Now that fishing licenses in Maryland are good for the whole year, fishermen are expected to have more “value and flexibility.”
Earlier this week, a bill was signed by Governor Larry Hogan that will authorize the Department of Natural Resources to issue fishing licenses for 365 days from the date of purchase, as opposed to the calendar year.
The new law, created by Senate Bill 666/House Bill 785, will go into effect October 1st.
DNR Secretary Mark Belton had this to say.
By giving anglers the added value and flexibility of choosing their annual license’s start date we expect they’ll spend more days on the water, which will benefit Maryland businesses associated with the sport fishing community, such as tackle shops and charter boats, as well as the food service, fuel and hotel industries.
For now, fishing licenses are only good for the calendar year, which can severely limit the use of the license if purchased in a late month. The newly signed law entices anglers to purchase an annual license, which is a better value and will be good for 365 days.
Sport Fishing Advisory Commission Vice Chairman David Sikorski, who championed the legislation, said,
This is a win for the recreational fishing community. Maryland now joins a handful of states leading the movement to offer the increased value and flexibility of a 365-day license.
Tidal and non-tidal fishing licenses will be covered in the new law, and will also include the well-known Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Boat License.
You can purchase the licenses via the online COMPASS license system here.