By December, the sale of fishing and hunting licenses at 400 sport shops will be handled through a computer system called COINS (Customer Oriented Information Network).
The Board of Public Works recently approved $2.7 million over the next five years to purchase the system, which is expected to eliminate paperwork now required for each and some 900,000 license and boat registrations issued each year.
COINS will produce wallet-sized, waterproof licenses, up-to-date changes in hunting and fishing opportunities and allow the Department of Natural Resources to more closely follow hunting and fishing trends statewide.
The computer system also will provide electronic transfer of funds collected for licenses and allow the Natural Resources Police to access licensing data by computer.
Boat production up
According to the North American Sailing Industry Study released recently by The Sailing Company, boat production in sailing and cruising vessels increased 11 percent last year.
Last year 15,939 boats were built, compared with 14,321 in 1995. The largest increase was in boats under 20 feet, where there was a gain of 16 percent.
According to the study, North American manufacturers can expect an increase of about 17 percent this year.
O.C. tuna tournament
The Ocean City Fishing Center will be host to the 10th Ocean City Tuna Tournament on July 10-13, again with a $100,000 prize for the angler who breaks the International Game Fish Association record for Atlantic bigeye tuna.
A record 375-pound catch was made in 1977 by Cecil Browne off Ocean City.
Prize money also is awarded to the first three places for largest tuna and most tuna as well as for dolphin catch, white marlin release and tuna catch and release.
For tournament information, call (800) 322-3065.
Choptank pier updates
The State Forest and Park Service now has permits available that will allow mobility impaired anglers the use of electrically powered carts on the Choptank River Fishing Pier. Permits are free, but applicants must have a valid Motor Vehicles Administration permit or other proof of their disability.
Applications are available by calling Tuckahoe State Park at (410) 820-1668.
Junior trapper day
DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Division and the Maryland Fur Trappers Association will hold a Junior Trapper Day on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LeCompte Wildlife Management Area on the lower shore.
The day is directed toward those 15 and younger and their parents.
Trapping will be explained in the context of its importance as a wildlife management tool. Other topics will include furbearer biology, trapping techniques, ethics, laws and regulations.
Outdoor activities will be included, so waders or hip boots are recommended.
Reservations are required. Call (410) 543-6595.
Pub Date: 2/23/97