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Commissioner’s Message

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 13GAFW-HTML-Commissioner.jpgThank you anglers! You’ve made an amazing contribution to Georgia’s fish, wildlife and habitats. By purchasing a license as well as fishing equipment and related items, you and your fellow anglers have helped fund sport fish restoration programs for years, thanks to the Sport Fish Restoration Act.

The Sport Fish Restoration Act allows funds accumulated from a federal excise tax on fishing equipment and related items to be directed to activities that benefit recreational anglers. A portion of these funds is provided to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources based on several factors, including the number of paid sporting licenses.

In Georgia, Sport Fish funds add up to approximately $6 million a year and helps make the following activities possible:

  • Managing sport fish populations in more than half a million acres of impoundments, 16,000 miles of streams, 100 miles of coastline and 300 square miles of Atlantic Ocean.
  • Raising freshwater fish in hatcheries and stocking them in public waters.
  • Maintaining and operating public fishing areas.
  • Building boat ramps and fishing piers.
  • Enhancing fish habitat in impoundments, streams, estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Creating the next generation of ethical anglers.

The Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act joins with the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and together, these programs have contributed more than $12 billion to fish and wildlife conservation in the U.S. – more than any other single conservation effort. Additionally, they have played a key part in the implementation of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation through which wildlife species and habitats are sustained through science-based, proactive management for the benefit of all.

Generations of Georgia’s citizens have benefited from this partnership and with your support, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program will continue to conserve habitat for fish and wildlife, and recreational opportunities for anglers, boaters, hunters and shooters far into the future.

Regarding wildlife and sport fish conservation, it is often asked, “how can I help?” There is a simple answer. Buy a fishing license. By purchasing a license, you are contributing to this important work, and we thank you for being our partner in conservation.

As a lifetime license holder, I know that I am not only saving money, but am also contributing to restoration programs for years to come. On every hunting and fishing trip I take — whether it’s whitetail hunting near my home in south Georgia or fishing on the Altamaha River, I am reminded of how sportsmen and women have helped to conserve Georgia’s natural resources.

Thank you for your continued support, and good luck on your next fishing trip!

Mark Williams, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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