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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 27) – Now that a license is required to fish North Carolina’s coastal waters, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is urging beach-bound anglers to purchase a Coastal Recreational Fishing License before leaving home.

Long lines at tackle and bait shops, Wal-Marts and other wildlife service agent locations along the coast have many people waiting to purchase a fishing license.

To avoid the long lines, people can purchase their license by:

Calling the Wildlife Resources Commission at 1 (888) 248-6834. Hours of operation are: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday;
Going to the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Web site,;
Visiting a local Wildlife Service Agent. Most are located in bait-and-tackle shops, hunting and sporting good stores and larger chain stores.

Licenses can also be purchased at one of six Division of Marine Fisheries offices located along the coast. However, these offices may have long lines as well. For locations, visit the agency’s Web site,

A CRFL is required for anyone 16 years and older who wants to fish recreationally in the state’s coastal fishing waters, which include sounds, coastal rivers and their tributaries out to three miles into the ocean. Recreational anglers who catch fish from three miles to 200 miles offshore also need this license in order to transport fish back to the shore.

Prices for the CRFL vary depending on residency, age, duration and type of license purchased. For residents, the annual cost for a CRFL is $15; for a 10-day license, $5. For non-residents, the annual cost for a CRFL is $30; for a 10-day license, $10.

Since the new license requirement went into effect in January, more than 55,000 out-of-state visitors have purchased a CRFL while 167,000 North Carolina residents have purchased one. The money from these sales goes to the conservation and enhancement of North Carolina’s marine fisheries resources.

“With the upcoming July 4th holiday, which many people will expand over two weekends, the waiting lines to purchase a coastal license most likely will be even longer,” said Lisa Hocutt, the Commission’s Customer Support Services section chief. “Given an option of waiting in line to purchase a license or being on the water, I’d rather be on the water.”

For more information on the CRFL, including a comprehensive list of all available licenses, or to download a frequently asked questions document, visit the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Web site,
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