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So you’ve come to the Outer Banks to do some fishing like you always have. You’ve got your bait and tackle, a cooler full of refreshments and a big straw hat. But do you have your fishing license? In case you haven’t heard, the state of North Carolina now requires a coastal recreational fishing license more commonly called a ‘saltwater’ license. North Carolina is one of the last states to require this license and its implemen- tation has been an emotionally charged issue. But because it is now law, you may want to be sure that you are famil- iar with these requirements.

You may purchase the license at most tackle shops and also at Wal-mart and K-mart. You may also purchase the license before you arrive, by going on-line to www.ncwildlife.org or by phone at 1-888-248-6834. The NC Division of Marine Fisheries offices throughout the state also carry them. The local NCDMF office is located in the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park at the south end of Roanoke Island in the town of Wanchese. You can visit their website for more license information at www.ncdmf.net.

There are several variations of the license. The Annual License will cost NC residents $15.00 per year and non-residents will pay $30.00 for a one year license. The 10-day license will cost state residents $5.00 and non-residents $10.00. Children under 16 years of age are not required to have a license. Various other unified licenses are available that include hunt- ing and fishing combinations. You can contact your nearest license agent or going on-line.

Keep in mind that most piers and charter boats have purchased blanket licenses. These licenses allow you to fish on these piers and boats without having to purchase a license yourself. Whether you are for or against the license, it is now the law. So be sure to take the time to pick up a license before you head out fishing on the Outer Banks this year.


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