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Anglers in Washington and most other states will remain exempt from a new federal registry established by NOAA Fisheries, which will assess non-exempt anglers $15 to register in 2011. As before, state anglers only need to purchase a license from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to fish in marine areas managed by the state.

WDFW has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with NOAA exempting state anglers from the National Saltwater Angler Registry. NOAA exempted the state from the federal program based on the strength of WDFW’s recreational license system, catch monitoring programs on the coast and in Puget Sound, and regional coordination with Oregon and California. 

NOAA began requiring saltwater anglers in non-exempt states and territories to sign up with the national registry beginning in 2010.  Registration during the first year of the program was free of charge.

Congress instructed NOAA to develop the National Saltwater Angler Registry with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Authorization Act of 2006.  This legislation was signed into law on January 12, 2007.

More information on the national registry and new fee can be found at http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20101130_registryfee.html