An Act To Create a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License, Maine Legislative bill........... LD 1811


 Here is the latest and hopefully the final update concerning Maine's Salt water fishing license proposal until we return from our busy fishing season sometime in November of 2007. Thanks so much for your support on this issue. The truth prevailed.. I'm sure we will need your help again as we strive to keep our basic individual fishing freedoms while striving to conserve our precious fisheries resources!

   May 30th 2007
  A personal response from my friend, Maine's 1st district U.S. congressman Tom Allen that further clarifies the intent of the Federal governments Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act that stipulates a requirement that states have a federal registry for stripers fisherman and offshore boats by the year 2011. This helps to clarify any disinformation you received in response to your opposition letters. Thanks again for all your letters that derailed this proposal, it shows that the people can still have a great influence in writting the laws for future generations.

                                         May 29, 2007

Captain Satch McMahon
Electronic Mail,

Dear Captain McMahon:

Thank you for contacting me about saltwater recreational
fishing licenses in Maine. I appreciate hearing from you.

As a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I do
not have jurisdiction over bills before the Maine Legislature. This
includes L.D. 1811, legislation introduced into the Maine
Legislature by State Rep. Leila Percy, which would institute a
recreational saltwater registry for anglers between the ages of 16
and 70 and a fee of $15 for Maine residents and $30 for non-
residents. Proceeds from the license would benefit the Maine
Department of Marine Resources and presumably would be spent
on functions such as fisheries research and habitat enhancement.
Saltwater recreational fishing has traditionally been free and
available to all in Maine, and many anglers have expressed strong
objections to the proposed registry and fees.

The question of whether or not Maine should have a
recreational saltwater fishing license is most appropriately decided
at the State rather than the federal level. However, proponents of
LD 1811 have suggested that the registry and fee are necessary
because of a new provision in a recently reauthorized federal law,
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
(MSA). MSA does contain a provision, retained in the final bill
from the Senate version, that requires each state that does not
already register saltwater recreational anglers to do so by 2009, or
the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will institute its
own registry. However, MSA also prohibits NMFS from charging
a fee for this registry until at least 2011. After that date, NMFS
has indicated that a fee is possible.

If Maine develops its own registry program before that date
it will be exempt from any federal fee, but there is no requirement
that Maine charge any particular fee for its program. MSA also
only applies to anglers fishing more than three miles offshore or
for anadromous fish such as striped bass. Anglers seeking winter
flounder, bluefish, mackerel, or a variety of other non-anadromous
fish within three miles of shore are not subject to any federal
regulation and would not have to pay a fee under any NMFS
registry program.

Proponents of LD 1811 are correct to say that if Maine
does not develop its own registry program, NMFS will do so
starting in 2009. However, MSA does not require Maine or the
federal government to charge a fee, and MSA actually prohibits a
federal fee until 2011.

As an avid sport fisherman myself, I share your concern
about new fees and registries for recreational saltwater anglers. I
am not involved in this State issue in my capacity as an elected
federal representative, but as a Maine citizen and fisherman I will
be closely monitoring the actions of the State legislature on this

Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will
continue to do so about issues that are important to you.


Tom Allen
Member of Congress

May 15th, 2007, Updated items of interest on this issue.The Marine resource committee legislative work session was held Monday, May 14th in Augusta. Thanks to all your letters sent in opposition to the proposed salt water fishing license LD-1811, the committee voted 8-2 to turn the bill into a resolve. In the end, the only two legislators to vote in favor of the bill were it's co- sponsors. This essentially tables the bill in its current form.  A Resolve stalls a Committee decision on the bill for a specific purpose.
  The bills co- sponsors Representative Liela Percy and Senator Dennis Damon, the director of the Maine Department of Marine resources, Mr. George Lapoint along with a few well intentioned board members of the Maine Charter Captains Association (MCCA) and the President of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) "Ian Burnes"  were pushing for the bills passage claiming that the State of Maine should collect a license fee, because the federal government is going to require a federal registry for saltwater fisherman by the year 2011.

               No one knows what the intent of a federal registry even means, or if there would really be any fee's associated with it.
 As you probably gathered from your form letter response from Rep Leila Percy, this was essentially a disinformation campaign designed to quickly impose this new 6 million dollar annual tax upon our fishing guests for this summer's "2007" season.

Anyway, this resolve directs the Maine Dept. of Marine resources to gather more information and report back to the Marine resource committee legislative members in January of 2008, with additional information that stipulates (what a federal registry actually means).......As this was the main argument given for the new state license.

