Hunting, fishing license fees to rise

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 4, 2014

It will probably cost outdoors enthusiasts a little more when getting hunting and fishing licenses in September.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Conservation Advisory Board unanimously approved an increase in the licenses during a Monday meeting.

The three most common licenses sold will go up no more than 20 cents the coming license year, which begins Sept. 1.

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Resident freshwater fishing licenses will go from $11.70 to $11.80 under the new fee schedule.

Resident statewide hunting licenses will go from $24.50 to $24.70.

Resident saltwater fishing licenses will go from $21.35 to $21.55.

The CAB makes recommendations on policy and regulations for the department.

The Monday meeting was called to address the Consumer Price Index. Each year the department can raise license fees to meet the CPI.

Even with the increases, residents in Alabama have got it better than most in the country when it comes to license fees, said Dan Moultrie, chairman of the CAB.

“We have some of the longest hunting seasons in the nation,” he said. “And when you look at hunting and fishing license costs, we are far below what other states in the region are charging. You get a tremendous value for your dollar when you hunt and fish in Alabama.”

The department has five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

The Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Marine Resources divisions don’t get any funding from the state’s General Fund. They operate off license sales and allotments the divisions receive from federal excise taxes paid on everything from firearms to boat sales.

The CAB’s actions are subject to Legislative oversight. If the Legislature doesn’t act within 35 days, the recommended price increases will go through.