Delaware Saltwater license public hearings
From the recreational fishing alliance
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
(DNREC) is moving quickly to establish a saltwater fishing license for
recreational anglers who fish Delaware marine waters. Specifically, the
license would be an ?all waters license", meaning that the license would
be valid for both fresh and saltwater fishing. Very few details of the
proposal are known at this time besides that DNREC is considering a range
of fees from $5 to $8.50 per year for residents and $15 to $20 per year
for non-residents. In order for a license to be instituted, a bill would
have to be passed by the Delaware legislature and signed into law by the
Historically, RFA has opposed the implementation of saltwater fishing
licenses in states where a license does not currently exist. ?Reasons for
this opposition included problems with funds being used inappropriately,
flawed data collection systems, and a saltwater license is an unnecessary
fee or tax considering that millions of dollars are collected through
excise taxes on tackle and marine fuel and purchasing beach access
passes," said Jim Donofrio, RFA executive director.
However, RFA recognizes that there are RFA members who support a saltwater
license. ?One reason for supporting a license is that the funds generated
can be used to improve access, such as the construction of additional
fishing piers and boat ramps. Another reason is that the funds could be
used for research activities that will improve fisheries management,? said
Marvin Kahl, acting chairmen of RFA-DE chapter.
RFA-DE intends to poll all Delaware members for their opinion on the
subject. ?We would prefer to have as many details as possible regarding
how the license would be implemented in order to best gauge membership
reaction for this proposal. Unfortunately, DNREC is being elusive
regarding details of the proposal,? said Donofrio.
DNREC has announced a series of public meetings regarding the proposed
license. These first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7th at the
Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus at the Lecture Hall
in the William Carter Partnership Center on Route 18 (Seashore Highway) in
Georgetown. The second meeting is on Wednesday, Feb. 8th at the Department
of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Auditorium, 89 Kings
Highway in Dover. The third meeting is on Thursday, Feb. 9th at the
Ommelanden Hunter Education Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle. All
meetings begin at 7 p.m.
?We strongly encourage all members to attend one of the meetings, learn
more about what DNREC has in mind, and voice their opinion,? said Marvin.
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