The result is that our forefathers hard fought freedom and our basic right to fish off the docks and beaches in New England has been protected, and there will be no recreational salt water fishing license in Maine for the 2007 season.

Captain Whit and I sincerely appreciate all the letters our guests wrote, and the cooperation we received from the 114 USCG licensed Maine Captains that were willing to speak out strongly in opposition to this license. I'm sure there is further action that can and will have to be taken  to insure our basic rights to fish recreationally in saltwater are not compromised in the future. I know one thing, Captain Whit and I will be much more selective in volunteering any information to our state's Dept of Marine Resources concerning our guest's fishing preferences and habits until this issue is completely resolved and our guests rights are fully guaranteed for future generations

April 26th, 2007 Updated items of interest on this issue! The public hearing was held on Monday April 23rd 2007.With your help and support I was one of eleven speakers who spoke in opposition to the bill. Mr. Dave Pecci "MCCA President" (right) also spoke in opposition to the bill. I gave each of the thirteen members of the Marine resource committee a 37 page document of the e- mails "you our guests" wrote in opposition to the bill LD-1811. Also included was the detailed list (the big majority), 106 of Maine's USCG Captains who contacted me and asked to be listed in opposition to LD 1811.

  The legislative work session where the final resolution of the salt water fishing license will be decided by the 13 member Marine Resource committee has now been postponed and extended to Monday May 14th. Your letters have really helped to get the committee members thinking a little more clearly about this issue. Please continue to send your e-mails and let your feelings be known. You now have until Monday May 14th to get your e-mails in and defeat LD 1811. You can have a big impact and insure that your children continue to have the same basic freedoms and rights to fish Maines waters that we always have enjoyed.


 Rep.Ian Emery and Rep.Ed Mazurek "left" wait patiently for the bills co-sponsors
Sen.Dennis Damon and Rep.Liela Percy on right to introduce and put forth the proposal. Pictured on right, Captain Satch strategizes with Capt. Mike Jancovic and MCCA President Capt. Dave Pecci.

                                                      List of committee members e-mail is just below:

 An excerpt from my son's Captain Whits response to this onerous bill, his complete e-mail text below!
  "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."
                                                                                                           Captain Satch McMahon
                                                                                                                                 Master Maine tidewater guide...
                                                                                                                                 U.S.C.G. Merchant Marine officer

I was very discouraged to hear that State Rep. Leila Percy (Phippsburg) and Sen.Dennis Damon(Hanncock) have co-sponsored legislation in Augusta, to have a new and first time recreational salt water fishing license imposed on anyone wishing to fish in Maines tide/saltwater. This would include vacationing families fishing off the docks and breakwaters, as well as anyone fishing on a charter or fishing boat. It has a very good chance of passing unless we act quickly. It will cut into our business personally because it will add to the cost of a trip, and many folks will think that they'll need a license before booking a trip on the boats.
 But it's not just another additional high tax on our working families that I oppose, it is the simple idea of licensing recreational salt water fishing that I find so foul.
I have enjoyed the freedom of fishing off the docks and breakwaters with my father and grandfather for over 50 years. "With just a drop line whens thats all we could afford". My grandchildren and so many other families enjoy casting a line off any public shoreline in Maine for a moment of solitude whenever they choose. So many kids take up fishing instead of other less healthy alternatives. If we take away so many simple freedoms from the next generation where does that leave us as a country? I'm aware that they have a salt water license in Florida and it may be a needed conservation effort in a state that has more people than fish, but this is Maine and the simple freedoms like camping, fishing, hiking that working folks can choose to experience in Maine are the reasons many people choose to vacation and live here. Recreational fishing in New England waters has been a birth right since the Boston Tea Party, lets keep it that way.

                                                                                 This state salt water license and fee is not inevitable.

Please e -mail a small note with your feelings on the issue and how often you fish and vacation in Maine. All these folks will get a copy by copying and pasting the following address to your e mail.
 Just highlight the addresses below by holding down the left button and draggin it over them, once its colored in, right click your mouse and left click on copy. When you write your email you right click with your mouse on the (send to) space on the e mail, then left click on the paste button and they will all get a copy... when you hit send....

                                         If all else fails send me a copy and I'll forward it on.

                                                                                                                Thanks so much Capt. Satch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


 Please scroll down for a complete text of the bill, the upfront license fees are included, they do not reflect the real cost to our children or the tide/saltwater recreational fishery...

