Editor’s Log: 2024 Marine Registry Reminder - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: 2024 Marine Registry Reminder

The 2024 fishing season is well underway with reports of excellent striper fishing on the western end of the island and moving west now by the day. Spring blackfish season just wrapped up and we’re already looking forward to the fall reopening; the bluefish are just starting to invade the back bays all over the place and we have fluke right around the corner on May 4th – it’s absolute fishing madness. Some of you might have your boat in the water already and are getting in on the action, while some others might just be splashing in for the season, but don’t worry, you have plenty of action ahead of you. Shorebound anglers, you may have hit your local dock or gone to the jetty this season for some stripers already. One thing everyone has to keep in mind, and it can undoubtedly slip minds between everything else we have to keep up on these days is getting your marine fishing registry.

A textbook example of forgetting things these days: Earlier in April I was driving around town, when I got pulled over by Suffolk PD. Honestly I was as a loss for why I was getting pulled over. The officer came up to my car and proceeded to let me know that he ran my plate and it showed that my driver’s license had expired! I didn’t even realize – my birthday was a few days prior and I didn’t think twice about it since that was the day the license expired as well. He laughed it off and said he did the exact same thing and gave me a pass. And immediately my next though was the fishing license! That was expiring soon as well. Well, instead of doing it the right way and getting my driver’s license renewed that instant, the reminder about the one item prompted me to go at that moment and do my fishing license for the year instead. Don’t worry, I got my driver’s license renewed as well.

As you might know, the registry does not expire at the year’s end but one year from the date you had it printed out, which was during the month of April for me. If you are in possession of your physical registry card issued by an agent, the date of expiration is clearly shown on it. Yes, you can also get it done a little early if you have the expiration coming up. Remembe,r that the expiration date will always be the same if you get it done beforehand. Afterward the expiration date will start the new expiration for the year if you go that path. There is also no lifetime registration for the marine registry. You have to get it done once a year to comply with the law. I recommend that if your local bait and tackle shop does these, visit them and buy some tackle before you leave for their free services. Also keep in mind that the NYSDEC will be switching to paper licenses during the month of August as well.

While I encourage everyone who fish in saltwater to get the registry, there are some exceptions to being registered. They are the following: fishing aboard an appropriately licensed party or charter boat in the marine and coastal district; a New York State licensed party/charter boat owner; a Connecticut or Rhode Island resident and have a valid marine fishing license from your resident state; fishing for lobsters, crabs, clams, mussels, scallops, or oysters. Some of the last ones stated will need a different type of permit. Also, be aware that you don’t need a registry for recreational crabbing and clamming in New York. Local townships might have different laws in effect, so be sure to check those before going out.

Reciprocity is also offered in certain areas if you have an NYS marina registry. You can fish in federal waters, which are over three miles off the coast as well as Connecticut and Rhode Island waters. When fishing in New Jersey waters, you will be required to have a New Jersey registry on you. The opposite rules go for those living in those other states as well.

In case you were wondering, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the purpose of this registry is “the database helps in efficiently obtaining fishing activity information, which is vital in setting quotas, size and bag limits, and fishing seasons each year.” The registry still remains free. There were talks about incorporating a fee with the marine permit late last year and early this year but the proposals were stopped short before they could go anywhere.

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