Freshwater and saltwater fishing is free this weekend for those who have not yet registered for a Massachusetts fishing license. It is a chance for all adult anglers to get their lines wet without having to buy a fishing license. But on Monday, most adults are required to have a state license.
For Vineyard residents, there is a big change for saltwater anglers come Monday. They must purchase their license from the state (last year they had to purchase saltwater licences from the federal government, which now is not required). The state has set up a Web site and a telephone number for those who wish to purchase their license with a credit card. There is a service fee of less than $2 applied to either phone or Internet purchases.
Most adult freshwater fishermen know they need a license and they know how to get them. But it is the saltwater fishermen who must take new steps to comply with the state requirement of a license.
Dan McKiernan, deputy director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, said the state has already sold 50,000 saltwater fishing licenses and they expect to sell another 70,000 to 150,000 more licenses during this year’s fishing season. There is reciprocity for anglers who have purchased their state fishing licenses in Rhode Island, Connecticut or New Hampshire.
The license, purchased with a credit card, costs $10 plus a service fee that is less than $2 depending on whether you purchase on the Internet or by calling 866-703-1925. The Internet address http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/recreationalfishing/rec_permits.htm will take you to the appropriate link.
Junior fishermen under the age of 16 are exempt, as are fishermen who are disabled and fishermen going out on a for-hire vessel (charterboat). Fishermen who are 60 years and older must obtain a permit but they get it for free, plus the small service fee.