Just a day after I posted the news that a new federal saltwater fishing license was being postponed, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a release stating that implementation of their “Angler Registry” will begin on January 1, 2010. It had been set to begin in just a few days, on January 1, 2009.
The reason for the delay, as I was first told, was a hang-up in getting the proposed rule approved by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That OMB problem isn’t mentioned in the release, which instead says the delay is intended to give coastal states that don’t have saltwater licensing–generally from New Jersey north to Maine–time to develop a way of accurately counting their saltwater anglers. That will for the most part mean adopting their own saltwater licensing systems before the feds do it for them.
Read the links above for an excellent explanation of the federal plan. Understand also that if, for example, you live in Illinois or Ohio and travel to fish stripers in Massachusetts, then the licensing requirement will also apply to you.