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Topsail Angler

TA's weekly column

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Awarded by , 11-20-2006 at 02:35 PM (773 Views)
You may have heard that North Carolina will implement its new coastal recreational fishing license (CRFL) on January 1, 2007. Beginning on January first most recreational anglers will be required to have this license to fish in the state's saltwater estuaries and coastal waters. The license is regulated by the NC Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) but will be sold by the Wildlife Resource Commission (WRC).

What you may not know is that the license canít be purchased until January 1st. Up to very recently the state planned to make the license available for purchase on December first to avoid a New Year Day rush on the license. However plans for advance sale of the license have been scrapped for several technical reasons according to Lisa Holcutt, customer service manager at WRC.

So if you plan to fish on January first you will need to buy the license that day. All of the current WRC license sales location will also sell the new CRFL and new sites along the coast are being added. You can also purchase the license from the WRC web site - http://www.ncwildlife.org - starting on January first at midnight. On-line purchasers will be able to print out the license.

The coastal fishing license also will be available on Jan. 1 by calling WRC at 1-888-248-6834 or 919-707-0391 from 8 a.m until 5 p.m. Customers will receive a confirmation number, and the sale will be immediately entered into the license database used by marine patrol officers.

The license is available for short or long term periods. A short-term license covers 10 consecutive days, and costs North Carolina residents $5 and non-residents $10. An annual license costs residents $15 and non-residents $30.

Anglers on charter-boats and piers will not need an individual license if those businesses purchase a blanket license that covers all of their customers. It is anticipated that most pier and charter operations will purchase the blanket license but check with them first to make sure they have one. If they donít have the license, you will need a CRFL to fish with them.

Fishermen under 16 years of age, subsistence fishermen with a waiver issued through a county department of social services, and persons who purchased certain lifetime WRC licenses before 2006, are not required to buy the new license.

The license is not required for the recreational harvest of shellfish. It is required to land fish in NC that were caught in federal waters (3 -200 miles off the coast).

I hope that each of you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tight lines to all!