Fishing Fees Under Attack
Thousands of Floridians will head to the water this weekend to fish from piers and the shoreline. Since August, shore anglers have been required to pay about $9 for a license, but there is an effort underway to repeal the fee.
For the first time ever, people fishing from shore need a $9 license to fish. It’s rubbing many fishermen, like Bill Williams, the wrong way. “Why mess with something that’s good? You’ve given that benefit to your people all along; why take it away?”
But the state argues the federal government will impose even bigger fees, $15 to $25, on all fishing licenses if the shore license goes away. “The purpose is to keep track of the catch,” said Henry Cabbage of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Shoreline anglers are taking from the resources. It’s just a matter of what’s right, that they should contribute to maintaining the resources.”
Citing the economy, State Senator Don Gaetz has filed legislation to repeal the fee. Only about one of every ten people who are expected to need the new license have actually gotten one so far.
Ironically, the fact so few have purchased the license actually make its repeal more palatable. That’s because it will take fewer dollars out of a very tight state budget. Revenue estimators expected as many as 338,000 people to apply for the shore line license. Right now just 32,000 have applied for the license.
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