Saltwater fishing license

While the state House appears hooked on the idea of establishing a saltwater fishing license, the Senate has yet to take the bait.

The House Environment and Natural Resources Committee recommended approval of yet another saltwater license proposal on Tuesday. The House Finance Committee must still review the bill before it's considered by the full chamber, but the proposal appears to have the backing of House leaders.

Recreational fishermen have largely lined up behind the saltwater fishing license, recognizing that the money will increase their influence in setting fisheries policies.

Jerry Schill, president of the North Carolina Fisheries Association, told the House committee that recreational anglers don't need a license to organize and seek to influence policy-makers.

The licenses would pump $10 million a year into the state Division of Marine Fisheries to improve enforcement and studies of the state's coastal fisheries.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)