what's important I buried my Mother Monday morning.

TL All,
sully
03-17-2000 11:32 PM
juro
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Tom -

You raise an interesting point, but I don't know if I really understand the relationship to access rights so I thought I'd ask. Does the issuance of a license change our rights to the riparian zone? If so you provide a very compelling reason to oppose licenses that I was not aware of.

thanks in advance,
Juro
03-17-2000 11:28 PM
ssully
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Pete,

Thanks for the accountability and the return for that investment statement, as that was my point. I believe it is a linchpin to a progression of a SW license in MA. Most Yankees's(I'm a Red Sox fan) don't trust Uncle Sam.

I agree with this statement. "Plus, if you look at other states we are not out of line in what we charge - perhaps we are too lenient on out-of-staters compared to what other states charge us to hunt or fish." That was another suggestion I was trying to make.

Since this issue seems to keep going around and around I am suggesting an alternative way of looking at it. That's all.
I know I'm gonna take flak for this but here goes. What if MA instituted a one year only trial basis mandatory out of state SW license. For say $10.00 the original figure. It is cheap, it would be simple to enforce MA drivers license for residents or other MA ID. Non-residents must provide a license if checked. Now let's make it coastal. Would I pay the ten to each state and fish in RI, NH & ME. You betcha. Cheap money because the license is good for the season. Even for some sport who vacations here from the Mid-West, whats another ten when he's dropping a couple of hundred on a guide?

As I stated in my previous post this is a known world class striper fishery. Let's do something simple and get a head count of who fish's here from where and then re-adjust the numbers.

Pete in regard to your statement "You list the license figures for the sportsman license from the early 80's to the present." I listed the license fees as what I felt would make a point, which you understood. I always buy my sporting license because I feel the money is well spent for DFW's work. Whether I hunt that year or not, which this year I didn't have the time.

Lastly there is the toughest argument to follow from Tom and Mike, " Never allow a right to be turned into a privilege."

Just my .02
03-17-2000 09:41 PM
tomd
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Hi all, I'd just like to make a point. yes our duck hunting is already regulated, license and stamps needed. however, fishing and navigational purposes are not(navigation was overlooked in previous posts. I can't forsee anyone taking the nav. rights because a boat in trouble will almost certainly be veiwed as an extreme emergency, and therefore always protected. that aside, the other 2 activities are sport(no longer used for sustanence) so if you change the status if tidal fishing to a privlege, the 2 sports will both be able to be curtailed easier. as it is only one sport is classed in that group,with the other retaining the status of a right. ask yourself honestly, if you were a non fisherman and bought property on some beautiful estuary, would you want to walk out your back door to see some guys fishing behind your 1 million+ cottage. NOT LIKELY! it is human nature to want to protect your property, and you would probably veiw these guys as infringing on your space. so you conact the local police who tell you it is legal for them to be there. so then you turn to your lawyer,who discovers that no they don't have a right to be there, theey have a privlege to be there. don't think for a second it's not a heck of alot easier to stop your activities then... he we go on the slippery slope. we start to see "NO FISHING" signs in the salt, just like the fresh water. I don't like to be cyinical, but don't want to be naive either. Tom
03-17-2000 08:48 PM
Bob Pink
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

My thoughts:
Yes of SW license/permit whatever if;

Monies collected do NOT go to State general fund. Income generated targeted for, fisheries research & management, fisherfolk EDUCATION (proper catch & release methods), ramp and beach access improvements, reef program and expanded EP enforcement.

Resident / Non-resident differential ( not too extreme, I fish Maine & RI too! )

In this political world money talks, when the pols realize that they are dealing with a 400,000 + strong contingent of people that not only fish the salt but are willing to pay into supporting the fishery(s) the true economic impact of the recreational sector will finally be felt.
03-17-2000 05:10 PM
Pete
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Sully,

Thanks for joining in. I know you are very interested in hunting and fishing resources in this state and are willing to take the time to learn about and participate to make a difference. I know it is not about the ten bucks, it is about the accountability and the return for that investment.

You list the license figures for the sportsman license from the early 80's to the present. There has been an increase - but if I remember correctly the license fees stayed the same for around 15 years or so. Not many things stay the same for that long - it came time for a change to reflect the current conditions. The increase from 1985 to 1989 might have been related to the additional fee for the aquisition of land that is open for hunting. Again, I could be wrong. When MADF&W now MassWildlife decided to jump the fees up they probably could have done it in a way that would have gotten more support among hunters and anglers - because that drastic jump sure put a lot of people off. However, they needed to do it. The legislature doesn't throw huge sums of money their way. Actual numbers of hunters and anglers was not increasing, if anything there was a decrease as people were not entering those activites that they had done in generations past (too much nintendo and a lack of people that wanted to learn or could pass down the info). So to make my point (finally ) those numbers are a little misleading in my opinion. Plus, if you look at other states we are not out of line in what we charge - perhaps we are too lenient on out-of-staters compared to what other states charge us to hunt or fish.

To respond to another point made by someone - I don't think I would make this a part of the other hunting/fishing license - because if you were strictly a coastal fisherman then buying the other license could lead to problems. The administration costs could be reduced if MassWildlife and MADMF used point-of-sale license machines like they do in other states. That way, a vendor could offer both FW, hunting, sportsman and marine licenses - and it is only marginally more difficult to operate than a lottery machine.

