New registration requirement for fishing, hunting guides
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding people who provide fishing and hunting guide services in Connecticut, that beginning in January 2015 they need to register annually with DEEP.
Guides can register online using DEEP’s online sportsmen licensing system (www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing) or in person at DEEP offices and other vendors where hunting and fishing licenses and permits are available. There is a $100 fee to register.
This new fishing and hunting guide registration was established by Public Act 14-201 and signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in June 2014. Just like fishing and hunting licenses, the registration is valid for the calendar year.
The legislation also lowers the cost of fishing, hunting and trapping licenses fees for 16- and 17-year-olds in Connecticut.
What constitutes being a guide?
Under the new law, hunting or fishing guide services means “aiding, assisting or instructing any person in the taking of fish or wildlife while in the fields, forests or on the waters of the state in exchange for any form of remuneration.”
Operators and crew of vessels registered in Connecticut as a charter, party or head boat are exempt from the new guide registration when providing fishing guide services on the registered vessel. Individuals operating under a guide registration using a vessel to fish for or land marine species are limited to two customers per trip.
A passenger-for-hire license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard is required for those operating on navigable waters of the state, which include Long Island Sound, the Thames River, the Connecticut River north to Hartford, and the Housatonic River downstream of the Derby Dam.
Lower fees for youngsters
There are a number of other provisions of Public Act 14-201 that will be of interest to anglers and hunters. Fishing, hunting and trapping licenses fees for 16- and 17-year-olds have been reduced to 50% of the regular fee.
Most hunting permits, stamps and tags will also be half price for 16- and 17-year-olds.
Additionally, secondary schools can now obtain a fishing license exemption for students when they participate in a fishing activity for a class that includes a fishing component as part of its curricula.
Get necessary licenses and permits
Those providing guide services also are reminded that they should continue to obtain all other fishing and hunting licenses (and permits), as needed for their activities.
The 2015 fishing, hunting and trapping licenses are now available and can be purchased directly online, or at one of the many participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices.
For a complete list of vendors, go to www.ct.gov/deep/fishing or call DEEP’s Licensing and Revenue division at 860-424-3105.