There has been a program for a couple of years now to give first responders free surf fishing tags. Now I have no problem with giving perks to anyone who works in this field, as all of my first responder friends know. However the ladies auxiliary is not a group I would consider risking their lives when on the job. No offense ladies, but seriously? My brother is a Delaware State Trooper, they don’t get free tags, and neither do other professions that risk their lives just as much. This is the problem I tried to point out two years ago, that as soon as these free tags were given away, every other group out there would band wagon to get their free tags. So where do we draw the line? This year an estimated 1,100 free tags will be given away and that does not include this new proposal. That tops out to around $71,500 in lost revenue to the state parks, a state entity that is already having money issues. I just find this to a be a very illogical proposal, but hey what do I know, I just listen to people complain on a daily basis about over crowded beaches, people who don’t fish, lack of enforcement, why don’t we have a pier fixed yet, why don’t we have this and why don’t we have that, etc. etc. etc. My answer to all those questions now will be … because we keep giving it away for free so others can pay for it. Below is the proposed amended House bill 41, write your state representatives if you want to see this changed or killed before it hits the floor. For those that take offense to this because you are a first responder this is not directed towards you personally. In my opinion it is illogical to give away access to a limited resource that we are already having overcrowding issues with. Giving away free park access is fine, since this a state wide perk. Surf fishing access only occurs in four state parks, I can’t surf fish at White Clay creek, well I could, but that would look crazy. The point is why give away access to a limited natural resource that is already having serious crowding issues? Also what will happen when these numbered tags are available, will they be expected to be given away as well?
Fish On top of one another!
This bill adds active members of the ladies auxiliary or volunteer fire department ladies auxiliary as eligible for free surf fishing licenses. The bill also gives the department presidents discretion in determining what qualifies as an “active” member.
Rep. Carson & Sen. Ennis
Reps. Mitchell, Spiegelman, Wilson; Sen. McBride
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
148th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
HOUSE BILL NO. 41
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FREE SURF FISHING VEHICLE PERMITS FOR CERTAIN VOLUNTEERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
- 4701. Powers and duties.
(a) The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control may:
(5)(F) Permit Aa resident who is an active Delaware volunteer firefighter, an active Delaware volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT), or a life-member of a Delaware volunteer fire department is entitled to receive annually, without charge, a surf fishing vehicle permit. A firefighter, EMT, or life-member of a Delaware volunteer fire department who volunteers in Delaware but lives out of state is entitled to receive annually, at the Delaware resident rate, a surf fishing vehicle permit.
(i) “Active Delaware volunteer firefighter” means a person who is a member of a Delaware volunteer fire department or Delaware volunteer fire department ladies auxiliary and who responds to at least 20% of the department’s annual alarms and/or crew calls and meets the fire department’s active requirements, as verified by the President of the fire company, as a nonpaid firefighter.
(ii) “Active volunteer emergency medical technician” or “EMT” means a person who is a member of a Delaware volunteer fire department or a Delaware volunteer ambulance company and who responds to at least 20% of the department’s or company’s annual emergency medical service calls meets the active requirements, as verified by the President or ambulance captain as a nonpaid, EMT, EMT-C, or EMT-P, as described in § 9701(11), (12), and (13) respectively of Title 16.
(iii) “Life-member of a Delaware volunteer fire department” means a person who is a member of a Delaware volunteer fire department or Delaware volunteer fire department ladies auxiliary and who has been awarded life membership status by that department.
(iv) To qualify without charge for a surf fishing vehicle permit pursuant to this paragraph, the active firefighter, EMT, or life-member of a Delaware volunteer fire department must submit annually to the Department an original letter on official fire department or ambulance company letterhead, signed by the fire department’s or ambulance company’s president Fire Department’s President or Ambulance Company’s Captain and authenticated by the president of the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association. The letter must explain how the person qualifies for a surf fishing vehicle permit under this paragraph.
(v) One surf fishing vehicle permit may be issued annually to a vehicle registered to the qualifying active Delaware Volunteer Firefighter, active emergency medical technician (EMT), or life member in accordance with procedures established by the Department.