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Small price for fishing license aids local wildlife management; fishing without license costly in Georgia

Sunday, July 13, 2014 7:50 PM
Last updated Monday, July 14, 2014 12:57 AM
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It costs residents only $9 for a one-year fishing license in Georgia, but local rangers say there are still some who chance getting caught casting without a permit on state waters.

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Bobby Timmerman (left), a ranger first class with the Department of Natural Resources, talks to Charles Ross, of Augusta, as Timmerman checks for proper fishing license.A $74 fine for residents is imposed with no license.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Bobby Timmerman (left), a ranger first class with the Department of Natural Resources, talks to Charles Ross, of Augusta, as Timmerman checks for proper fishing license.A $74 fine for residents is imposed with no license.

From July 1, 2013, through June 30, 757 people statewide and 26 in the Augusta area have been caught fishing without a license.

Richmond County leads its 22-county region with the most citations at 17, while Co­lum­bia and McDuffie counties trail with eight and one violation each, according to the Georgia Department of Natu­ral Resources.

“With residents being able to easily purchase a license online, in retail stores and at ranger stations, it’s almost to the point where everyone is legal, but sometimes people chance it,” said Capt. Mark Padgett, who heads the regional ranger station in Thomson.

According to the Georgia Admin­istrative Office of the Courts, fishing without a license carries a $74 fine for residents and a $138 fine for non-residents, and could result in a person’s permit being revoked.

Padgett said state-owned fishing areas are common for anglers without licenses, which is ironic because permit proceeds help pay to maintain more than 2,000 acres of water at nine public ponds that provide fishing for bass, bream, crappie and catfish.

Profits also benefit boat ramps, children’s fishing events and warm water hatcheries, along with 500,000 acres of reservoirs and small lakes.

Except on private property, anyone 16 and older must have a fishing license in their possession while fishing in fresh or salt water in Georgia.

Proof of residence, such as a Georgia driver’s license, is required when purchasing a fishing license, which are available in lifetime and combination hunting permits to senior citizens and disabled residents at a discount.

Rangers can require identification when checking fishing licenses. The state has 183 rangers, with 21 patrolling the Augusta region.

“It’s pretty tough to cover the entire area, but every time we get close to someone fishing, we try to stop and chat with them to see if they have a license and are abiding by state wildlife laws,” Padgett said. “Most are playing by the rules.”

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flipa1
3097
Points
flipa1 07/13/14 - 09:44 pm
3
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Non of the river boat ramps have been fixed for decades.

So where did this money go? GA DNR are the good guys, Probably the eco-extortionist that's suing Corps of Engineers is holding them up too. .

hoptoad
21854
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hoptoad 07/14/14 - 04:46 am
2
1
Why doesn't the corps lop off

Why doesn't the corps lop off the tops of the trees that stick up during times of low pool? These are dangerous and some are covered only by inches of water unseen to the jet skiers and water skiers.

AFjoe
5623
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AFjoe 07/14/14 - 07:20 am
2
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Four tickets per ranger-state wide

Not alot of action in the no lic. dept. Augusta area has 21 rangers patrolling the area and issured 17 tickets in a year.

bdouglas
5782
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bdouglas 07/14/14 - 09:46 am
1
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@AFjoe

Yeah, this struck me as a bit of a non-story, too...

bdouglas
5782
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bdouglas 07/14/14 - 09:46 am
3
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"... fishing without a

"... fishing without a license carries a $74 fine for residents and a $138 fine for non-residents, and could result in a person’s permit being revoked."

Exactly what "permit" are they revoking when you already don't have a license?

bdouglas
5782
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bdouglas 07/14/14 - 09:50 am
4
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At least Georgia's license is

At least Georgia's license is somewhat fair, being valid for one year from the purchase date. Unlike SC, whose expires on June 30th, regardless of when you bought it. Nothing but a racket making the license expire in the middle of prime fishing season. If you just want to fish for the summer, you have to buy two licenses.

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