(this is a little off the point but...)
I find it amazing that in this high tech state we don't have point-of-sale machines already. Idaho has them in hunting and fishing stores and regional offices. It is quick easy and efficient. Plus - you can get tags and they can laminate them (nice touch). Ever remember where the carbon copy receipt is for your freshwater license is after you lose/destryed your other one? This system makes it a snap as they are all linked up to a central database. My buddy Chris needed to get "proof" that he has hunted before so he could get a hunting license and not have to take a hunter safety course. All it took was a call to Oregon and he had his total license history in four days (mail took that long). In Massachusetts that info isn't available, at least not to my knowledge. Think about how that could free up enforcement. If you inavertently forgot your license and were checked all they would have to do is call it in. I have done license checks before and the most often used excuse is - it is in my truck, cabin, other vest, etc. - you want to believe but.... . Having the ability to add that to enforcement would be a big help.

Have a good night,

Pete
03-17-2000 02:40 PM
ssully
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions *to Steve*

Steve please re-read my post. It's not about ten bucks.
03-17-2000 11:31 AM
juro
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Steve -

I know where you're coming from, in fact I did over-generalize about f&g. That activity you spoke of at the CCA banquet and in your post is FASCINATING and if they'd let me I would love to do a report on the restoration effort. If you have something put together I'd love to put it up for the rest of us to see what positive things our license dollars can do. If not, just point me in the right direction and I'll chase it down. The story behind that effort goes beyond a stream and even a town - because of where it happened it kinda had an impact on our country!

thanks,
Juro
03-17-2000 11:13 AM
steve moore
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Juro: I don't mean to sound like I am defending the state and their tactics, but I know that many of the DFWELE folks feel the same as you, and they are aware of the importance of native fisheries and the lack of foresight in the "put & take" mentality. In Concord, there is a task force which has been working with the DFWELE folks to try to establish a brood stock of brook trout in the Mill River whihc runs right through the center of town and is really the only reason the town exists where it does today. The State has been very helpful in advising the task force and helping re-establish brokkies to this important historical waterway. (now that re-read what I wrote, I guess I am defending them).

SSully: If you're not willing to pony-up the $10 (or whatever) for a salt water fishing license, then in my opinion it sounds like you're saying it's not worth it to you. If that's true, fine. But when things go wrong don't start complaining.
03-17-2000 06:28 AM
juro
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Sully -

When you put up those numbers I see the concern. I don't know how many sportsmen buy the full package but (a) a discount for the whole shebang would be good and (b) perhaps $5 stamp on the fishing license instead of a separate $10 is more appropriate for the reasons stated above.

Washington state originally had two licenses, two government agencies, and two entire controlling cultures around salt and fresh until two years ago when it was consolidated into one. It made a significant difference in cost, ease of access, and alignment of interests.

The reality is that the freshwater license pays for concrete tanks and pellets, as well as the chemicals that keep fish alive in these harsh conditions. This factory trout production culture is far from ideal, it only creates a wrongful mentality among fishermen. I would much rather see some of the money from a joint funding model go toward more thoughtful initiatives than production of pellet-pout. How about restoration and protection of coastal brookie runs, or increased passage and protection for the hundreds of searun atlantic salmon that are trying to get through Massachusetts section of the Merrimac? I'd love to see it.

This would also support coastal fisheries studies and guys like Pete who balance interests between fisheries and fishermen.

.02
03-17-2000 12:49 AM
ssully
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Alright I tried to avoid this thread like the plague.

No offense but $10.00 for a SW license PULEEEEEZ! Sure it starts at ten bucks.

I pulled out a bunch of old MA resident Sporting License's that I've saved over the years. I like to pin a dozen or so on when I'm FW fishing a spot that I know is strictly patrolled. Like one of those "W" ponds. It drives the game warden crazy. Then we have a good laugh. [img]http://216.71.206.188/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif" border="0" align="middle">

OK here is a sampling not including turky permits, doe permits, duck stamps(state&fed.)wildland stamp and archery/primative firearms stamps.

2000 - $46.00
1995 - $24.50
1989 - $19.50
1982 - $16.50

Pete, don't get me wrong I would love to contribute something that will ensure the proper management of marine fisheries for the present and future. I remember the days you couldn't catch a striper with dynamite (or a shock boat)<img src="http://216.71.206.188/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif[/img] because there weren't any around. As opposed to monster fish everywhere. Oops, I'm dating myself.

No question Professionals such as yourself require the dollars to get the job done. I'm just not convinced that a SW license is the only alternative. If I had the answer to this I could retire tomorrow and just fish. How many C&R guys want to pay to fish SW? Dunno?

The word has spread about the MA world class striper fishery. How about a Non-Resident SW license on a trial basis to get a head count? Advanced apologies to the charter guys and neighboring states. Just my .02
03-16-2000 09:31 AM
steve moore
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Ron: DMF's own figures put the number of salt water fishermen in MA at between 650,000-750,000. Sure, we get Wallop/Breux money from the freshwater licenses sold in MA, but I don't think of Massachusetts as a Meca for freshwater fishing, like it is for salt water.

Say we make a SW license $10/year and make that an add-on to the freshwater/hunting license to keep down administrative costs (like the duck stamp), or make a separate license just for SW fishing (it doesn''t really matter). That's between $6.5 and $7.5 million per year, plus the additional Wallop/Breux rebate we'd get back for taxes we've already paid. Figure we get another $3-5 million back for that (conservative estimate). That's $9.5-12.5 million bucks a year, for a lousy $10 license! I know I could put money like that to good use. Even if some of $ is spent unwisely, it's a pretty big pie to cut.
03-15-2000 12:18 PM
ronl
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Steve- If I read Mike's post correctly the tax is on all fishing gear- fresh and salt and I remember hearing that the largest portion of the population were fresh water fishermen(licensed) then we should be getting the rebate. Many of the saltwater fishermen also fish fresh water though not as much but they still buy licenses. What we need is an acounting of where the money goes- I still don't trust politicians. ron
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