SIP Permit – Saltwater Improvement Program

SIP Permit – Many Georgia coastal anglers are asking the question “what is a SIP permit?“, here are some residential SIP permit FAQ’s:

If You Fish in Georgia Saltwater, You Must Have a Resident SIP Permit!

DNR is relying on the participation of you and your fellow saltwater anglers for this information. The residential SIP Permit does not apply to private property.

What Will a SIP Permit Do?

The SIP permit is part of a comprehensive effort by the Georgia DNR to collect timely and accurate data from saltwater anglers for use in resource management. Other SIP activities include being a volunteer fish tagger, donating to the fish carcass project, and participating in ongoing creel surveys of anglers and fishing guides.

Because Georgia’s license covers both freshwater and saltwater, the Georgia resident SIP permit helps DNR identify individuals who saltwater fish in Georgia who can then be included in catch and release surveys. The SIP permit will make these surveys more accurate. The results will be as cost effective as possible and are very important to the overall coastal resource management process. Georgia’s saltwater anglers will comply with these requirements and participate in surveys when contacted or met at the dock by a DNR agent.

The SIP permit is patterned after the successful enforcement of the Hunter Information Program (HIP) or HIP permit, which is required of Georgia hunting license holders who hunt migratory birds. If you or someone you know have ever been written a citation for hunting without the “free” HIP stamp, then you understand what is next for the “free” SIP permit.

Here is a plus: Georgia saltwater anglers who have a valid fishing license with a SIP permit and who fish offshore in the Atlantic Ocean beyond the 3 mile federal demarcation line remain exempt from the federal requirement to have a Saltwater Angler Registry (SAR) or SAR permit.

Everyone that holds a Georgia fishing license, including lifetime and senior license holders, who plans to fish the saltwater needs to get an annual resident SIP permit. SIP permits are valid for 1 year beginning March 1st and expiring on the last day of February.

What Is This All About and Why Do I Need a SIP Permit?

The Saltwater Information Program (SIP) or SIP permit is part of a nationwide effort to collect information from anyone who recreationally fishes in the coastal saltwater. Doing this will help state and federal fishing surveyors improve their ability to contact anglers periodically and ask them questions about their fishing activities. Remember this questioning is all voluntary. However, good data collection is the heart of a good saltwater resource management program.

Having an accurate Georgia data base of all state recreational saltwater anglers will provide a clearer picture of who goes fishing and what they catch. This will result in better understanding of the impacts of recreational saltwater fishing on coastal fish populations, leading to better fishery management decisions to create new saltwater fishing opportunities. It will also allow DNR to document the importance of saltwater recreational fishing so that services like boat ramps and fishing piers are provided and maintained.

I Already Have a Georgia Saltwater Fishing License.

There is only one saltwater fishing license in the state of Georgia and that is a 1-day saltwater fishing license for all saltwater’s of the state of Georgia. The resident SIP permit is automatically included when you purchase the 1-day saltwater fishing license. All of the other short-term or annual Georgia fishing licenses include freshwater and saltwater thereby requiring you to obtain an additional SIP permit when fishing in coastal saltwater. Don’t forget that tens of thousands of Georgians have lifetime, senior, honorary or other long-term licenses that are not renewed each year. Without their contact information in the dBase, there is no way for DNR to do more than guess about how or where they go fishing and how many fish they catch; this is a problem for DNR. The SIP permit will help DNR ensure fish are there when you, your children or grandchildren get a SIP permit and go saltwater fishing. Also, this “FREE” permit exempts all Georgia anglers from having to register with the federal governments, National Saltwater Angler Registry, and pay a federal registration charge every year.

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Is This Going to Cost DNR Money That Won’t Be Available For Other Things Like Boat Ramps?

No DNR does not pay for boat ramps and the company that manages the Georgia hunting and fishing license system only charged DNR a one-time fee for updating their computer software and this was covered by a grant from NOAA Fisheries.

Will the SIP Permit be Available like Hunting and Fishing Licenses?

The SIP permit is available through any license vendor selling Georgia hunting and fishing licenses. If you provide an email address, DNR can send you an automatic email reminder when it’s time to renew your license and HIP permit or SIP permit. If you renew early, you will receive an “early renewal discount” and pay $2.75 less the new license and SIP permit.

What Does a SIP Permit Look Like?

When you get a SIP permit you will receive the updated print out that adds the SIP permit to all of your other licenses.. If you carry a lifetime, senior or other long-term license, you will need to carry that in addition to the documentation for your SIP permit.

I am a Senior Citizen with a Senior License. What Does Any of This Have to Do With Me?

Even with a senior license you will now need to obtain a SIP permit if you plan to fish in coastal saltwater. We need contact information in the database from all saltwater anglers age 16 and older. This will ensure that our survey results are accurate and there was no other way to do this.

I Bought a Georgia Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License Years Ago; Was That a Lie?

Yes, if you plan to fish coastal saltwater in Georgia we need contact information from all saltwater anglers age 16 and older to ensure that our survey results are accurate and again, there was no other way to do this.