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Saltwater angler on Hampton Beach Jetty
Saltwater angler on the jetty at Hampton Beach, N.H.

CONTACT:
      Doug Grout: (603) 868-1095
      Jane Vachon: (603) 271-5619
      April 27, 2010

Saltwater Anglers:  You Must Sign Up for the National Angler Registry

DURHAM, N.H. – As saltwater angling starts to heat up on the seacoast, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reminds anglers to heed a new federal law that requires most New Hampshire saltwater recreational anglers and spearfishers to register before they fish for or catch anadromous species such as striped bass, herring or smelt in tidal waters, or for any fish in federal waters more than three miles from the ocean shore.

Registration is quick, easy, and FREE in 2010. Visit www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov or call 1-888-674-7411.  You can register and fish the same day.
     
There are a few exceptions to the registration requirement. New Hampshire anglers and spearfishers will not need to register if they are under 16 years old; only fish on licensed charter, party or guide boats; hold a Highly Migratory Species Angling permit; or hold and are fishing under a valid commercial license. Out-of-state saltwater anglers already registered with NOAA do not need to re-register to fish in New Hampshire in 2010.

The registry is free the first year, but starting in January 2011, anyone 16 or older participating in recreational saltwater fishing in New Hampshire who wishes to take, possess or transport finfish from coastal and estuarine waters will need a $15 New Hampshire recreational saltwater fishing license. The new state license will ensure that fees paid by New Hampshire anglers stay in the state to help manage saltwater and anadromous fisheries.  It will be reciprocal with Massachusetts and southern Maine.

The purpose of the federal registry (and the state license that replaces it in 2011) is to provide the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with a National Saltwater Angler Registry, which in turn will be used to gather information needed to enhance NOAA’s ability to produce timely and accurate estimates of the catch and harvest of saltwater fish by recreational anglers. This data is vital to safeguarding the long-term health of our shared marine resources. Nationally, saltwater recreational fishing generates an estimated $82 billion in sales and supports over 500,000 jobs each year.

For a fact sheet with Frequently Asked Questions about the new federal angler registry, visit www.fishnh.com/marine/Saltwater_Registry_FAQs.html.

Listen in as Marine Chief Doug Grout talks about the new National Saltwater Registry on N.H. Fish and Game’s "Wild December in NH" 2009 podcast. Visit http://blog.wildnh.com and scroll down to the December 16, 2009, podcast; or find it on the Fish and Game website at www.wildnh.com/broadcast.

Learn more about saltwater recreational fishing in New Hampshire by downloading the free 2010 N.H. Saltwater Fishing Digest, with rules, fish identification photos, tackle tips and more, at www.fishnh.com/marine.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Explore the Department's stewardship of marine resources at www.fishnh.com/marine.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
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