In an effort to increase wildlife sales, promote land conservation and get more people outdoors, the state Department of Natural Resources has begun offering birthday gifts to Georgia anglers.
Georgia residents who have a boat registered with the state can fish free on their birthday – and for two days afterward – as part of their boat registration fee, according to a law change that went into effect July 1.
Regular fishing and hunting trips require additional paid licenses that cost about $10 annually, $17 for combination permits and $3.50 for an all-day pass for both activities.
“To take advantage of the birthday offer, boat owners just have to get outdoors,” said Dan Forster, the director of the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division.
Forster said boating is a bridge to fishing, the second-most popular boating activity in Georgia.
“Providing outdoor enthusiasts like boaters a convenient opportunity to participate in a closely aligned recreational sport like fishing is one of the best and most effective ways to recruit anglers,” Forster said.
Forster said he hopes the promotion has a far-reaching impact by building on the more than 2.75 million residents who fish, hunt, shoot or take part in other wildlife-related recreation.
The birthday bonus is a three-day resident combination license that allows Georgians 16 and older who own a vessel and have a valid, current registration to fish in fresh and saltwater for three consecutive days, it covers many other recreational opportunities.
Those include fishing at public fishing areas, accessing restricted areas across the state, hunting small game and feral hogs on private land, and using shooting ranges where a Wildlife Management Area stamp or Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass is needed.
Boat owners must carry a Georgia ID, such as a driver’s license, and their plastic vessel registration card to show proof of a vessel registration. Activities such as trout fishing, big-game hunting and hunting on Wildlife Management Areas require additional paid licenses. Saltwater fishing and migratory bird hunting require additional permits, which are free.
Learn more at www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes.