A series of public hearings in late September offer a chance to give your input on proposed changes in hunting and fishing license fees for 2016 by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
The increases are necessary to fill a $1.2 million hole in Fish and Game’s proposed budget for this biennium, explained Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau.
“The Legislature is counting on this new revenue to keep the Department from having to reduce services for sportsmen and women,” he said. “The question we’re seeking input on is not whether to raise prices, but which prices should increase and by how much.”
Public hearings on the proposed fee increases will be held at 6:30 p.m. on:
– Sept. 24 – Fish and Game Region 1 Office, 629B Main Street, Lancaster
– Sept. 28 – Keene High School, 43 Arch Street, Keene
– Sept. 29 – Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth
– Sept. 30 – N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord
Normandeau pointed out that while costs have gone up over the past twelve years, license prices have not. Basic hunting and freshwater fishing license fees have not increased since 2003.
“While no one likes to see prices go up, these licenses are still the best deal around: You get a full year of outdoor recreation, fish or game for dinner if you’re successful, and the knowledge that you’re supporting the work that conserves the resource and makes these opportunities available for yourselves and future generations,” said Normandeau. “We’ll continue working with the Legislature on long-term funding solutions for the Department. In the meantime, these moderate increases are necessary to avoid making significant cutbacks in Department services.”
The basic proposal would increase regular hunting and fishing license fees by $10. Resident freshwater fishing licenses would rise from $33 to $43; hunting licenses $21 to $31; and combination hunting/fishing licenses $44 to $54. Annual license fees for nonresidents would also increase by $10. One, three and seven-day fishing permit fees would not change.
Residents who reach their 68th birthday after January 1, 2016, would pay an annual fee of $10 for a fishing license or combination hunting and fishing license. These licenses are currently free.
Residents who turn 68 before January 1, 2016, will be eligible for a free license. Permits for turkey, bear and pheasant would continue to be purchased by all those over age 68.
Resident hunting and fishing guide permits would increase from $59.50 to $100. Permits for non-resident guides would go from $200.50 to $350.
Various miscellaneous permits would also increase, from special permits for taking additional deer to recreational lobster permits. See a complete list of the proposed Fish and Game fee increases at www.wildnh.com/funding/fg-value.html.
Written comments will be accepted through October 9, 2015. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org (use “Fee Increase” in subject line); or write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to 603-271-5829.
The complete rulemaking notice, with original and proposed rule language for these proposals, can be viewed atwww.wildnh.com/legislative/proposed-rules.html (select License and Permit Fees “Notice”).
For more information on Fish and Game’s funding situation, visit wildnh.com/funding