Nation/World

New Law Has A Catch: You’ll Hear Twice As Many Fish Stories Batt Signs Bill Letting Anglers Drop Two Lines In The Water

Waited a long time to catch that last fish? What if you could use two poles at once - legally?

Gov. Phil Batt likes the idea. A lot.

“Best bill I’ve seen all session,” he said Tuesday as he enthusiastically signed two-fishing-pole legislation into law.

The law, which will take effect July 1, allows the state Fish and Game Commission to designate certain waters and certain fishing techniques in which anglers can fish with two poles at once. They will need a special $7 permit to make that second pole legal.

“I want to be among the first to pay my $7,” Batt said. “I’m a very impatient person, I think. If I can use two poles, that would be great.”

Many Idahoans have been using two poles for years - and have been getting cited.

“It’s one of the most common violations,” said Pat Cudmore, a Fish and Game bureau chief.

Cudmore estimated that hundreds of people per year are cited for the offense.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Golden Linford, R-Rexburg, covers the entire state.

It leaves the where, when and why to Fish and Game.

Now, the commission wants to hear from folks around the state who have suggestions on where two poles should be allowed and where they shouldn’t.

North Idaho fishing enthusiasts can call Ned Horner, regional fisheries manager in Coeur d’Alene, at 769-1414.

The Fish and Game Commission hopes to hear from sportsmen and its staff experts in time to designate the two-pole zones and have permits ready to sell by July 1.

“It’s on their agenda for their April meeting,” Cudmore said. “All waters would be considered.”

, DataTimes



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