An Act To Create a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

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

1 Fund established.   The Marine Recreation Fishing Conservation and Management Fund, referred to in this section as "the fund," is established within the department. In addition to fees derived from the saltwater recreational fishing license pursuant to section 6506, subsection 6, the commissioner may receive on behalf of the fund funds from any source. All money received into the fund must be used for the purposes of the fund. Unexpended balances in the fund at the end of the fiscal year do not lapse but must be carried forward to the next fiscal year to be used for the purposes of the fund. Any interest earned on the money in the fund must be credited to the fund. By February 1st of each year, the commissioner shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over marine resources matters on the amount of money collected in the fund and all expenditures made from the fund in the previous fiscal year.
2 Uses of fund.   The commissioner, with the advice of the Marine Recreational Fishing Advisory Council, may authorize the expenditure of money from the fund for:
A Resource and habitat enhancement;
B Fisheries management research;
C Acquisition of land or an interest in land that provides for the enhancement of fishery habitat or public access to coastal fishing waters;
D Enforcement of marine resources laws;
E Education and outreach; and
F Administration and operating expenses.

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

1 License required.   Except as otherwise provided pursuant to this Part, it is unlawful for an individual to engage in saltwater recreational fishing without holding at least one of the following:
A An annual resident saltwater recreational fishing license;
B An annual nonresident saltwater recreational fishing license;
C A 2-week nonresident saltwater recreational fishing license;
D A charter boat saltwater recreational fishing license; or
E A head boat saltwater recreational fishing license.

A saltwater recreational fishing license does not authorize the license holder to sell fish taken with the license.

2 Agents for purpose of selling licenses.   The commissioner shall adopt rules that establish the criteria for selecting agents to sell saltwater recreational fishing licenses. Agents appointed by the commissioner to issue licenses shall charge a fee of $2 for each license issued. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
3 Licensed activities.   The holder of a saltwater recreational fishing license may fish for, take, transport or possess finfish and freshwater fish as defined in section 6001 in coastal waters.
4 Exemptions.   A license is not required to engage in saltwater recreational fishing in coastal waters for an individual under 16 years of age or a resident 70 years of age or older. A license is not required for a passenger or crew member on board a vessel designated on a current charter boat saltwater recreational fishing license or head boat saltwater recreational fishing license.
5 Eligibility.   A saltwater recreational fishing license may be issued only to an individual.
6 Fees.   The fees for saltwater recreational fishing licenses are:
A Fifteen dollars for an annual resident saltwater recreational fishing license;
B Thirty dollars for an annual nonresident saltwater recreational fishing license;
C Fifteen dollars for an annual nonresident saltwater recreational fishing license for applicants 70 years of age or older;
D Fifteen dollars for a 2-week nonresident saltwater recreational fishing license;
E Two hundred dollars for a charter boat saltwater recreational fishing license; and
F Four hundred dollars for a head boat saltwater recreational fishing license.
7 Disposition of fees.   All fees for saltwater recreational fishing licenses collected pursuant to subsection 6 must be deposited in the Marine Recreation Fishing Conservation and Management Fund established in section 6032.
8 Violation.   Violation of this section is a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 may be adjudged.


This 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.

*We have 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 I've decided to add them as they come in.

                                          Thanks so much for taking the time to write.                                   Captain Satch

*To read the very latest of our guest e-mails written after 4/25 please click here!

