Are you ready to pay more to fish? | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Are you ready to pay more to fish?

Senate panel takes up fishing license fees

Posted: March 13, 2012 - 8:21am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Whether to raise fees for hunting and fishing licenses is on the agenda of a Minnesota Senate committee Tuesday.

The Department of Natural Resources is asking lawmakers to raise fees that haven't changed since 2001. DNR officials say the agency's Game and Fish Fund, is projected to go into the red in mid-2013. They say that would require deep cuts to fisheries, wildlife and enforcement programs.

Many sportsmen's and conversation groups say they're more than willing to pay higher license fees. They're holding a news conference at noon to support increases.

Gary Botzek, executive director of the Minnesota Conservation Foundation, told reporters Tuesday that anglers and hunters overwhelmingly support an increase to head off cuts in fisheries, habitat and enforcement programs.

The groups support proposals from the Department of Natural Resources that would raise the fees for a resident adult fishing license from $17 to $24 and a deer license from $26 to $30.

The main license fee bill the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee will consider this session is due to be released at 1 p.m., and the panel will take it up at a 3 p.m. hearing.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.