March 9, 2014
A Hampton Roads state senator says he's intent on restoring funds to keep the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament alive.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's two-year budget proposal would do away with the state-run program, which primarily is funded by state fishing licenses.
The program awards certificates or plaques to fishermen who catch saltwater species that meet a certain length or weight.
The program starts its 55th year Sunday. The two-employee program runs on an annual budget of approximately $200,000.
The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/umNE61) reported Thursday that Sen. Ralph S. Northam says he'll introduce an amendment to the governor's budget to restore enough funds to keep the awards program active.
Northam says the tournament is a big part of why recreational fishing contributes so much to Virginia's economy.