5 reasons you need a fishing license

By Tom Keer

Apr 01, 2015

I told my teenage kids that the fishing season was approaching and we needed to get their fishing licenses purchased.

I told my teenage kids that the fishing season was approaching and we needed to get their fishing licenses purchased.  One of their friends asked if he could come along.

"Sure thing," I said.  "Do you have a fishing license?"

"No," he said.  "Why do I need one?

When my dad bought our boat he didn't need a license to drive it. So if you don't need a license to run a boat...why do you need one to catch a fish?"

Hmm...Sometimes it's tough being a parent… Here are 5 very good reasons why you need to buy a fishing license

  1. Money generated by fishing license sales goes towards fish stockings. Ponds, lakes, streams and rivers that are shy on fish get supplemental stockings so anglers are sure to hook up.

  2. The funds also go towards habitat programs: Clean ups, the removal of trash or debris that pollutes these waterways are removed, thereby creating healthier waterways. As an example, in my area that supports herring and alewives, fish ladders are constructed so the baitfish can get up river to spawn.

  3. Research and fish surveys are conducted through part of the proceeds of license sales. Determining the health and number of fish in a fishery is critical.  Check out the Sportfish Restoration Program.

  4. Educational programs, which help improve the skills of new anglers. Many of the free clinics, workshops and youth fishing days are paid for by license sales. Communications materials like learn-to-fish books and pamphlets are as well.

  5. A percentage of license sales goes towards improving fishing and boating access which provides each of us the opportunity to launch our boats and catch 'em up!

It's all part of continuing the fishing tradition that makes us who we are.  If you don't already have a license and wonder where to buy fishing licenses online, click here.
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.