Beginning Jan. 1, anyone with a valid Georgia fishing license, including those with a Georgia Lifetime Sportsmanís License and a Senior Lifetime License, who wants to fish in saltwater will need a free, annual Saltwater Information Program permit.
The SIP permit is patterned after the successful free Hunter Information Program permit, which is required of Georgia hunting license holders who hunt migratory birds. The first SIP permits will be valid from Jan. 1, 2013 until Feb. 28, 2014. After that, the permits will be valid for a 12-month period starting March 1 and expiring on the last day of February the following year. The SIP permit will be available from the same sources as hunting and fishing licenses, and there will be no transaction fee for adding the SIP permit to an existing license.
Georgia saltwater anglers who have a valid fishing license with a SIP permit and who fish in the Atlantic Ocean beyond 3 miles offshore will be exempt from the federal requirement to have a Saltwater Angler Registry permit.
The 2013 SIP permit is available now from any current license vendor or download the permit on the Internet at CoastalGaDNR.org/SIP. To locate a license vendor or obtain a SIP permit, call 1-800-366-2661 or visit the web site.
Anglers who hold a lifetime or senior license can also print a paper version of the SIP permit from the web site.
Other Saltwater Information Program activities include volunteer fish tagging, a fish carcass donation project, and ongoing creel surveys of anglers and fishing guides.
For more information, contact the GADNR/Coastal Resources Division at 912-264-7218.