N.H. Saltwater Anglers Need License

Saltwater anglers heading for the coast this spring should be aware that as of January 1, 2011, all persons age 16 and older fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of New Hampshire need to purchase a N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold.

Licenses are available online at www.fishnh.com or wherever freshwater fishing and hunting licenses are sold. The license costs just $16 (of which $1 is an agent fee) for both residents and nonresidents. Anglers fishing from a state-licensed charter or party boat do not need to purchase a saltwater license to fish from those boats, but do need them when they are fishing from shore or on a private boat.

The New Hampshire license includes some reciprocity with neighboring states-- if you hold a N.H. Recreational Saltwater Fishing License, you may legally fish in Maine up to Cape Neddick and in all coastal and estuarine waters of Massachusetts. Please note that N.H. residents cannot fish in New Hampshire with a saltwater license, registry or endorsement from other states including Massachusetts or Maine. N.H. residents must have a New Hampshire Recreational Saltwater Fishing License to fish in tidal and estuarine waters of New Hampshire.

The new license allows New Hampshire to meet federal requirements while assuring that angler dollars stay in the state instead of going to the federal government. Through the Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006, Congress created a National Saltwater Angler Registry, enabling the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to better estimate the health of marine fisheries so that more effective regulations can be established to preserve recreational fishing for the anglers.

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