Every true angler has that one special fishing spot, the one place he or she can always count on to reel one in. Not surprisingly, many have come to refer to their special spot as Massachusetts, where you'll find an extraordinary amount of great freshwater and saltwater fishing, all four seasons.
For freshwater fishing, you'll enjoy more than 500 lakes, ponds, rivers and streams stocked annually with trout, bass, herring, salmon and many other varieties. Venues range from the ice-cold streams of the Berkshire Hills to the mighty Connecticut and Merrimack Rivers.
If you're a saltwater angler, on the other hand, you will be treated to the likes of bluefish, tuna, cod, haddock, halibut and sea bass onboard charter boats, leaving from numerous Massachusetts ports in the Cape and the Islands region and up and down the coastlines.
If you're docking in Nantucket, consider the Nantucket Boat Basin. You'll have access to bathrooms, showers, electric, gas, internet connections, and more.
SALTWATER ANGLERS MUST REGISTER IN 2010
The Division of Marine Fisheries is alerting saltwater anglers to new saltwater fishing registration requirements that are occurring in 2010 and 2011. A new federal law that took effect January 1, 2010 requires most Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishermen 16 years old and older to register with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) either online via www.countmyfish.noaa.gov or by calling (888) MRIP-411 [(888) 674-7411]. There is no fee for federal registration in 2010. People fishing on saltwater charter or head-boats will not be required to register. Private boat or family registrations are not available. This year, non-residents planning saltwater fishing trips in Massachusetts must possess a saltwater fishing permit from any state or from the federal saltwater registration system.
Beginning in 2011, saltwater anglers need to be aware that a new state law will require purchase of a state recreational fishing permit for saltwater fishing. The fee for this permit is estimated to be $10 and will be the same cost for all anglers, including non-residents. As in 2010, anyone 16 or older will be required to purchase a saltwater fishing permit. Saltwater fishermen 60 or older will be required obtain a permit, but the permit will be free. Saltwater anglers in the state will not register with the federal registration system in 2011.
The new permit system will allow federal and state marine fisheries to collect better data on saltwater recreational fishing. The current data collection system is inefficient and imprecise. Managers need quality data to make the best decisions possible on bag limits, seasons and sizes. Governor Patrick signed the state's Permit Act into law on November 23, 2009, after it passed unanimously through the Legislature. Support for the Act was driven by a large group of recreational saltwater stakeholders seeking a state permitting program that would exempt anglers from a higher cost federal permit in 2011 and ensure permit revenues went to local user benefits. Stakeholders insisted that the new state law establish a dedicated saltwater recreational fishing fund and that one third of annual appropriated permit funds be devoted to public access projects. For more details and an FAQ page about the new federal saltwater registration for 2010 and state saltwater fishing permit purchase in 2011, go to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries website at http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/recreationalfishing/rec_license.htm.
For more information about fishing in Massachusetts, please visit MassWildlife.
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