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Old 01-24-2007, 07:32 AM
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Default Hearing tonight on NH Saltwater Fishing License

Sorry didn't use spell check
I copied this from info t off another site but here is two press releases from the charter boat and party boats captains meeting held last Wednesday.
Looks to be an interesting time on Wed 01/24 in Durham. See ya there.
Coalman
From Fosters Daily Democrat

"Thursday, January 18, 2007

Local charter captains predict stormy reception for new saltwater fishing fee

By ROBERT M. COOK Democrat Staff Writer
PORTSMOUTH — Seacoast charter boat captains expressed concerns Thursday about a new saltwater fishing license fee proposed by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to alleviate the agency's funding woes.

"You're opening a bag of worms, and I'm afraid we're going to go to war over this one," said Bill Brindamour, owner of the Marine Logistics Co. in Hampton, during an information meeting at the Urban Forestry Center.

Brindamour has captained charter and fishing party boats for 37 years and he urged Fish and Game officials to cut back the agency's spending instead of pushing for state lawmakers to create the new fee for fishing charter boats.

He told Fish and Game Executive Director Lee Perry that when his business is not going well, "I don't go to the Wentworth and eat filet mignon. My wife and I stay home and eat hot dogs."

Perry told a group of more than 50 people, many of them Seacoast charter boat captains, that the state agency needs to develop new funding sources to make up a projected $5 million budget shortfall. He said the proposed saltwater license fee for charter and fishing party boats would raise $1 million.

John Nelson, chief of Fish and Game's marine division, said the proposed annual fees would be $200 for resident party fishing boats with less than six people, and $400 for non-resident party fishing boats. He said charter fishing boats that carry more than seven people would pay $300 and $500.

There also is a plan to require individual saltwater fishing licenses. An informational meeting on that part of the proposal is set for Jan. 24. (See details at end of story.)

Thursday, Nelson said individual anglers who fish from charter boats would not be required to have a separate license. If New Hampshire reaches reciprocity agreements with Massachusetts and Maine, Nelson said the boat licenses would be accepted in those states.

Nelson said Fish and Game decided to pursue saltwater licenses for charter and party fishing boats now after President George W. Bush signed the reauthorized Magnusson-Stevens Act into law earlier this month. Eventually, he said all of New England's coastal states will create similar saltwater licenses because the federal law requires all coastal states to have registries of fishermen in place by 2011.

"The reason we moved ahead at this time is, yes, we did need the funds," Nelson said.

Nelson said the proposed licenses would also enable the state to collect more data on how many people saltwater fish either on charter fishing boats, on shore or off piers.

State Rep. Dennis Abbott, R&D-Newmarket, is sponsoring a House bill to create the new saltwater license fees. As the new chairman of the House Fish and Game Committee, Abbott said the bill, which is still only a legislative service request, is badly needed to help the state agency better manage its marine resources. He said the committee could air the bill in late February.

Some charter fishing boat captains argued they will lose business if New Hampshire charges a saltwater license fee, but Maine and Massachusetts do not.

Mark Godfroy, who works for Eastman's Fishing Fleet in Seabrook, said fishing charter boats docked on the Merrimack River in neighboring Salisbury and Newburyport, Mass., would surely advertise themselves as license-free.

"They can use that as a pretty good advertising tool to put us out of business," said Patrick Dennehy of Tontine Charters in Rye. "You will basically have put the final nail in our coffin."

Fish and Game officials will hold another informational meeting for the general public about proposed individual saltwater fishing licenses at the agency's offices on 225 Main St. in Durham on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. Those proposed annual fees are $15 for a resident angler license and $30 for a non-resident angler license. Proposed one-day resident and non-resident licenses that would cost $5 and $10 respectively will also be discussed."

Portsmouth Hearld
"Will saltwater fees deter fishermen?

By Chris Outcalt

PORTSMOUTH -- More than 40 charter and party boat operators expressed their frustration on Wednesday night with the idea of charging for a saltwater fishing license in New Hampshire.

Charging for a saltwater license is one of the recent proposals by the N.H. Fish and Game Department in response to its budget shortfall.

"We're to the point where I don't believe we're going to be able to continue operating without making some deep cuts," said Lee Perry, executive director of N.H. Fish and Game. "It's time to look at the marine program carrying its own weight."

Perry and John Nelson, chief of the department's marine fisheries division, held a meeting at the Urban Forestry Center to field questions about the department's proposed plan.

The saltwater license proposal would institute a $15 yearlong permit for N.H. residents and a $30 permit for nonresidents. The proposal also includes a single-day $5 and $10 permit for residents and nonresidents, respectively.

The plan includes a provision for charter and party boat owners as well. Boats with fewer than six passengers would be charged $200 for a residential permit and $400 for nonresidents. Party boat operators with more than seven people would pay $300 for a resident permit and $500 for nonresidents.

"My personal opinion is that it's a huge mistake for New Hampshire to be the leader on this," said Doug Anderson, who runs Camp Ocean Adventures out of New Castle.

Anderson and others in attendance said they were concerned about the permit driving business away from New Hampshire and into Massachusetts and Maine.

"Do you honestly believe that people won't just skip over New Hampshire?" asked Bill Lussier, who runs the Northeast Charter Boat Co.

"Why would anybody even fish on our coastline if they could just go somewhere else and not have to pay?" asked Bill Wagner, who runs Captain Bill's Charters in Portsmouth.

According to Nelson, the department needs to make up a $6 million deficit to break even in 2008. He said the estimated revenue from saltwater licenses would account for $1 million of the deficit.

Other concerns expressed at the meeting included whether the department would continue to raise the fees after implementing them, who would be enforcing the permits and what to expect in return for paying the fee.

Nelson said the department planned to use information from the meeting to possibly tweak the plan in the future. He also said he had been communicating with officials from both Massachusetts and Maine who said they were considering a similar proposal. However, neither state has released a formal plan.

The current proposal, if passed by the New Hampshire Legislature, would take effect in
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