CONTACT:
John Nelson: (603) 868-1095
Douglas Grout: (603) 868-1095
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
January 23, 2007

Location Change for Public Meeting on Proposed Marine Recreational Fishing License

DURHAM, N.H. -- The meeting place has changed for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's January 24 public information session for saltwater anglers. The session will now be held on January 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the 1925 Room of the Elliot Alumni Center on the University of New Hampshire (UNH) campus. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss proposed legislation for a marine recreational fishing license in New Hampshire.

The meeting had originally been scheduled to take place at Fish and Game's Region 3 office at 225 Main Street in Durham. To reach the Elliot Alumni Center from the Region 3 office, head east on Main Street (toward the UNH campus) and turn left onto Edgewood Road, then left again onto Strafford Avenue. The Center is at the corner of Edgewood and Strafford. Parking is available in front of the center. Maps will be available at the Region 3 office.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission has proposed a marine recreational fishing license as one of several options for new funding mechanisms and data gathering for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The marine fishing license would generate new license dollars while providing "user funding" for Fish and Game's management of marine resources. It would also help Fish and Game identify saltwater anglers, something now required by the federal Magnuson-Stevens Act. The public information session will address these issues in addition to reciprocity with other coastal states and the concerns of party or charter boat owners.

A new federal law called the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the federal government to create a registry program for all marine recreational anglers as a means to improve the quality and accuracy of catch and effort data collected by the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS). Information from the MRFSS is regularly used in stock assessments that assist in the management of fish such as striped bass, cod, haddock, and bluefish. Marine anglers would be exempt from this federal registry program if New Hampshire had a marine recreational fishing license.

Currently, the Atlantic coast states of North Carolina through Florida, as well as all Gulf and Pacific coast states, require a marine recreational fishing license to fish in salt water.

For more information on this meeting, contact John Nelson or Doug Grout at (603) 868-1095.

For more on Fish and Game's budget situation, click here.

New Hampshire Fish and Game is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.

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