By ANTHONY GAYNOR
Before a line can be cast to go for the big catch, fisherman need to make sure they have the right kind of license to avoid fines from the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Licenses can be obtained multiple ways to ensure that when the big catch is landed, there is no legal trouble.
“There are three ways of purchasing a license,” WVDNR License Unit Supervisor Doris Pringle said. “Licenses can be purchased 24/7 through our web site.”
The WVDNR offers licenses online at www.wvfish.com. The Web site offers all types of licenses and Pringle said if they are purchased electronically there is no charge if a replacement license is needed. If the Web site is used for purchasing a license, there will be a $2 issuing fee.
Pringle said a license can also be purchased directly from the Hunting and Fishing License Unit by calling (304) 558-2758. Licensing by phone also requires a $2 issuing fee.
Licenses can also be purchased at 350 different retailers throughout the state. Everyone who purchases a license must purchase a $5 Conservation Stamp along with the $18 for the Resident Fishing Licenses.
If an angler chooses to go trout fishing, an additional $10 Resident Trout Stamp is required. The total for a fishing license without the trout stamp is $25 and $35 with the stamp.
According to Pringle, people ages 15 and younger and ages 65 and older do not have to purchase a license. For individuals between ages 15 and 17 a Junior Sportsman license can be purchased. The Junior Sportsman license includes hunting, fishing and trapping lucretius for the year. The additional $10 stamp for trout fishing must still be purchased.
“We recommend that people pick up a copy of the regulations when they purchase their license,” Pringle said.
One of the regulations that one should be aware of is catch and release streams. According to the WVDNR Fishing Regulations, all black bass caught must be returned to the water at once. No black bass can be in an angler’s possession while fishing in designated catch-and-release. There are several catch and release lakes and streams throughout the state. The fishing regulations can be viewed online at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Fishing.shtm/. Follow the “Fishing Regulations” link.