An Act To Create a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6032, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 85, §3, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§ 6032. Marine Recreation Fishing Conservation and Management Fund
Funds allocated for expenditure under paragraph C must be deposited in the Public Access to Maine Waters Fund established in Title 5, section 6203-A.
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6506 is enacted to read:
§ 6506. Saltwater recreational fishing license
A saltwater recreational fishing license does not authorize the license holder to sell fish taken with the license.
bill establishes a saltwater recreational fishing license, dedicates
the fees from licensing to the Marine Recreation Fishing Conservation
and Management Fund and gives the Commissioner of Marine Resources
authority to make expenditures from the fund for purposes such as
fisheries management research and education and outreach.
Here are the
first three e-mails folks sent to our representatives; Yours does not
need to be so detailed, I hope you enjoy them. They help describe why I
feel so strongly betrayed by this bill and some of the ramifications
for our kids. I have dedicated most of my adult life introducing
children and thier families to the joy of saltwater fishing.
The first is by Mrs.Linda Paul one of the very best and most dedicated
recreational anglers in the United States, the 2nd is written by
son son Capt Whit and accurately details and reflects my feelings on
this important issue. And the 3rd is from a fine young fellow a senior
at Bangor high school, and prospective future captain whom I had never
previously met or spoken to. His letter makes all this extra work worth
it to me.
had a very encouraging and strong response from our guests, many of
them have asked me to include the letters that they wrote inputing
their feelings on this issue..so I've decided to add them as they come
Thanks so much for taking the time to
Mrs. Linda Paul,
Capt Whitney McMahon..
My name is Captain Whitney McMahon and as you may or may not have heard I am strongly opposed to the bill to bring a saltwater fishing license in place. I request that you withdraw the BILL IMMEDIATELY! My entire life has been spent encouraging children and families to come and fish in this great state of Maine. We have been bringing tourist into the state from several different countries and states for years now and have generated Hundreds of Thousands of dollars for the state of Maine.
I am also an educated man finishing up my Masters Degree in K-12 School counseling and I care about the future of children and teens in the state of Maine and nationally.
A few things will drastically change for the state of Maine and my business if this bill passes.
1. The children and tourists that enjoy coming to on vacation and throwing a line in will not have the opportunity. We have 3 months to fish for stripers and blues here and any grassroot person wanting to throw a line in will have to get a license first. This disgusts me. It will also cut into the tourists that come here. Mark my words. My business will go down maybe not drastically but none the less it will be impacted by disheartened people all around the country.
2. Children and teens who can get away from the hassles of everyday life will be effected. The majority of children and teens can not afford a fishing license and they long to fish off a dock without being harassed by Marine Patrol.
3. People will assume that they need a fishing license to fish on charter boats even if they do not! I realize that I will have the opportunity to buy a fishing license for my boats and the folks that fish on them but not everyone will know and understand that.
4. FREEDOM- Our whole lives we have heard about the freedoms that Americans enjoy. This is the problem with this country and all of you politicians. You pass rules and bills on a whim with no input from the REAL charter fisherman who will be effected. DO YOU UNDERSTAND what it means to make a living as a fisherman? There are many things that we give up in order to do this and my freedom is not something I will give up to any of you at any cost. I'm begininning to wonder who are the real leaders of this country and what party I should affiliate myself with.
What will the state lose from this bill. After all they will gain monetary value...
1. Monetary value means nothing to people like me. A man or woman is not measured by how much money they have accumulated nor how many people they have screwed along the way. The real question is WHO HAVE WE HELPED! What have we done to help the children and their children and our children and your children and our grandchildren and more importantly what have we done for this country? Is it better? Who's Advocating for the children? Is a saltwater bill advocating for children?
2. Is it worth it to sell out? I've never sold out to anyone and I will not sell out. Will you or have you?
What will Maine lose from me?
1. will lose any fishing information that they request from me. I will comply with the licensure as far as Guides Licenses and Federal Licenses, but if I am forced to buy a saltwater license for me or a child is in this state, your information from me will cease to exist?
Wouldn't that be easier for me?
It most certainly would be easier for me to not put up a fuss at all. After all, I wouldn't become a target of the state, I would be looked at highly by DMR and things of this nature. But that would make me a sell out and I care about the children and lower class people of this state and country.
Why am I doing this?
Unlike what you may believe, I am not doing this for my pockets. I am doing this for children and their children. I have been teaching these kids patience in the classroom and on my fishing boat FOR YEARS! Longer than any of you have been in politics and I am only 27 years old! Imagine that! What do I teach them now? That your freedoms are being taken away because of a group of politicians? What country is this?
