FISH AND GAME
Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping
214:1-g Fisheries Habitat Fee; Account Established.
I. A one dollar fisheries habitat fee shall be required to be paid by all persons 16 years of age or older, in addition to each applicable fishing or combination license required by Title XVIII, in order to take fish in the fresh waters of this state. This paragraph shall not apply to any person who takes fish under a complimentary license, excluding any administrative fee, issued pursuant to RSA 214:3, RSA 214:7-a, RSA 214:13, RSA 214:13-b, or RSA 214:13-c, or a lifetime license issued pursuant to RSA 214:9-c that was purchased in a prior calendar year.
II. The state treasurer shall establish a separate nonlapsing account within the fish and game fund, to be known as the fisheries habitat account, to which shall be credited all fees collected under RSA 214:1-g, I. The state treasurer may accept public and private grants and donations for deposit into the account.
III. The state treasurer shall invest the moneys in the fisheries habitat account as provided by law. Interest received on investments shall be credited to the account.
IV. The fisheries habitat account is continually appropriated and may only be used for the following purposes within the state of New Hampshire:
(a) The development, management, preservation, conservation, restoration, and maintenance of fisheries habitats in the water of the state, with at least 50 percent of the annual revenue dedicated to pay costs of labor and materials for direct aquatic management activities;
(b) Obtaining access to fisheries habitat areas;
(c) The acquisition of easements upon private property for the purposes of subparagraphs (a) and (b);
(d) The acquisition of private land to protect critical fisheries habitat, provided that the governing body of any municipality, unincorporated town, or unorganized place in which the property is located approves;
(e) Providing information to the public on the location of fisheries managed by the fish and game department.
V. When revenue is used to either obtain an easement under subparagraph IV(c) or purchase land under subparagraph IV(d), no condition shall be accepted which restricts fishing from or hunting and trapping on the associated land. This requirement shall not apply to lands used for access purposes or if the executive director finds that it is in the interest of the fishing, hunting, and trapping community to allow such a restriction. The executive director shall allow fishing from and hunting and trapping on such lands, as is permissible, but may prohibit for any length of time the fishing, hunting or trapping on the whole or part of such lands when it is necessary for the protection or propagation of a fish species or for public safety reasons.
VI. The executive director, with the approval of the commission, shall expend the funds in the fisheries habitat account. Prior to the expenditure of any funds, the fish and game department shall analyze the proposed project and provide the executive director and the commission with recommendations as to the project's usefulness and feasibility. No funds in the fisheries habitat account shall be expended for the purchase of equipment or materials, with the exception of expenditures for necessary equipment purchases, leases, or rentals for the completion of projects authorized under subparagraph IV(a).
VII. The executive director shall submit to the fiscal committee and the chairpersons of the house and senate committees with jurisdiction over fish and game matters a detailed fiscal year report by October 1 of each year, beginning with fiscal year 2000, with sufficient information to be fully understood by the general court and the public, summarizing the receipts and disbursements from the fisheries habitat account and the public benefits derived from the disbursements from it. Every fifth year, beginning in 2005, the annual report shall provide an in-depth financial accounting and summary of work accomplished in the previous 5 years, outlining all projects that are completed, in process, and planned. All annual reports shall be made available to the public after submission to the general court.
Source. 1999, 209:1. 2000, 256:4, eff. Aug. 11, 2000. 2017, 160:6, eff. July 1, 2017.