Anyone who bought an Alaska fishing license online in the last year received an email from AK Fish & Game this week. The reason? The price of a fishing license is going up. Whether you live there or not, you’re going to have to shell out a few more bucks to the state.
The legislature approved the measure in June, in preparation for the looming budget shortfall. With low oil prices, Alaska has lost its main source of revenue. In the words of Governor Bill Walker, the state has lost 80 percent of its income in the last year and a half. As a result, Department of Fish and Game funding has been cut by 30 percent. This license fee hike is an attempt to mitigate the losses.
The state predicts the fee hike to fishing licenses alone will net nearly $3.5 million of additional revenue. That might pay for a weir or two for the coming year.
BUT, there’s a way around these prices bumps. If you order your 2017 fishing license online before January 1, you’ll get the 2016 price. The only unchanged fees are non-resident annual fishing as well as non-res annual king stamps. To keep prices low, you might just have to stay in Alaska longer than 14 days.
The new fees mark the first time in 24 years that hunting license and tag fees have increased, while sportfishing licenses last increased about 10 years ago.
[Drake intern Elliott Adler dug into the looming budget crisis and how that could affect salmon in the near future. Listen to the whole story via the link above.]
Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.