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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 2nd Year CRFL

Marine Fisheries

State Completes Second Year of Coastal Recreational Fishing License Sales

By Patricia Smith
Fish Eye News
March 2009

Fewer anglers bought a saltwater fishing license in North Carolina last year.

Sales of the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License were down 12.5 percent in 2008, compared to 2007. About 60,000 fewer fishermen bought a license.

“Some of the drop in sales was expected,” said Don Hesselman, who heads the License and Statistics Section at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

About 23,000 of those are lifetime license holders who made their purchase in 2007. Sales of various lifetime licenses were down nearly 52 percent.

“You only need to buy a lifetime license once,” Hesselman said.

But nearly 37,000 were North Carolinians who purchased annual licenses in 2007. Annual resident CRFL sales were down 20.3 percent.

“Higher fuel prices and the general downturn in the economy may have contributed to this,” Hesselman said.

The division’s recreational fishing surveys found that the number of charter boat trips were down about 10 percent, while pier fishing increased slightly.

Sales of 10-day resident license dropped 2.8 percent.

And issuance of resident subsistence waivers were up 32 percent – nearly 2,000 more people received a license waiver from the Department of Social Services in 2008 than did in 2007.

“We have no way of knowing for sure what caused that jump,” Hesselman said. “It could be the economy or it could be that more people just found out about it.”

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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