Changes in North Carolina fishing laws take effect on Monday as we earlier reported on however as part of the new law the poor will now be able to get free fishing licenses.
People who receive Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Work First will qualify for the license provided their right to fish has not been revoked.
State Sen. Charles Albertson, D-Duplin, a sponsor of the bill, said Thursday that lawmakers did the right thing by enacting legislation that allow those eligible for the three social assistance programs to fish free. “We don’t need to be charging license fees to people on food stamps who are fishing for their dinner” he said. “North Carolina is better than that.”
Unlike traditional license that can be gotten from one of the many wildlife cooperative agents across the state individuals will need to go to their County DSS office to complete the application. How DSS is going to issue a license is certainly unclear and I suspect will be problematic at first.
Both the Lenoir County social services director and Greene County’s director, Debbie Jones, said it is uncertain how many individuals on assistance will apply for the waiver. The greatest impact will probably be on coastal counties and those counties with large lakes, they said.
“I hope we are not swamped,” Jones, of Greene County, said. “This is a mandated state law that we have to administer without any additional funding or staff.”
This sounds like a great idea but I predict it will not be a smooth transition as they implement it.