Lawmakers OK hike in hunting, fishing license fees

The long, hard road to raising the price of hunting and fishing licenses in Minnesota now rests in the hands of Gov. Mark Dayton.

The House passed the legislation Saturday night by a margin of 68-62, and the Senate approved it a few hours later, according to The Associated Press.

The Omnibus Game and Fish Bill, HF2171, also includes a provision to establish a wolf season that would open the same day as the firearms deer season. Minnesota’s walleye season will open May 12 and not May 5 as some lawmakers had proposed.

The Department of Natural Resources and Dayton had proposed the increase in hunting and fishing license fees to replenish the Game and Fish Fund, which is projected to go into the red in June 2013 without additional money. Funded primarily by hunting and fishing license fees, the Game and Fish Fund pays for a variety of fisheries, wildlife and enforcement programs.

License fees haven’t increased since 2001.

According to the Star Tribune, Dayton is expected to sign the bill. Here’s a look at how fees for some of the more popular licenses will change under the proposal:

Resident small game: Will rise from $12.50 to $15.50.

Resident firearms deer: Now $26, will rise to $30.

Resident bear: Increase to $44 from $38.

Nonresident small game: Increase to $90.50 from $73.

Nonresident firearms deer: Increase to $160 from $135.

Resident fishing: Now $17, will increase to $22.

Nonresident fishing: Will increase to $40 from $37.50.

The bill also includes several other types of hunting and fishing license options and recommended prices for each. For a closer look at the bill, click here:

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