 Mrs. Linda Paul,

  This is Maine. It is not Florida. We fight hard now to attract people to come to Maine to go Salt Water Fishing. Have you counted how many party boats there are left in the State of Maine? You can just about count them on one hand.  The party boats will suffer because the tourists will be all confused on the licensing and won't come to Maine.People who go salt water fishing spend hundred of thousands of dollars on fishing gear, tackle, boats, motors, overnight accommodations, food in our restaurants and special clothing to go fishing.  My husband and I have fished the Ocean for over 38 years and spend thousand of dollars a year to do so.
This will impact every  person in Maine who also already pay the highest taxes in the United States for the privilege of staying in this state. Do you saltwater fish? Do you have several small children in your family whose only entertainment is to go down to the ocean and go fishing on the beach or the pier for mackerel, stripers, and other fish that they may happen to catch? What happens to families who are struggling to pay for their winter oil in the summer time? Fishing is all some families can afford to do together. Have a heart here!
 Did you ever watch people who fish on the beaches many of whom are out of state tourists? Over 60 percent of them put the fish back anyway because they just wanted the experience of catching a fish.  Consider the striper fishing industry. You only allow one fish per day per person and people pay and average of $75-100 for just that one 4 or 6 hour trip. The license will put that industry in jeopardy as well when you consider that striper fishing is the most popular thing to do. Just think about the tourists. Many of these people will not come to Maine at all if they need to purchase a license. They will go to the other states. The economy will suffer greatly.  They also will reconsider ever moving to Maine because Maine will have another black mark as far as unnecessary licensing is concerned.
There is a large difference in fishing at the lake and at the ocean.  At the lake they have to be stocked with fish, they have to be patrolled by wardens so that camps, and homes on the water and quotas will not be exceeded. Licensing is justified there.I pay for one because I know that the lakes and ponds are labor intensive and the fish cost a lot of money to raise and to be released by the State of Maine into the waterways.
On the Ocean who is going to patrol the licensing. In the last 35 years on the ocean, as a saltwater fisherman, I have only seen the Coast Guard 2 or 3 times.  With Homeland Security as a priority we have seen hardly any cutters out visiting boats at all.  We have only had one Marine Patrol check us and our boat. Do you think that the Marine patrol is going to assume this duty.  How much do you pay one Marine Patrol officer?  It is going to take a lot of licensing money just to pay for one of them.  Now how about the harbor masters? You do not pay them enough to patrol checking licenses either.
Let's weigh some facts.  Presently the State of Maine benefits from tourists and residents who visit or fish the ocean in the following ways:
1. The boat dealers sell boats, motors, electronics, life jackets and other accessories and collect 5% sales tax for the State.
2. The towns in Maine collect and excise tax to register the boats and motors yearly as well as the boat trailers that you haul the boats on.
3. The auto/truck dealerships sell the heavy duty fancy 4 wheel drive trucks required to tow the family boat to the ocean. These trucks average price is 25-35 thousand dollars for one truck of which the State gets the 5% sales tax as well as the one of the highest excise taxes in the U.S. based on the actual line sheet of the vehicle not the price you actually pay for the first few years.
4. Hotels, Motels, Cottages, Camps, Bed and Breakfast owners and other lodging areas are charging 7% to stay there while you go ocean fishing and vacation. Don't forget the massive number of  campgrounds that we have that  receive the tenters, the RV people.( Remember the RV's are very expensive and a lot of 5% tax money goes to Maine for Mainers who buy these vehicles) These people go salt water fishing.
5. The restaurants feed the fisherman at the rate of 7% meals tax as well as the ice cream stands, and food shacks all over the state who sell cooked sea food etc at 7%
The commercial fisherman sell their fish to the restaurants etc. but the recreational fisherman stop on their way home and have the lobsters, crab cakes, fish dinners at the restaurants so another income could become involved here.
Think about this please? There are other ways to cut spending.  We do not need to lose one of our only freedoms in life. The ocean belongs to everyone. It certainly does not belong to the State of Maine. Unfortunately the land around the ocean is taxable property that we would have to stand on to fish from the shore or piers. But when you consider how high our property taxes are that should tell you something! 
I would be happy to discuss this matter at length with you. Just email me. Thank you.

Capt Whitney McMahon..

Dear madames,

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 Maine 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. Maine 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 MAINE 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...

Dear Madame,
        I understand why you may think  that a saltwater fishing license could be a good idea but I assure you that it isn't.  Recreational fishing has been a great tradition in Maine  for both residents and tourists every summer for many years.  To require a license for saltwater fishing will not only confuse and discourage tourists about the exact laws and regulations it will hurt small business in Maine.  There are several full time guides and captains along the coast who make a good part or all of there living from charter fishing, this would cut into there profit a great deal.  Would you want someone to cut into you and your family's yearly earnings by potentially thousands of dollars? 
      I am 17 years old and a senior at Bangor High School and I plan to attend business college in the fall.  If you had asked me when I was ten years old what I wanted to be, I would have said "a charter boat captain"   I am well on my way to getting my captains license and I dream about owning my own charter business everyday.  This would simply be a step in the wrong direction.  Not only would it effect industry and business in Maine, but I know for a fact it would also discourage many Maine residents from fishing at all, especially if they only went once or twice a year.  Fishing has always been a way of life for me, but for many younger people it is an alternative from other harmful activities.  In no way will the people of Maine or the yearly tourists benefit from having a saltwater fishing license. 
Thank you for your time.
Greg H. Perkins

Mr. Paul Dvoretsky:

