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State may repeal saltwater, Hudson River license

NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board Chairman Jason Kemper is one of those people.

"You would still need the same system created by the saltwater license, but without a funding stream," Kemper noted.

"The point is we have to do this or lose our federal aid," he said.

So, in effect, hunters and freshwater anglers will have their license money diverted from programs affecting game and inland waters to fund a registration program so salt water anglers won't have to pay to participate in their chosen hobby.

That is a tough pill to swallow, and should be for anyone who buys a license.

The state Senate has already passed the repealer bill, and it now sits with the Assembly. If the bill does become law, the state will have to dip into the Conservation Fund to pay back the 180,000 anglers who purchased annual and lifetime marine licenses.

In the meantime, lobbyists for offshore fishing alliances like Jim Hutchinson of the Recreational Fishing Alliance are fighting hard to eliminate the license, arguing it is an "onerous constraint on less fortunate fisherman unable to afford an extra fee to fish the ocean."

Foley himself said, "I strongly urge the assembly to pass this important piece of legislation so that it can be signed into law as soon as possible so that all New Yorkers, but in particular Long Islanders (his district, of course), can benefit from being able to fish our coastal waters without breaking the bank."

Really? Ten dollars?

An "onerous constraint"?

"Breaking the bank?"

Ten dollars is about one-third the cost of a freshwater license and about one-tenth what I paid for my hunting and fishing licenses combined last year.

Makes me want to donate $10 just to shut these people up.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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