Saltwater license changed topossess law

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When the state legislature passed House Bill 255 in June, the law regulating saltwater fishing changed.

While much of the focus at the time was the much-needed increase in saltwater license fees, another change in the law redefined who must possess a saltwater license.

Marine Resources officials visited with the different user groups on the proposed legislation about how best to remedy the shortfalls in both funds and enforcement.

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A saltwater license is required if you possess fish taken by rod and reel, use of artificial or live bait, fly or lure, as well as a gig, cast net, bow, trap or spear, and it applies to fish taken in both federal and state waters.

The increase in saltwater license fees was a modest $5 per year for Alabama residents, from $15 to $20 with a $1 issuance fee. The legislation also establishes seven-day trip license for residents and non-residents.

Working with Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley, the bills that concerned the Marine Resources and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries divisions included a provision tying license increases to the Consumer Price Index in 2010.

Minton said the state&8217;s artificial reef programs are obvious examples of where the money is going.

David Rainer is with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.