Cravaack's Mille Lacs fish story has a happy ending

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  • December 13, 2012 - 2:36 PM
First-term Minnesota Republican Chip Cravaack, who was defeated for reelection, will get some consolation before leaving the U.S. House next month.
A modified version of his Mille Lacs Lake Freedom to Fish Act, which passed the House in August, made it through the Senate Wednesday evening under the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012. 
The bill, introduced in May, would restore Minnesota’s authority to permit and inspect commercial fishing guide vessels on Lake Mille Lacs, taking the U.S. Coast Guard out of the picture.
In March of 2010, the Coast Guard began requiring fishing guides on Lake Mille Lacs to acquire a federal “six-pack” boating license to continue to do their jobs.  Cravaack said the federal certification is difficult to obtain and can cost individual fishing guides up to $2,000 in fees, training, and travel costs.
Cravaack, now working out of a basement cubicle, called the Coast Guard requirements a burdensome administrative overreach by the federal government. His bill was carried in the Senate by Minnesota Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.
It is now headed for President Obama’s desk for signature.

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