Happy birth­day to boaters from Ge­or­gia DNR

The Covington News - - SPORTS - STAFF RE­PORTS sports@cov­news.com

The Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources is al­low­ing Ge­or­gia res­i­dents who have a boat reg­is­tered with the state to fish on their birth­day and for two days af­ter as part of their boat regis­tra­tion fee.

The three-day bonus for the state’s es­ti­mated 300,000 res­i­dent boat own­ers, also cov­ers use of some DNR shoot­ing ranges, and more.

“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,” di­vi­sion di­rec­tor Dan Forster said.

For Ge­or­gia, that re­cruit­ment can have a far-reach­ing im­pact. In 2011, an­glers, hunters and other out­door en­thu­si­asts spent nearly $4.6 bil­lion in the state, a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice sur­vey found. Peo­ple in­volved in the out­doors also are more likely to sup­port land con­ser­va­tion and do­nate their time to con­ser­va­tion ef­forts, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Recre­ational Boat­ing & Fish­ing and the Out­door foun­da­tions.

The birth­day bonus is a three-day res­i­dent com­bi­na­tion li­cense that not only 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 (start­ing on their birth­day), but also cov­ers many other recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties. Th­ese in­clude fish­ing at pub­lic fish­ing ar­eas, ac­cess­ing state lands where a Ge­or­gia Out­door Recre­ational Pass is oth­er­wise re­quired, hunt­ing small game and feral hogs on pri­vate land and us­ing shoot­ing ranges where a WMA stamp or GORP is needed.

The li­cense is good for the pri­mary boat owner’s birth­day dur­ing the three years the boat regis­tra­tion is valid.

Boat own­ers must carry a Ge­or­gia ID, such as a driver’s li­cense, and their plas­tic ves­sel regis­tra­tion card to show proof of a valid ves­sel regis­tra­tion.

Ac­tiv­i­ties like trout fish­ing, big-game hunt­ing and hunt­ing on WMAs 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.

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