To:  State of Maine
From: A concerned Maine citizen
Re: Proposal for saltwater fishing license
To Whom It May Concern
As a Maine resident who pays very high year-round taxes to enjoy the benefits of living here, I was incensed to read about yet another proposed tax-this time, for saltwater fishing licenses.  I am an avid fisherman who takes great pleasure in walking down to the beach to catch a few stipers in my spare time, and abide by all the rules of fishing.  Why I should pay an extra tax to do so is beyond me.
Maine touts itself as "Vacationland".  What will happen when we price our tourists out of vacationing here?  One of the great draws of Maine is the spectacular ocean and everything you can do on it- including saltwater fishing.  Tourists already add a great deal to our economy  every year and pay a dear price for the privilege.  Adding yet another fee to their vacation may mean the difference between choosing to vacation in Maine, and choosing to vacation elsewhere.
In short, I believe that in a high-tax, tourist -dependent state like Maine, a saltwater fishing license requirement is a very bad deal for everyone, and the proposal should be taken off the table immediately.
Paul Dvoretsky

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 Maine 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?)  Many people in Maine have a limited income and face ever increasing costs for gas, fuel oil and taxes; while Maine still has no answer for creating new jobs or affordable health care. The one thing Maine 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.

The bottom line is that some one did not do their homework. If you discourage fisherman from coming to Maine the state will lose income. These fishermen spend a great amount of money every trip to fish in Maine 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.


Gil Ranta

Pawleys Island, SC

(Formally of Wells, Maine)

13 year old Joey Tavares;

Dear Rep. Percy,
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 Maine. 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.

Captain Satch

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 that Maine doesn'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 Maine is jumping on the band wagon before any other New England state does so.  The competition in southern Maine 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 Maine.  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 Maine 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.


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
in a
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..

I too am against a saltwater license - we are taxed, charged to death in Maine already.  Government at every level is awash in cash - we need to stop this type of thing.
Larry Berberich
Hook & Gun Guide Service

Capt Bill Coite, F/V Shearwater...  York Harbor..

 I'm strongly against any license for salt water.

                                                       Bill C.

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 Maine. 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, Ogunquit Me.

3. Capt Jeff Ritter, F/V Sashimi, Boothbay Harbor, Me.

4. Capt.Barry Bush, F/V Seafari, Kittery Me.

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., Freeport Me.

8. Captain Dick Witham, F/V Linesider II, York Me.
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, Ogunquit Me.

13. Capt.Brian Bush, F/V Seafari ,Kittery Me.
14. Captain Tony Coleman, F/V Emily Rachel, Wells Me.

15. Captain Adam Littell, F/V Rebecca Lynne, Kennebunkport Me.

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, Portland Me.
19. Captain Ian Kenniston, F/V Bunny Clark, Ogunquit Me.

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, Old Orchard Beach Me.

26.Captain Paul Rioux, Stone Coast Anglers, Saco Me.

27. Captain Larry Berberick, Hook and Gun Guide Service, Brunswick Me.

28. Captain Walt Gibson, F/V Lucy Larcom, Saco Me.

29. Captain Richard A. Crosby, F/V Jillian II, Saco, Me.
30. Captain Todd Stewart, F/V Trina Lyn, Saco Me.
31. Captain Michael Kiernan, Long Reach Marine Guides, Bath Me.
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, Boothbay Harbor, Me.

40.Capt.Gene Newcomb, F/V Quoddy Dam, Eastport, Me.

