The Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament is safe for now. The Virginia General Assembly passed in its budget an allocation that restored $200,000 of the $220,000 requested to keep the program afloat.
"We can make it work at that funding level," said John Bull of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the agency that oversees the VSWFT.
State Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) introduced an amendment late last year to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s budget to restore its funding. McDonnell had proposed eliminating funding for the program entirely in this year’s budget.
VSWFT is currently in its 55th year of awarding citation plaques for remarkable catches by recreational anglers of a variety of saltwater species.
Money for VSWFT has traditionally come from saltwater license fees. If the governor’s proposal had passed the General Assembly during budget negotiations, Bull said that money would instead have been used for the Virginia Marine Police to continu...
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