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Old 03-14-2000, 05:00 PM
Pete Pete is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Deerfield River, Upper Cape public access spots
Posts: 98
RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Jeff G. and Mr. Powers,

Thanks for the input. I'd like you all to keep in mind that I have not proposed the mechanisms for the license only an idea.

To take a couple of comments from the thread below:
1. >>As the laws stand in this state... we cann'ot be barred from access to all land between tide lines, that is below mean high tide. if you make us buy a license you would group us with people who are allowed to paticipate in an activity as a privilege,read that as (YOU LOST YOUR RIGHT TO FISH).<<

How does this differ from the access laws we have for fishing on streams. In Massachusetts no one owns the stream channel. I'd agree that hunting is a little different, but there it is more of a public safety issue, although somewhat misguided in some cases.

[The situation is similar--if I start paying for a license, i will never stop because I will never give up fishing, even if they spend my license fee on hookers and beer and do nothing to improve the fishery.] - jeffg

Why is there a difference between saltwater and freshwater resources, and why do people pay freshwater licenses, but object to paying for saltwater? People bitch about green fees, ski-lift tickets, price of a movie - but still pay them. Why should this form of recreation/entertainment be free? I agree that we pump a lot of money into various factions related to fishing gear/travel/etc. but these agencies are not getting a ton of money. Plus, do you really believe that is what happens to you license revune over in Westboro???

[Political reality. I'm not going to get lathered over this, because it's unlikely to come to pass. One of the things that the Striped Bass has going for it is that it's both a blue-blood and a blue-collar fish. There are too many lunchbucket guys who've fished for these critters for too long for anyone to impose a new fee on them. This is a populist state.] - Mr. Powers

Your right, it probably will never come to pass, so it is not worth the time I have spent even bringing it up. I fail to see that the demographic makeup of the freshwater hunting and fishing crowd is any different than the coastal recreational angler, if anything I'd say if you looked at both groups they would probably be more blue collar for the FW angling/hunters - as this state certainly isn't a destination spot to hunt whitetails or catch trout in the Deerfield or Swift.

I think I also read that we (SW anglers) are already well represented, so that our voice is already heard. While CCA and the other organizations do good work towards changing the regulations and having a voice to protect and enhance SW causes - they are still relatively small groups. I cannot stress the analogy with the state's other wildlife agency (MassWildlife)enough - a huge majority of their working budget is gathered either directly or indirectly from license sales - as such, they are prone to look after the resources that their license holders value most. For fisherman, that is to keep the ponds and rivers stocked with catchable fish. We may not agree with stocking, but that is what makes the majority of occasinal anglers happy - the ability to take the kids to the local stocked stream or pond and catch a fish.

I don't view this as "Big Brother" looking to come in and whittle our rights away, or get more money to blow on frivolous things. If you guys had any idea of the tight fiscal conditions these agencies operate under you'd probably be pretty surprised, maybe a little PO'd. The prolonged lack of money does have some consequences - those consequences are the lack of any work other than maintaining the status quo and occasionally funding some research. You may be surprised by the quality of work that could be turned out by the agencies everyone loves to target if they were given some tools (i.e., $$$). I know they are an easy target, and sometimes the criticism has been valid, but the license has the potential to be a positive, not just for the MADMF, but to our coastal fisheries.
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