As of January 1 recreational saltwater fishermen are required to participate in the National Saltwater Angler Registry.
The registry, stipulated by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, will used to develop a comprehensive list of the nation's saltwater anglers to improve the collection of catch and effort data that is used by NOAA scientists to assess the health of fish stocks and to estimate the economic contributions of anglers.
While all anglers who fish in salt water are required to participate, those who have an individual state-issued salt water license are already on the rolls, and need to do nothing more to comply.
This includes licensed anglers in Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington.
Angers who will have to register: those resident to Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island(pending), Virginia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Also required to register are anglers who fish for or are likely to catch anadromous species in tidal and salt waters; this includes river herring, shad, smelt and striped bass, species that live in the ocean but spawn in fresh water. As well, anglers who fish in federal waters more than three miles offshore and are not covered by a state license must register..
National Saltwater Angler registration is free in 2010. To register visit http://www.countmyfish.noaa.gov and click on the Angler Registry link, or call the toll-free registration line at 1-888-MRIP411 (1-888-674-7411) from 4:00 am to 12 midnight EST daily