We must all find peace somewhere. Many people and CHILDREN like myself, find peace at the sea. We sit, wait, wonder, hope, dream, care, want to be something. We want to relax and let it all go. We want to learn, see, and pray for a better tomorrow. If you pass this bill you will both have done an extreme injustice to the fishing world. Something neither of you may understand nor ever will.
Thanks for your time,Cpt. Whitney McMahon 27 yrs old.
MASTER TIDEWATER GUIDE 8 yrs
STATE OF MAINE LOBSTERMAN 10 yrs
CAPTAIN SATCH AND SONS CHARTER FISHING 10 yrs
Bachelors of Arts in Spanish
MED in Education K-12 Counseling
Mr. Greg Perkins, a senior at Bangor High School...
Mr. Gil Ranta:
In my short 54 years of life I have seen the world take many steps forward for the good of mankind and a few major steps backwards. The steps backwards have left scars on all of us. Not only do we have to live with them but also the next generation has to live with the lost freedoms that they will never know because of events like 9-11and such. Why would any legislative leader in the state of Maine want to take another freedom away from its citizens and future generations to raise a few more dollars? The children of Many people in have a limited income and face ever increasing costs for gas, fuel oil and taxes; while still has no answer for creating new jobs or affordable health care. The one thing can take great pride in is legislative leaders ability to create new ways to tax its state citizens. If you are looking for other income why not require that all bicycles have registrations like motor vehicles and driver licenses. Or even better why not charge a fee for every picture that is taken in the state? The state of Maine could hire Photo Enforcement Officers.are faced with many challenges. But have very few healthy ways to release the stress of modern life. Many of us grew up when the only activity we could afford was to go fishing from the dock or the jetty. Now you want to charge for even doing that. (Why not charge for walking on the beach or a beach chair tax?)
The bottom line is that some one did not do their homework. If you discourage fisherman from coming tothe state will lose income. These fishermen spend a great amount of money every trip to fish in on such things as food, boat charters, lodging and taxes.
Maine legislators are faced with many difficult issues to help its citizens in the 21 century. Issues like under-employment, high fuel oil prices, health insurance and how to keep its young people from leaving the state after college. I am sure the intent was well intended with this proposed legislation, but I feel that more effort needs to be put into solving issues of the working poor rather than taking away another of their freedoms.
(Formally of Wells, Maine)
13 year old Joey Tavares;
My name is Joey Tavares I am 13 years old I have been fishing since I was 2 years old. I honestly cant afford a salt water license. Me and my friends fish and catch crabs off the docks almost every day when we camp in . My friends come with me instead of smoking. Ever since my mom died I went fishing to calm down now what can i do if theres a salt water fishing license?? can you tell me?? I love fishing its my life, please take this letter into consideration.
A new organization called the Maine Charter Captains Association
is conducting a survey of Maine's charter captains and guides
to gage support for this issue. The association president is
Capt.Dave Pecci he is very conscienceously trying to put this organization together.
If you are a registered Maine Guide, or Coast Guard licensed Captain in Maine
and are opposed to the recreation salt water license you must e-mail Capt. Dave
before his association meeting on Friday April 20th,or forever hold your peace.
Thanks for taking the time to let your feelings be known on this important issue.
I've your a concerned guest or citizen keep your e mails coming to me and
I'll get then through to the legislature.Only Captains need to e-mail Dave.
Captain Dick Witham; F"V Linesider II York,Me.
Good morning Dave,
I wanted to take this opportunity to voice my concern about the
pending saltwater license issue. I am definitely not in favor of such a
proposal, I see it as another loss of a god-given right for the many
thousands of tourists that come north each year and thankfully pour money
into our state, and the thousands of natives who take to the
rivers,shores, bays and beyond in search of recreation and food for the table. In
essence, it's just another tax and living in the highest taxed state in
the nation, I feel it's the last thing we need !! We're already
inundated with paperwork, trip reports, license fees,registration fees,excise
taxes, documentation papers,radio licenses,tuna permits,harbor usage
fees,captains licenses, guides licenses,excessive safety gear,epirbs,
liferafts,liferaft inspections,boat maintenance, mooring maintenance,etc.
etc. Where does it all end? Pretty soon we're just working to pay for
all the fees and taxes ! Over the coarse of the summer, besides my own
customers and other charter Capts. clientele, I see hundreds of
recreational fishermen, beit on the dock, along the shore ,or out in their
boats, persueing their love of fishing and nature. I can't help but think
that a large percent of these people, many of them newcomers to the
sport, would not be there if they were burdened with having to buy a
license. Allowing these folks to fish to their hearts' content , and develop
an appreciation for the resource and the environment, goes alot further
than mandating trip reports for every dogfish,gropey,skate and harbor
pollack that we catch ! Where has that got us?
