With spring upon us, Massachusetts’ recreational saltwater anglers should know that, under new federal law, they must register with the National Marine Fisheries Service this year before going fishing.
The Federal Saltwater Fishing Registration is quick, easy and free in 2010, either online or by phone at (888) 674-7411. Massachusetts saltwater anglers will be required to purchase a state permit from the DFG’s Division of Marine Fisheries in 2011.
The federal registry and permit system have been established so that fisheries scientists can get better data on recreational fishing and make better decisions about bag limits, fishing seasons, and catch sizes to ensure that recreational fishing is robust for years to come. The current data collection system is inadequate for fisheries research because there is no record of anglers on which to base surveys. Anglers who register will provide a phone number that will allow fisheries managers to survey them about where they fish and what they catch.
A new law launched the state permit in 2011 and established a dedicated saltwater recreational fishing fund, one-third of which will be devoted to public access projects like expanded parking lots and new boat ramps and docks. The state individual permit fee is set at $10, lower than the proposed $15 to $25 2011 federal fee.
With your support, we look forward to improving our fisheries statistics analysis and enhancing our recreational fishing programs for years to come.