Proposal that would require permit for recreational fishing draws mixed reactions

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A proposal making its way through the state legislature would require a yearly permit for recreational fishing.

You’re already required to have a license to fish in freshwater. That rule has been in place since 1949.

If Senate Bill 2052 goes through, you’ll have to get a permit to fish in the ocean as well.

Some are for it, some are against.

“There’s a tendency to overfish a lot,” said Adrian Liu. “Wow, what are you guys doing with all that fish, you know? Feed your families? Sell it? What’s going on? I’m definitely for it.”

“I don’t like that kind of stuff. I like it free, so all the fisherman can enjoy their lives and passion,” said William James Masao Oaki.

The proposal calls for recreational fisherman to purchase a yearly permit for $5. Non-residents would have to pay much more.

The money would go into a sport fish special fund under DLNR.

“The Department of Land and Natural Resources is grotesquely underfunded. We do need the money to keep up the infrastructure,” said Sen. Karl Rhoads, chairman of the Senate Committee on Water and Land, who introduced the bill.

DLNR officers would have the authority to inspect your catch before taking it home.

Rhoads says there’s another troubling reason for why he wants to regulate fishing.

“The fish numbers are down. Recent studies indicate it’s connected to population center,” he said. “What we don’t know is who’s taking what, how much, and when. With a licensing center, with a minimal fee, it gives us a better grip on who’s taking what and what locations.”

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