January 8, 2008

It’s time to renew recreational fishing licenses

Before casting a hook and line or jabbing a gig, fishermen should take a moment to pull their Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses from their wallets or tackle boxes to check the expiration dates.
The annual recreational licenses expire one year from the date of purchase, so those who bought one in January, 2007, may need to renew it before going fishing.
“Our commercial licenses and permits all expire on June 30 of each year, and we want to make sure people don’t get these dates confused,” said Marine Patrol Col. Rex Lanier.
This is particularly important since a year-long grace period, in which Marine Patrol handed out warning tickets to first offenders, is over, Lanier said.
In 2007, Marine Patrol handed out more than 2,800 warning tickets but only 25 actual citations for fishing without a Coastal Recreational Fishing License.
Now, however, those caught fishing without a license will get a ticket that carries a fine and court costs of $155.
The state sold 470,400 Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses in 2007, and 25,591 of those were purchased in the first four weeks of the year. Most of the licenses sold were annual resident licenses.
The license requirement pertains to anyone age 16 or older fishing in coastal waters of North Carolina, except those who held a Lifetime Sportsman or Lifetime Comprehensive Fishing license issued by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission prior to Jan. 1, 2006.
An annual license costs $15 for residents and $30 for non-residents. Ten-day licenses and a variety of lifetime licenses are available, as well. For more information on the types of licenses available, view the DMF Web site at www.ncdmf.net.
Licenses may be purchased or renewed at Wildlife Resources Commission licensing agents, which include most bait and tackle shops and all DMF license offices. They may also be purchased online at www.ncwildlife.org, or by calling 1-888-2HUNTFISH (1-888-248-6834).


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