Saltwater fishing license - your opinions - Page 2 - Fly Fishing Forum
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2000, 06:38 PM
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grego grego is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Ditto Nathan!
Only if ALL the money went back into fisheries/wildlife!
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  #17  
Old 03-15-2000, 06:34 AM
Pete Pete is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Mike and the rest of the contributors,

Mike (I thought it was Mike, but didn't want to screw it up). Thank you for taking the time to respond back.

I can see some weaknesses in my argument, specifically that there would be no recourse if the agencies decided to blow the money, and you'd still be on the hook for the license fee. But, I think if those ideas were hashed out before the license or tag was instituted (not like the new automobile emissions sticker fiasco) there would be less room for unmet expectations or disatisfaction among the angling community. Your not going to please all the people, there will be some that object no matter how good the reasons.

There is one point that you made and I'll quote it becuase anyone viewing this thread probably could view it from either a pro or con license position:

&gt;&gt;Anyway, I would look at your efforts to provoke thought on licensing in "bang for the buck" terms. Not, will the license $ achieve the best results, but what sort of organizational/political efforts will have the greatest direct impact on the health of the fishery. <i>I don't think a big brouhaha over license fees will result in as much benefit as a concerted effort to allign the interests of the various recreational groups and present a concerted cogent message to the regulatory bodies.</i>&lt;&lt;

I would argue that a license is neccesary, as there are a number of small groups that represent the recreational community now and they don't neccesarily speak with one voice. I'm not saying that everyone would be supportive of the same things once alicense is instituted either. But when it comes time to divy up the resource pie a look at licenses sold per year and how that contributes to the running of your agency might make you think twice about the allocation of resources. A license would (again IMO) give the angler more of a voice - another analogy is a stockholder of a company - you don't have any say at the annual meeting about the operation of the company if you don't own some stock. Please don't view my comments as putting down the efforts of conservation organizations (i.e CCA, MassBass, TU, etc.) they are involved and working towards their goals, however, membership is small compared to the whole and managers realize this.

Have a good morning, I better get to work

Pete
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2000, 09:31 AM
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Hawkeye Hawkeye is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

How about instituting a tax on recreational fishing gear instead of a license? This would clearly represent us in terms of funding and give us the same voice as license fees would - perhaps more, it would eliminate the need for licensing enforcement efforts, it would eliminate the "right to priveledge" problem, and finaly, those who use the resource more would pay more.
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  #19  
Old 03-15-2000, 09:56 AM
jeffg jeffg is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Hi Pete,
For the record, I know they don't blow their budget on hookers and beer (unlike some other state officials--do harbor cruises with topless girls ring a bell), I was just being funny.

I would like to respond to one point that you may have misunderstood me on though--the money issue. It is not the idea of giving my money to pay for an activity I enjoy that bothers me, although comparing saltwater fishing to greensfees, skiing or movies seems pretty offbase for a host of reasons I won't get into.

It is your statement that paying money will suddenly give we, the public, a greater voice in the process. Without a series of contemperaneous changes to the system that would go along with collecting license fees, I am simply not convinced we, the public, could hold anyone any more accountable for decisions over the fishery than we currently can.

Unless money is accompanied by direct representaion on decision-making bodies, or the right to vote members onto decision-making bodies, that capital input will not equal political power. You liken the scenario to a corporation with the public being shareholders, but shareholders vote in the directers, and have the power to vote them out when they are unhappy.

As I see it, the issue is recourse and accountability, and we currently have the benefit of neither. If I truly believed a license would provide these, I'd be all for it.

Thanks for listening,

Jeff Ganguly
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2000, 11:08 AM
Powers Powers is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

&gt;&gt;How about instituting a tax on recreational fishing gear instead of a license?&lt;&lt;

You're in luck, Greg. You're already paying this tax. It's called Wallop-Breaux and it does exactly what you propose.
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  #21  
Old 03-15-2000, 11:11 AM
Pete Pete is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

Jeff G.,

Yeah Jeff I knew you were not serious about that, Massport is a different story . I definitely see your point and understand your skepticism regarding licenses.

It is hard to convey the intent of messages over this medium, it is much better to have a verbal conversation, as it is easier to get a better idea of what someone means and the tone they say it in. BTW - please don't take my opinions as hostile or belligerent - I try to respond back but sometimes the ideas are like streams-of-conciousness and not always the clearest.

I didn't mean to suggest that you in particular were against putting up the money for a license. I do however still feel the analogy to other activities is valid. Massachusetts was one, if not the first states to have a wildlife commission and set seasons and limits on the taking of game. We (as a state) did that because of the influence we can have over game species. As the populations grew, and more people were using the resources they had to set seasons and limits or we would have wiped out the game. Whitetail were at pretty low densities back then - a lot more of them are around today (perhaps too many in the eastern part of the state)then back then. Anyway, today with so many people vying for the same resource (whether commercial vs. recreational, Massachusetts vs. Virginia, etc.) we have to manage the resources and do it well. To do that requires funds and reliable information. Monies are already raised through the sale of fishing tackle, fuel for watercraft, and through an excise tax on watercraft (if I'm not mistaken). I hate to sound like PBS or Sally Struthers, but while this money is good, additional money could be used to do much more. I'd like to see more enforcement, angler education, additional access too, also more info on important recreational and commercial species. This cannot happen with current funding (again IMO). If people (and I mean that in general) want to contribute something positive to the resource all you would have to do is pony up $10 and have a little faith that the resource agency would do the right thing.

Remember, this probably will never have a shot in he** of ever even coming up, so this is probably an exercise in futility, however, I love getting other opinions.

Pete
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  #22  
Old 03-15-2000, 11:13 AM
steve moore steve moore is offline
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions

The problem with the Wallop/Breux tax is that it is rebated back to the states based on the number of licenses issued. So in effect, we pay it and don't get it back like other states with licenses do.

I'm all for a SW license, based on this alone.
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  #23  
Old 03-15-2000, 12:18 PM
ronl ronl is offline
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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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  #24  
Old 03-16-2000, 09:31 AM
steve moore steve moore is offline
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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.
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  #25  
Old 03-17-2000, 12:49 AM
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ssully ssully is offline
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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
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  #26  
Old 03-17-2000, 06:28 AM
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juro juro is offline
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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
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  #27  
Old 03-17-2000, 11:13 AM
steve moore steve moore is offline
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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.
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  #28  
Old 03-17-2000, 11:31 AM
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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
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  #29  
Old 03-17-2000, 02:40 PM
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RE:Saltwater fishing license - your opinions *to Steve*

Steve please re-read my post. It's not about ten bucks.
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  #30  
Old 03-17-2000, 05:10 PM
Pete Pete is offline
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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
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