National Fishing Licenses - Here They Come!
In its last hours, the 109th Congress surprised many observers by passing a bill reauthorizing and overhauling the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.A lot of what was done was to update and re-authorize the previously existing bill. Down near the bottom, however, lost in the other stuff, is the ground-work for setting up a National Recreational Fishing license, most likely in addition to the currently required individual state licenses.
More from MartenLaw.com:
Registry of Recreational Fishing. Previously, the Magnuson-Stevens Act regulated only commercial fisheries. The legislation will establish a regional registry system for recreational fishers (individuals and vessels). No fees can be charged as a result of the registry until January 1, 2011. Recreational fishers or charter fishing vessels licensed, permitted or registered through state programs may be exempt, if the data collected through the state program is sufficient for federal uses.I hope you read that last paragraph carefully. No fees until 2011. That is, unless an amendment is tacked on to something else to move the date closer, so they can start collecting money sooner. The sooner they can collect the money, the sooner, and larger, their bureaucracy can be built.
First, they have to be sure that this has slipped in under the radar, and so far, it seems to have done so. Of course state licenses "MAY" be exempt. Want to make a small bet on it? Didn't think so.......
Here's some other things to be watching for:
1. National Hunting Licenses
2. National Driver's Licenses
3. National Recreational Boating Operator Licenses
There's more, but that's enough for now.