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SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. -- the Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced a new plan Wednesday to grant boat owners free fishing as a birthday gift.

Starting in July, Georgia residents who have a boat registered with the state can fish on their birthday and for two days after as part of their boat registration fee.

The DNRsays 2.75 million Georgians who fish, hunt, shoot or take part in other wildlife-related recreation. They also say boating is a bridge to fishing, so they're hoping the free days turn into a year-round activity.

"Providing outdoor enthusiasts like boaters a convenient opportunity to participate in a closely aligned recreational sport like fishing is one of the best and most effective ways to recruit anglers," Director Dan Forster said.

They also argue it's an economic move. In 2011, anglers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts spent nearly $4.6 billion in the state, a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey found

The license is good for the primary boat owner's birthday during the three years the boat registration is valid. Boat owners must carry a Georgia ID, such as a driver's license, and their plastic vessel registration card to show proof of a valid vessel registration.

What are your favorite fishing spots in Georgia?

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