I know you've been barraged with comments, both good and bad .
Suffice it to say I personally appreciate all the work that you've done, I
know it's a thankless job,and your obviously very committed, however this
is one issue where I don't take your stance. Don't take it all too
personal and keep up the good work! Take care, Dick Witham
Captain Tim Tower: F/V Bunny Clark, Perkins Cove
I appreciate your hard work and dedication to promoting better fishery management. You have been doing it for a long time in a selfless manner that I have come to enjoy. I'm sure if anyone were to take your place as president, they wouldn't spend as much time trying to get it right or have the benefit of the knowledge you have gained over time.
I think that there are many anglers who are very sensitive to the issue of a saltwater license and they have every right to be. I don't think they are mad at you so much as they are surprised about it's potential implementation and they need someone to strike out against.
The license is a bad idea in anyone's mind for the simple reason thatdoesn't control the resource and the price of a license will be high. The money, if it doesn't go to the general fund, will go to enforcement and I don't believe many anglers want to see a bunch of wardens checking their fish sizes and made to feel like they got stopped by a cop on the highway. We lose another freedom. Even if the Feds come through with a license later, we still have time to enjoy that freedom or change things around with the Feds at a later date. Nothing is cast in stone and is jumping on the band wagon before any other state does so. The competition in southern with party/charter boats is already strong. This might tilt things in favor of a state (like Mass.) that doesn't make anglers have a license.
Also, if we have to have a Federal license, it's better by far than a state license would be. Historically, the Feds have been much more fair on pricing and they also control the resource. We can get something for the money we spend on a fishing license nationally. We would just be taxed in. A national voice would help up better with future fishing regulations with the NE Fishery Management Council and promote stock conservation. We can't hope to do this in as it still is a largely commercial fishing venue.
There are many other points that make the SW license a bad thing including the elimination of spur-of-the-moment fishing by the general public. This included kids fishing of a pier or being able to take part in a bluefish blitz. However, I don't want to go into any more details here.
My point is, it doesn't make practical sense in my mind to bring in a state of Maine saltwater fishing license. My other point is that despite all the best intentions, anglers are going to be mad about being surprised with this thing right when they are busy getting ready for another season with all the capital outlay invovled. So, I wouldn't take it personally, you are doing a good job but, on the other hand, the polling response should come from all the sources you sent them to and not just a handful who just might want to see a SW license implemented. I could be wrong but I believe that if you talked to 200 charter captains/fishermen/business owners on a random basis and got an answer out of each one, you would find that most are against this bill.
Don't for get, someone has to sell these licenses. It means taking extra time for something that doesn't generate any money and spurns disinterest in the fishing experience as a whole. Remember, participation in angling has dropped in those states that (CA & FL) have one.
Keep the faith, Dave. I understand what you are doing and it's all good.tim
Captain Walt Gibson:
NOAA/The Feds currently issue Saltwater fishing licenses for commercial
vessels/Charterboats/Party boats and they do not charge the fishermen a
penny to do so.
Why should the State get money for doing what the Federal Government
does and does well with the money already allocated to it from our tax
dollars. That would be redundant and a waste of our Taxpayers money.
go with National Marine Fisheries/NOAA on this one. Marine fish live
dynamic Environment that encompasses many states and countries. It is
something that could be controlled by any state. If there must be a
due to Federal mandate then it should be administered by the Federal
Capt Walt Gibson
Captain Larry Berberich F/V Island Time, Brunswick..
Capt Bill Coite, F/V Shearwater... York Harbor..
I'm strongly against any license for salt water.
A letter in basic support of a recreational saltwater license:
Capt Dave Guerard, Rip Tide Charters, York Me.
We are all against a Salt Water License. But we all better get over it
quick because it is going to happen. President Bush signed into law the
re-authorizing of the Magnuson-Stevenson Act as the very last bill
before the 2006 recess of congress in Dec. The bill states that all
that border salt water will have a registry of all recreational salt
fisherman. The states have until 2009 to institute a plan, if not in
compliance the Federal Government will be in charge of permitting the
that are not in compliance with the Act by 2011. Its our choice we
try and have some control over the way the licenensing is handled by
state or wait until the Fed's take over and we have no control.
the legisator's that are trying to put this law into effect are elected
officals by the voters of the state . If they want to keep there
as I'm sure they do they will be lisenting for good imput on the 23 of
at the Augusta Civic Center.
We can tailor this law to to accomadate all of our concerns but it is
to take a lot of effort by all of us. Voice your concerns and remember
all vote for our elected officals.
