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New price set for resident sport fishing licenses

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:31 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The calendar has flipped over and that means it is time to get a new fishing license. Now that it is a new year, there are some new changes to fishing licenses this year according to Ryan Ragan, a program coordinator with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Ragan said, “Right now an Alaskan resident can pick up an annual sports fishing license for 20 dollars whereas last year in 2020 it was 29 dollars.”

The reason for the price decrease is that in 2005, a surcharge was authorized by the state legislature to provide revenue for the bond debt that was created for the construction of the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage and the Ruth Burnette Sport Fish Hatchery in Fairbanks and to enhance sport fisheries in Southeast. The bond debt was paid in full and as of Dec. 31, 2020, the fee dropped from the price of a sports fishing license. It should also be noted that the debt was paid off five years earlier than expected.

The pandemic has also impacted the number of fishing licenses purchased overall, which is a big hit to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s funding.

Ragan said, ”When we compare the numbers from 2019 to 2020 in overall sports fishing license sales we saw a reduction close to around 200,000 licenses. Which equates to a revenue loss of around $9 million.”

When a sports fishing license is purchased those dollars go right back into funding fisheries conversation, research management, and the stocking of lakes. So not only is purchasing a license providing an opportunity to get out and fish, it also helps the ADF&G conduct their duties to conserve resources.

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