New York’s saltwater anglers are being urged by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to not drop their lines before signing up for a new, free saltwater fishing registry that takes the place of the $10 recreational marine fishing license implemented in 2009.
The registration system will be used by the National Marine Fisheries Service and interstate fisheries regulators to set accurate harvest quotas for marine species. A DEC spokesman said less than 50,000 anglers are currently registered, compared with a potential registry count estimated at around 200,000-250,000.
“New York’s angler community plays an essential role in the management of the state’s fish and wildlife programs,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a statement. “Full participation in the registry by the marine sportfishing community is needed to help ensure New York gets its fair share of the national coastal fishing harvest in comparison with other states.”
Anglers over the age of 16 need to enroll in the registry if they are fishing in the Atlantic Ocean within three nautical miles from the coast and all other tidal waters within the state, or if they are fishing for migratory fish from the sea such as striped bass, hickory shad, blueback herring, alewife.
The fishery service mandated the state establish the registry, which will feed a database to monitor the size and quantity of angler’s catches. The data will allow the state to better understand how to manage future fishing seasons.
Lifetime license purchasers, charter/party boat operators and individuals who purchased a Recreational Marine Fishing License in 2011 have been automatically entered into the system. Anglers can register online at www.dec.ny.gov, by phone 1-866-933-2257, or by visiting any location where hunting and fishing licenses are offered.
A license is still needed for freshwater fishing in New York, although next weekend there will be a free trial offered.
June 25 and 26 are New York State Free Fishing Days, a tradition that started two decades ago to give anyone a chance to try the freshwater fishing in New York.