Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry Bill Signed into Law

July 8, 2011

Legislation eliminates fees enabling more Mainers and vacationers to enjoy saltwater fishing

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 08, 2011 Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Augusta, Maine – Governor LePage has signed into law LD 210, “An Act Regarding the Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry”. This emergency legislation greatly simplifies the saltwater recreational fishing registry requirements for Maine that were passed last legislative session. The new legislation also eliminates the fees passed last session associated with the striped bass endorsement, creating an entirely free registry system with minimal agent fees.

“This new law achieves my goal of minimizing the burden on our residents and on our hundreds of thousands of visitors who want to fish recreationally on the saltwater in Maine,” said Governor LePage.

LD 210 retained the existing exemptions from registering for individuals under the age of 16, and for those who purchase a freshwater fishing license. The new law also creates a free “recreational fishing operator’s license.” If an individual holds that license, then the anglers who fish with that recreational operator from a charter boat, a smelt camp, a privately owned dock, pier or wharf, or with a registered Maine guide, are also exempted from registering. Maine residents fishing in salt water on July 4th, Labor Day weekend or Memorial Day weekend likewise will not need to register. Finally, non-residents who are registered in another state, or with the federal registry, will not need to register in Maine.

Importantly, Maine’s amended registry meets the standards established by the federal government to qualify for an exemption from the federal saltwater registry.

“The data collected through this effort will make a valuable contribution to improving the management of Maine’s important marine resources, and will bolster Maine’s ability to effectively represent our interests in the federal management arena,” said Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Commissioner Norman Olsen.

Individuals wishing to register to go saltwater recreational fishing may do so now, through the website: www.maine.gov/saltwater or at the DMR offices in Hallowell. Registration will also soon be available through electronic agents of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW).