People who want to catch mackerel from the Rockland Breakwater and other saltwater sites will have to register for the first time starting next year under a bill that has received the support of the Maine House and Senate.

The state Senate voted 21-13 on March 25 to approve a revised version of LD 1432. The House followed suit on March 26, supporting the measure 83-55.

Gov. John Baldacci signed the bill March 29.

Supporters said the vote was the right decision since the bill places control of the registry and any income with the state rather than the federal government.

State Sen. A. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, who sponsored the original bill, said Democrats dramatically revised his proposal and he opposed the wording of the revamped legislation.

“My bill would have created a no charge registry and required the federal government to pay for their mandate,” Trahan said. “That bill was approved for a federal exemption by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Members of the majority party, and supporters of a fee based license, killed their own license bill and used my bill to create the license.”

Trahan said Democrats have misrepresented his position to make it seem like his bill is the reason for the fee.

“Make no mistake, if we vote to pass 1432, even in the amended form, we will take away a freedom and right — a right to fish the ocean that has existed from the founding of the state of Maine, and for one purpose, money,” Trahan said in his testimony before the Senate.

But supporters, including state Sen. Christopher Rector, R-Thomaston, and Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, said the bill was reasonable. They said the federal government has been pushing for a registry for years in order to find out how many people are saltwater fishing and the impact on the stocks. Maine and New Jersey were the only states on the East Coast that had not agreed to a registry.

Rector said that for people fishing for mackerel, there will be a $1 processing fee if a person registers online with the Maine Department of Marine Resources or a $2 processing fee if the person registers at their municipal government office. Registration will be annual.

He said the federal and state governments need to cooperate on management of fish since the fish do not recognize state boundaries.

People fishing for striped bass will also pay an annual fee. Residents will pay $5. Nonresidents will pay $15. Maine residents 70 years old or older may pay a one-time $10 fee. There will be no charge for people younger than 16 years old, disabled residents and people who are passengers on a licensed commercial vessel carrying people who are recreational fishing. All saltwater fishermen may also fish without registering if they fish on Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend.

People violating the law will be fined $100.

“I have been working with this bill in the Marine Resources Committee since last year,” Kruger said. “The registry, in some form, was inevitable and the real data clearly is needed. I support working lobster fishermen and many others in my district in keeping the money for it in Maine.”

In the Senate, Rector voted for the revised LD 1432 bill. Sens. Trahan and Carol Weston, R-Montville, voted against the measure.

In the House, voting for the revised bill were Democratic Reps. Kruger, Edward Mazurek of Rockland, Joan Welsh of Rockport, Andrew O’Brien of Lincolnville, House Speaker Hannah Pingree of North Haven, Wendy Pieh of Bremen, Elizabeth Miller of Somerville, Veronica Magnan of Stockton Springs, and John Piotti of Unity.

Mazurek said the issue was before the Marine Resources Committee two years ago when he served on the panel. The Rockland legislator said he supported the bill with the revisions and exemptions.

Voting against the bill in the House were Republican Reps. Wes Richardson of Warren, Jonathan McKane of Newcastle, Jayne Crosby-Giles of Belfast, and Michael Thibodeau of Winterport.