My column in Thursday's Tribune about proposed fishing license fee increases and how angling groups are watching it closely has generated exactly the response I expected: some for it and some against it. No one likes the idea of having to pay more to do what we love, but Utah anglers have to own up that it costs money to manage their sport and the DWR is not getting the help it should be from the Legislature. The current $26 fee for a fishing license is stunningly low, at least to me, for what it provides for 365 days. Raising the standard fishing license to $34 is a good start and long overdue, but I'd support an even higher increase, which I'm sure will earn me some ornery comments and emails. I asked that question to DWR officials and they said they fear even their proposed increase may turn some anglers away from the sport. How unfortunate.
Here's a quick look at some of the other proposals, most of them were created by angling groups and are finally being promoted by the state. All these are resident licenses. Nonresident licenses will follow similar changes.
— Eliminating the $15 two-pole permit and allowing any licensed angler to use two poles.
— Reducing the cost of a Youth (14-17) 365 day license from $26 to $16.
— Creating a multi-year fishing license of up to 5 years for $33 a year.
— Eliminating the 1-day license and replacing it with a 3-day license for $24
— Reducing the veteran disability license from $21 to $12.
All proposal will be presented at a series of Regional Advisory Council meetings across the state. Click here for a PDF of the proposals.
Meetings will be held on the following schedule.
Beaver High School
195 E. Center St.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
DWR Northeastern Region Office
318 N. Vernal Ave.
Springville Public Library Meeting Room
45 S. Main St.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
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