AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci has signed into law a bill creating a saltwater recreational fishing registry, ending a four-year debate over the issue.

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2011, meets a federal mandate for states to set up their own registries this year or face having a federal registry with fees next year.

Under the bill Baldacci signed today, the registry is free with the purchase of a freshwater fishing license. Striped bass endorsements will cost $5 for residents who do not have freshwater licenses, and $15 for all nonresidents. Fees for commercial operator’s licenses, including charters and smelt camps, are $50.

The sponsor, Rep. Leila Percy, D-Phippsburg, said lawmakers tried to fashion a bill that minimizes the impact on Mainers. The bill’s expected to generate $1.7 million.
 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.