NEVER in my 28 years of existence on this planet have I been asked to show my fishing license. Which raises the question why do you need one? The chances of being stopped by a ranger are slim, but as we found out recently, it can happen, and the fines associated with not having one are hefty.
Using this guide, we ventured into the Connecticut backcountry last weekend to find some new spots along the Farmington River. For no good reason at all, I decided to buy a fishing license on the CT DEEP website before heading out ($55 for non-residents).
Irritated by paying the government any more $ after just having filed my tax returns, the thought of writing another check only angered me more. Understandably, for commercial fishing operations, licenses are absolutely necessary; however, it seems a bit silly to require them for personal use. One purpose is to create a fishing registry so that local governments know how many are fishing and what they are fishing for; however, this shouldn’t require the payment of any fees. They claim the funds from recreational licenses are reinvested to support local fisheries, but I’m not 100% convinced about that. The state should do a better job promoting how the funds are used. But I purchased the license anyway. And a good thing too because about 30 minutes into our trip, the ranger appeared out of nowhere and asked to see our licenses. The fine for not having one is $87 plus $120+ for each fish you have. On our way out, we saw a couple of broskis pulled over on the side of the road, who were not quite as lucky.