Fees for most state fishing, hunting licenses to rise soon
August 11, 2011
NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 11, 2011
Starting Sept. 1, anglers and hunters must pay more for state fishing and hunting licenses.
The cost of annual resident freshwater fishing permits, for example, is due to rise from $24 to $27.50. For permits to hunt deer, elk, bears and cougar in the Evergreen State, the cost bumps from $79.20 to $93.50. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a complete list of the updated fees.
The hike is the first general recreational license fee increase in more than a decade. Not all license fees increase under the plan, and some decline, including licenses for youths, seniors and disabled people.
State lawmakers approved the fees to meet rising costs and to close a budget shortfall in revenue used to manage hunting, fishing, and fish and wildlife populations.
The fees should generate about $8 million per year for activities related to hunting and recreational fishing. Fee revenue is used to manage fisheries and hunting seasons, produce trout and steelhead for recreational fisheries, enforce regulations, monitor fish and game populations, and help maintain wildlife lands.
“The new fees are critically important in maintaining fishing and hunting opportunity and make it possible for the department to fulfill its dual mission of conserving species while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation across the state,” Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson said in a statement. “The fees reflect the cost of managing specific fisheries and hunts, and are competitive with fees charged in neighboring states. At the same time, we made an effort to encourage broad participation through youth and senior discounts.”
Revenues from the license fee increase replace a temporary 10 percent license sale surcharge.
“Fishing and hunting contribute more than $1.4 billion a year to the state’s economy, benefitting local communities, small business owners and the people they employ,” Anderson said. “Maintaining fishing and hunting opportunity is vital to Washington’s economy and quality of life.”