2012-05-31 / News

Fishing license needed for saltwater

With the saltwater fishing season underway, the state Department of Environmental Management reminds anglers and spearfishers that a 2012 saltwater fishing license is needed to fish recreationally in all marine waters.

The Rhode Island license covers all Rhode Island marine waters, all offshore federal waters, the waters of neighboring states, and all other reciprocal state marine waters throughout the United States. The federal registration is honored in Rhode Island waters, but it now costs $15, and it is not honored by neighboring states. Other state licenses are also honored in Rhode Island waters, but they generally cost more than a R.I. license.

The purposes of the Rhode Island license program are twofold. First, all Rhode Island license information, as well as that collected by the federal government and other states, is being incorporated into a new national “phonebook” of recreational anglers, enabling the new Marine Recreational Information Program to readily survey current fishermen and more accurately assess recreational catch and effort data. That information will lead to improved state-based assessments and more fair, accurate and effective management programs for Rhode Island’s marine recreational fisheries.

Second, the license-fee revenues, which are held in a protected account, are solely dedicated to enhancing recreational fishing opportunities in Rhode Island and supporting improvements to Rhode Island’s recreational fisheries. The program also covers its own administrative and enforcement costs, and is thus self-supporting.

To get a license, visit saltwater. ri.gov. For Rhode Island residents over 65 and for active military personnel stationed in the state, licenses are free, but still required. For all others, the $7 fee is payable using a VISA, MasterCard or Discover.

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