Island Gazette

No license needed for aquarium surf fishing class

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher has received a blanket saltwater-fishing-license exemption for the popular surf fishing workshops offered from April through November. Workshop participants may cast their lines during the class without a North Carolina Coastal Recreation Fishing License. New legislation effective January 1, 2007, requires most people who harvest saltwater finfish for personal consumption in North Carolina to buy a permit. The aquarium’s exemption applies to its catch-and-release surf fishing workshops, and to its use of seine, cast or dip nets during education programs. 
The surf fishing classes provide a way for beginners to learn the art and practice of saltwater fishing, and serve as a refresher for experienced anglers.  Each session begins with one hour of classroom instruction at the aquarium, then continues with two hours of hands-on surf fishing on a nearby beach.
Spring workshops will be held on Saturdays, April 14, April 28, May 5 and May 19.  Additional workshops – including some on weekdays  –  will be added through the summer months. Each class begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon.  Advance registration is required, and the cost is $12 for each participant.  Information and registration are available at 910-458-7468, Monday through Friday. The workshop fee does not include admission to the aquarium.  The program is for ages 10 and up only.   All fishing equipment and bait are provided by the aquarium.  Because this is a catch-and-release program, no coolers are needed.  The program is “rain-or-shine,” with cast-net throwing or other activities substituted in the event of bad weather. 



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