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New Federal License Laws To Change Sport Fishing Industry

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A new federal law that will alter sport fishing license requirements will take affect on Jan. 1. The law will mark a notable change for the region and the industry.

The new law, enacted by the Department of Natural Resources, is being billed as merely a databasing tool to find out who is fishing in Maryland's waterways, as well as a way to help monitor fish populations.

But many saltwater anglers are pointing out that the law will mean that for the first time, a license will be required to fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the coastal bays.

In the past, a license was required to fish in the Chesapeake Bay as well as in Maryland's tributaries, but never the shallow shore fishing of the ocean or the nearby coastal bays.

Licenses will cost $15 a year for state residents and $22.50 for non-residents.

Tourists will be able to obtain a seven-day permit: $6 for Marylanders and $12 for out-of-state residents.

Exemptions from the law include anglers under age 16 and anyone fishing aboard a licensed charter boat.


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