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Proposals for the National Saltwater Angler Registry
Posted on 07/18/2008
On July 15th a meeting was held to discuss the proposed federal licensing of saltwater anglers (see past articles or the NMFS website for more information). There are three proposals being considered by Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VRMC) to help NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) create a telephone book of recreational anglers for survey purposes. Jack Travelstead ( would like to have your opinion within two weeks on the proposals, all of which meet Federal Guidelines. 1. VA anglers can take no action—merely allow the Federal management agencies to initiate an new Federal License which most anglers will have to purchase in addition to the VA Salt Water License (two salt water licenses). That proposal is entirely unsatisfactory to most. 2. The second option is to eliminate the boat license and have all anglers purchase individual VA saltwater licenses—that way everyone is counted. 3. Virginia Fishing Information Program (FIP) - This last option is new and several states are expected to go this route...particularly states which, presently have no recreational salt water fishing license and do not want one. Develop a telephone call-in/online process where each and every VA angler can telephone or e-mail and receive an individual designated number at no fee. In exchange, the angler will have to provide minimal contact information recorded into a telephone book that National Marine Fisheries can access directly to query anglers for their fishing reports. The (no cost) Virginia FIP would be funded from the present recreational license fees (RFAB). The boat license and all other recreational salt water licenses and fees would essentially remain the same for VA anglers. It is hoped this most recent solution can be fashioned into a legislative package that the VA Legislature will not have too much trouble understanding. The VMRC provides additional information on this issue on their website.