2010-01-14 / About Town

Assembly enacts salt water fishing license over governor’s veto

Legislators voted recently to override the governor’s veto to create the Ocean State’s first recreational saltwater fishing license.

The license, which will cost $7 for state residents, will be required for those fishing recreationally in the coastal waters of Rhode Island.

In his veto message, the governor stated that fishing is a birthright of all Rhode Islanders, and that people who occasionally take their children fishing should not be subject to a fee.

Rhode Island has long required licenses for freshwater fishing. Those licenses currently cost $18 and, like their new saltwater counterpart, help to provide funding to programs that support the healthy fisheries and access to them.

The license will cost $7 for state residents, and will be free for residents who are 65 or older or in active military service. Sevenday licenses would also be offered for $5 for both residents and nonresidents. Like freshwater licenses, they will be available at bait shops and retailers.

Those fishing in violation of the chapter would be guilty of a civil infraction and would be fined $10 for the first offense, $50 for the second and $100 each for subsequent offenses. The money raised will fund administration of the licensing program and support fisheries management and improvement.

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