Input needed on fishing, hunting license fee increases

Proposal will be the focus of a public hearing

Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, is calling for hunters and anglers to weigh in on the proposed fishing and hunting license fee increases proposed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The increases will be one of the subjects of a public hearing in the Senate, where Pearson chairs the Natural Resources and Parks Committee.

“I know that most of our hunters and fishermen cannot make the trip to Olympia to testify, so I would like to know your opinions on the merits of this proposal,” said Pearson. “While the department plans to spend the increased money on ideas that could be beneficial to fish and game populations, we need to count the cost before we start writing the checks.”

Overall, recreational and commercial fishing license fees are proposed to increase by an average of 30 percent. Recreational licenses for saltwater salmon, freshwater trout, and shellfish licenses would increase from $55 to $75. Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhead licenses would increase from $38 to more than $64. Saltwater salmon and sturgeon licenses would increase from $30 to $55.

Hunters also will pay for the new spending with fees that will increase by 10 percent, on average. A migratory bird permit will go from $15 to $25. A deer, elk, bear and cougar big game hunting license will increase from $85 to $93.

Fee increases listed are for resident prices. Non-resident fees are higher.

Directed comments to Kirk.Pearson@leg.wa.gov or Sen. Kirk Pearson at P.O. Box 40439, Olympia, WA 98504.