Shoreline fishing license requirement to kick in
Florida’s new shoreline fishing license requirement takes effect Saturday.
Resident anglers who fish for saltwater species from shore or a structure affixed to shore must have a $9 shoreline fishing license or a $17 regular saltwater fishing license.
“We were unaware of needing a license,” Fort Myers resident Troy Hyman said.
Officer Joanne Adams, spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said those who possess an offshore license do not apply to the new rule.
“If you have a regular saltwater fishing license, you will not have to purchase a shoreline fishing license,” she said. “Nonresidents must purchase a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license at $17 for three days, $30 for seven days or $47 for one year, regardless if they fish from shore or a vessel.”
Additional fees may apply to all fishing licenses, depending on where an angler purchases the license.
“The onshore license will cost $7.50 with a $1.50 administrative fee and additional handling fees could also apply,” Adams said.
The shoreline requirement allows exemptions for resident anglers who fish in their home county, using live or natural bait, on a line or pole without a line-retrieval mechanism.
The exemption does not apply to anglers who use nets, traps, gigs and spears or who gather seafood by hand or any type of gear other than hook and line.
Other exemptions apply for anglers who qualify for temporary cash assistance, food stamps or Medicaid.
Also, resident anglers who are age 65 or older and children under 16 may fish without a license. Active-duty military personnel may fish without a license while home on leave in Florida.
Licensed fishing piers have licenses that cover everyone who fishes from them.
“You don’t need a license if the pier has a special license itself,” Adams said. “I believe the Pink Shell Resort has a licensed fishing pier. There are only a couple of those in Lee County. You will need a license from a bridge.”
The FWC suggests the $17 regular saltwater fishing license may be the best option for most resident anglers unless they are certain they will fish only from shore or a structure affixed to shore all year.
“If you wade into the water to fish, you will be considered fishing from shore and you’ll still need the shoreline license,” said Adams. “If the angler arrives to a fishing location by boat, he/she must have a regular saltwater fishing license. Be aware that the money will help fund marine resource research and law enforcement.”
By creating the shoreline fishing license, the state Legislature arranged for Florida anglers to be exempt from a more expensive federal angler registration requirement that will take effect in 2011.
More information about fishing license requirements, outdoor recreation and FWC programs is available at: MyFWC.com. Click on “Newsroom” and “Media Resources.”