If you haven’t already heard, The Senate and House of Representatives has passed legislation allowing the Fish and Wildlife Departments in each state to regulate the cost of the hunting/trapping and fishing license.
Variations of the bill are different in each state, but the overall trend has been price increases. The Fish and Wildlife Departments have been asking for the authority to increase prices due to large financial burdens. Some of these factors include discounted licenses for both the elderly and those who served in the military along with inflation over the years, causing departments to be heavily underfunded and reliant on savings as well as limited state funds.
The lack of budget has led to limited staffing, causing inaccurate wildlife recordings and a lack of proper maintenance for our wildlife reservations that we enjoy fishing, hunting and trapping on. Until recently, it’s been approximately ten plus years since most of the States have increased their license fees.
What Does This Mean for You?
Fishing, hunting and trapping licenses will continue to increase. We’ve experienced the increases over the past few years and can expect the trend to continue. With that said, it’s not too late to get ahead of the fishing license fee increases. For example, in the State of California you have until December 31, 2016 to purchase your fishing license before the price increases. I personally recommend filling out and paying for a Lifetime License Application because they are not affected by price increases.
I know you’re thinking, “This sucks!” but rest assured these commissions will only have this power for a few years until they are forced to go under review. Our Legislators have ensured that there are checks and balances protecting us and preventing any unfair price hikes.
How Drastic Are The Fishing License Fee Changes?
If you’re an avid angler, paying a few extra dollars for your license is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount you spend on tackle, gas and other necessities. You definitely won’t feel too much pain as the price changes are quite small.
The extra income earned will be used for hiring staff members, repaying bonds that finance fishery rehabilitation as well as fund construction and development projects for sportfishing, according to state statute.
I think we can all agree that the valuable memories fishing either by yourself or with friends and families are priceless. Paying a few extra bucks a year to improve the conditions of our fishing and hunting grounds is well worth it, so don’t let the price increases bring you down.