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>Licensing hammer to fall more gently

02/05/2010

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Guides will see leniency on the ‘6-Pack’ rule, a year after
the Coast Guard law left some operators docked.

Most Minnesota fishing guides probably will get a break from the U.S. Coast Guard this summer, and will not have to be licensed — even though some guides were dry-docked by the same federal agency last year.

An announcement is expected this month that inland Minnesota fishing guides and others who carry only a few passengers for hire on most federally “navigable” waters in the state will be given a licensing requirement postponement, Coast Guard Commander Mark Cunningham said Tuesday from St. Louis.

“I think you’ll see a deadline to apply for a license, and a period of time to get a license,” Cunningham said. “But I think you’ll also see a generous grace period.”

Fishing guides throughout the state have worried since last summer when the St. Paul Coast Guard office began enforcing complex licensing requirements on Mississippi and St. Croix river guides, forcing some off the water in July.

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