Saltwater fishing license - your opinions
I would like to determine what the board members would think about a coastal fishing license. Would you support it? Or would you be against it? If you respond, please indicate which it would be and why.
Many other states (Florida and Texas come to mind immediately) require the purchase of a saltwater license for recreational anglers. We pay a license fee for freshwater angling in the states (US) and provinces (Canada), and I assume that is the way it is everywhere. Why should it be different in the saltwater arena? The freshwater resource is owned by everyone (the citizens here in the US), so that argument about the ocean doesn't hold up to me.
Don't get me wrong, I am not for any more government intervention as a whole - just got the tax request for re-newing my firearms identification card (FID), which is just an effort to remove firearms from law-abiding citizens - but I digress. A license doesn't have to be expensive. My idea would be to have a nominal fee for in-state and out-of-state anglers, or perhaps a tag for the taking of a striper or bluefish. This would allow the agencies managing harvest regulations access to better information. We would have a solid idea on resource pressure and harvest rates, much more so than creel surveys now used. Plus the biggest benefit for the recreational fisherman would be a voice when it comes to management issues. You would be providing money into the system and you would have to be heard when issues concerning striped bass regs are brought up. Why do you think the commercials have some weight (not that they are all bad), it is because they put their money where there mouth is - in the form of fees to enter the fishery.
Plus, the government allocates money based on Wallop-Breaux and Dingell-Johnson (bills for funding agencies based on excise tax on equipment and fuel, etc) that is apportioned based on license holders per-capita (I believe). So there may be the possibility to get more of a contribution to our already underfunded agencies. That money could be used to provide better monitoring of our resources, and provide money for additional biologists (my selfish motive).
Well, what are your ideas on the matter?