|Conservation fishing license proposed|
State Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and State Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, today introduced in the Minnesota Legislature a bill creating a new, reduced-fee, fishing license named the Conservation Fishing License. The license would cost two-thirds the price of a standard fishing license. Anglers who purchase a conservation license would be allowed to take one-half the daily and possession limits of a regular-price license.
“This lower-priced license will not only provide more people with the opportunity to get out fishing, but it will also help conserve our fish populations,” Bakk said. “It’s a win-win for both the environment and anglers. Catch-and-release is great, but a lot of people want to take a few home to eat too; this would accommodate both. Why should anglers who voluntarily want to conserve fish populations be forced to pay for a full-priced license? The current situation provides no incentive to conserve. There’s also been discussion by the DNR about increasing the cost of fishing licenses. If that happens, sportsmen will feel a familiar frustration, pay more, get less,” said Bakk.
Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, is the author of the companion bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives. “A similar license is available and popular in Canada. The Canadian license is the genesis of our idea to lower costs and conserve fish stocks,” Dill said.
Recently, the Minnesota DNR discussed the idea of decreasing walleye limits throughout the state, which would be a drastic change and has the potential to hurt tourism businesses in the state. “A reduced-limit, reduced-fee fishing license would give the Minnesota DNR another option in conserving fish populations and could help avoid statewide limit reductions,” said Bakk. “With fishing license sales going down every year, a conservation license could have the potential to change the culture of fishing for the better.”