41.Capt.Anthony Newcomb, F/V Quoddy Dam, Eastport, Me

42. Capt.Tate Stevens, F/V Lady H. Eastport, Me.

43. Capt.Shawn Harris, F/V lady H., Eastport, Me.

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, F/V Maine Lady III

48. Capt.Manny Canales, F/V Double Diamond

49. Capt. Ben Garfield Go Fish Charters

50. Capt.Alex Notis, F/V Rock and Reel

51. Capt.Laura Rose 100 Ton Masters, Ogunquit

52. Capt.Tom Tarnon, F/V The Boat, York, Me.

53. Capt. Andy French,World Within Sea Kayaking,Ogunquit

54. Capt.Tom Noury F/V Finestkind I, Ogunquit

55. Capt Paul McDonough, F/V Finestkind III,Ogunquit

56. Capt Dan Gile, F/V Holly B. York, Me.

57. Capt.Bill Kingston F/V Finestkind II, Ogunquit

58. Capt. Steve Hale, F/V Capt. Jack, Rockland, Me.

59. Capt. Paul Bois, White Birch Guide Service, Lovell, Me.

60. Capt. Mike Jancovic, F/V Excaliber , So Portland Me.

61. Capt Mike Sosik Jr., Bigger N Better Charters York, Me.

62 Capt Garth Wells, Schooner Lewis R.French, Camden Me.

63. Capt Les McNelly F/V Sea Escape, Bailey Island, Me.

63. Capt Tim Verges F/V Brittina H. ,Perkins Cove Me.

64. Capt. Bob Asquith F/V Finestkind III, Perkins Cove Me.

65. Capt. Randy Jones, S/V Sarah mead, Muscontus, Me.

66. Capt Jen Martin, Schooner Mary Day, Camden, Me.

67. Capt. Barry King, Schooner Mary Day, Camden Me.

68. Capt Dave Guadoloupe, F/V Defiant, Kittery, Me.

69. Capt Jason Plummer, F/V Defiant, Kittery, Me.

70. Capt Patrick Haggerty, Fly Line Guide Service, Durham, Me.

71. Capt. Mark Lussier, F/V Sushi Seeker, Elliot Me.

72. Capt Deb Jorden, F/V Branch Office, Elloit Me.

73. Capt. Bill Spencer F/V Panion , Boothbay Harbor, Me.

74.Capt. Mark Drummond F/V Jack , Kittery, Me.

75. Capt Steve Brettell F/V Millie Moe, Kennebunk, Me.

76. Capt. Mark Driscoll F/V Three Ladies,Wells Me.

77. Capt. Jim Hinkley Sr. F/V Maine Inspirtation, Saco, Me.

78. Capt. Jim Hinkley Jr. F/V Maine Inspiration, Saco Me.

79. Capt. Bill Bell F/V Sea Quest, Sring Point Me.

80. Capt. Matt Bell F/V Sea Quest, Sring Point ,Me.

81. Capt. John McDonough, 100 Ton Master

82. Capt. Teryy MacGillivay F/V Maid Marion, Fryburg, Me.

83. Capt. Gary Franklin F/V Eagle, Pine Point Me.

84. Capt. David Dooley, F/V Kayla D., Bath Me.

85. Capt. Tony Dimakarakos, F/V Special J, Kittery, Me.

86. Capt Ed Rice, River Run Charters

87. Capt. Forrest Faulkingham, F/V Eva Marie, Alna Me.

88. Capt. Robert Pratt, F/V Holy Mackeral, Rockland, Me.

89. Capt John Reynolds, Meadowbrook Guide Service , Weeks Mill, Me.

90. Capt. Mike Sewall, Hermit Island Campground, Bath Me.

91. Capt. Jonan Brouwer, Great Zooks Charters

92. Capt. Arnie Clay, Thornhead Guide Service

93. Capt. Thomas Curtis ,Verona Island Charters

94. Capt. Barry Gibson, F/V Shark V , Boothbay Harbor, Me.

95. Capt. Don Kleiner, Maine Outdoors, Union, Me.

96. Capt. Russ Troy, F/V Catch 22, Boothbay Harbor, Me.

97. Capt. Dan Stevens, F/V Back Jack Boothbay Harbor, Me.

98. Capt Joe Rego, F/V Punky's Comet II , Damarriscotta Me.

99. Capt. Dean Krah, Bass 1 Charters, Newcastle, Me

100. Capt. Jeff Bellmore,Warren Me.

101.Capt George Harris, F/V Superfly, Wiscasset, Me.

102. Capt. George Warren, F/V Charger II, Boothbay Harbor, Me.

103. Capt. Andy Mazzitelli, F/V Predator, Kittery Me.

104. Capt Rodney Chapman, F/V Cool Runnings, Wiscasset, Me.

105. Capt Doug Anderson, F/V Sushi Hunter, Elliot, Me.

106. Capt Todd Jackson, Penobscott Bay Outfitters, Searsport, Me.

107. Capt. Brian Rogers, F/V Ugly Anee, Perkins Cove Me.

108.Capt. Dean Varney, F/V Ugly Anne, Perkins Cove Me.

109.Capt Bill Baker, Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, Stonington Me.

110. Capt. Patrick Haggerty, Flyline Guide Service, Durham Me.

111. Capt. Thomas Curtis, Verona Island Charters, Verona Island Me.

112. Capt. Robin Thayer, F/V Tight Lines, Richmond Me.

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