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For Release: Friday, April 4, 2014

DEC Reminds Saltwater Anglers to Signup for No-Fee Marine Registry

Saltwater fishing anglers are required to register for the free recreational marine fish registry prior to fishing the marine waters of New York State to ensure federal and multi-state regulations are fair to New York's anglers, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens reminded today.

"The no-fee recreational marine fish registry is a vital tool that helps DEC better manage New York's fisheries," said Commissioner Martens. "It is imperative that all anglers sign up for the registry to help ensure fishing regulations put in place at the national and regional levels are fair, effective and based on sound science."

Subsequently, the no-fee registry was established in 2011 in response the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) mandate that all recreational anglers fishing in coastal waters complete a National Saltwater Angler Registry. Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the free marine fishing registration was made permanent in 2013.

Information from New York's marine registry is incorporated into the National Marine Fisheries Service database of recreational marine anglers. The database helps to efficiently obtain fishing activity information, vital information for setting quotas, size and bag limits, and fishing seasons each year.

Saltwater anglers can register online at the NYS License Center website or by phone (1-866-933-2257) or at a license issuing agent location. All anglers 16 years old and above are required to register if they plan to fish for saltwater fish species in the marine and coastal district or fish for migratory fish of the sea within tidal waters of the Hudson River and its tributaries, or waters of Delaware River or Mohawk River. Further information on the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry can be found on DEC's website.

Registration is valid for one full year (365 days) from the date registered. There is no lifetime registration.

Anglers found without a registration may be ticketed up to $250 per violation.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.

In support of this initiative, this year's budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone largely untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

This year's budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.

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