See you in Augusta
Capt. Dave Guerard
Capt Whit and I are doing what we can to insure your families freedom to fish on the Maine coast is not compromised. I can assure you that you are in good company in your opposition to the proposed legislation. But it is imperative that you write. In just the last five days I have been in personal contact with or been e-mailed by this long list of (112 ) of Maine's most respected Captains who are all strongly opposed to the saltwater fishing licence bill. These range from some of Maine's oldest and best respected Cap's who have already dedicated their lives to the fishery; to some of our brightest young men that are working so hard to learn and carry on the tradition. Even with such a respected group voicing its opposition... the legislation go's forward. It is such a large amount of revenue that can be raised by the proposed fee (in excess of $5 million a year.) It's hard to stop. There is a new association of captains in Maine; (The Maine association of charter captains) who has taken a majority view that stands in support of this issue. Even after being alerted to the fact that there is such strong opposition from Maine's most experienced and respected men of the sea, you can start to judge what we are up against.
Maine's USCG documented Captain's wishing to be listed in opposition to the proposed license! * If you are a USCG Captain, registered Maine guide or vessel owner and wish to be listed as opposed please alert me before April 20th.....
1. Capt.Billy Coite, F/V Shearwater,York Me.
2. Captain Tim Tower,F/V Bunny Clark, .
3. Capt Jeff Ritter, F/V Sashimi, Boothbay Harbor, Me.
4. Capt.Barry Bush, F/V Seafari, 5. Captain Cal Robinson, Saco Bay Guide Service,Saco Me.
6. Captain Butch Harris, F/V Quoddy Dam, Eastport Me.
7. Captain Claire Ross, F/V Marie L., 8. Captain Dick Witham, F/V Linesider II,
9. Captain Jean Young, F/V Ugly Ann, Perkins Cove Me.
10. Captain Steve Perkins, F/V Nor'Easter, Wells Me.
11. Captain Jim Shaw, F/V Karen Ann, Wells Me.
12. Captain Bernie Stien, F/V Ms.Lainey, Me.
13. Capt.Brian Bush, F/V Seafari , Me.
14. Captain Tony Coleman, F/V Emily Rachel, Wells Me.
15. Captain Adam Littell, F/V Rebecca Lynne, .
16. Captain Scott Worthing,Webhannet River Boatyard, Wells Me.
17. Captain Bob Liston, F/V Lethal Weapon, Wells Me.
18. Captain John Pappas, F/V Kathlean Jean, .
19. Captain Ian Kenniston, F/V Bunny Clark, .
20. Captain Satch McMahon, F/V India Marie, Wells Me.
21. Captain Whit McMahon, F/V Gath III, Wells Me.
22. Capt Bruce Pike, F/V Proud Mary, Wells Me.
23. Capt Mike Perkins F/V Ms Ellie,Wells Me.
24. Capt.Tom Corbett, F/V Bunny Clark, Ogunguit Me.
25. Captain Jim Bollinger, F/V Rippin Lips, .
26.Captain Paul Rioux, Stone Coast Anglers, Saco Me.
27. Captain Larry Berberick, Hook and Gun Guide Service, .
28. Captain Walt Gibson, F/V Lucy Larcom, Saco Me.
29. Captain Richard A. Crosby, F/V Jillian II, .
30. Captain Todd Stewart, F/V Trina Lyn,
31. Captain Michael Kiernan, Long Reach Marine Guides, .
32. Captain Jason Farris, Maine Experience Guide Service Gardiner Me.
33. Captain Dennis McMahon Jr., F/V India Marie, Wells Me
34. Captain Nate Jones, Sailing vessel Sarah Mead, Muscontus Me.
35.Capt.Mark Hubbard, Finestkind Boat yard, Harpswell Me.
36.Capt. Grant Hubbard, F/V Crickett Perkins Cove, Me.
37.Capt. Todd Hubbard, F/V Lizzie Perkins Cove, Me.
38.Capt. Dick Bradbury, F/V Hanna, China, Me.
39.Capt.Mark Stover, F/V Red Hook, .
40.Capt.Gene Newcomb, F/V Quoddy Dam, .
41.Capt.Anthony Newcomb, F/V Quoddy Dam,
42. Capt.Tate Stevens, F/V Lady H. .
43. Capt.Shawn Harris, F/V lady H., .
44. Capt.Eric Brazier, F/V Three E's, Perkins Cove,Me.
45. Capt.Jack Gorden, S/V Silver Lining, Perkins Cove, Me.
46. Capt.Bob Kinsman, F/V Bitter Sweet, Perkins Cove
47. Capt.Rob Odlin,
48. Capt.Manny Canales, F/V Double Diamond
50. Capt.Alex Notis,