N.H. eyeing saltwater fees

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DOVER, N.H. (AP) – New Hampshire could become the first New England state to charge anglers for saltwater licenses.

Proposed annual fees of $15 to $30 might be approved by state lawmakers this year, drawing protest from some amateur anglers. Charter boat operators also are complaining about the up-to-$500 fees they face.

“We certainly have a lot of pieces in the pipeline, but whether all of it, some of it or any of it comes out, we won’t know until June,” Glenn Normandeau, chairman of the Fish and Game Commission, said during a meeting this week with charter boat captains.

The proposed fees is part of New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s plan to generate $5 million to avoid a long-term budget crisis. The agency estimated the saltwater fee could bring $1 million a year.

If the agency can’t fix its budget, it will cut 28 full-time and 36 part-time jobs in July.

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