Thanks for the update, as painful as it might be. Better to be prepared ahead of time and try to have some influence on the direction this all takes.
Sadly, when tax revenues are at stake our government seems to know no boundaries. What scares me most is the knee jerk reaction of many states to want to follow the most aggressive policies of the state "hell bent" on destroying its citizens and eventually the rest of the country, CALIFORNIA! Whatever we can do to distance ourselves from that approach has to be a plus for us.
Without getting into the small details about what direction will cause us the least amount of pain, I do agree this "nickel and dime" approach of stamps for any given species, or worse yet, a stamp requirement for all species is really horrible. So, I am ready to fight this attempt in any way I can. The way I look at it, this is this is just another attempt by the government to impose a rules system as convoluted as the general tax code so they can impose any fee they want on us.
There is no doubt in my mind that if they waive the blanket license for Charter and Head Boats it will have a negative impact on their business and the industry as a whole. The more steps the causal angler has to take and the more money they have to shell out, the more likely it becomes that the customers will look for a different form of recreation. That alone will lead to a downward spiral. And, as many have noted, the negative economic impact across a wide range of related industries will be felt.
Related to that possibility would be the next burden of asking the "For Hire" Captains' to become the "Toll Collectors" for the state by selling licenses on board. The last thing we need is more government paperwork, which once again will weed out some of the smaller operations making the expense of fishing go up for everyone involved.
While I do have a pretty full agenda during my retirement years, I have built a good deal of my financial and recreational plans for the balance of my life around the fishing industry. So, you have my pledge to write whatever letters necessary, attend any meetings, and voice my opinions as strongly as possible to mitigate this looming potential disaster!
Capt. Mike Bady