Right. According to well-known agencies (USFWS, NMMA, ASA and SFR), all income from renewing your fishing license goes back into trying to improve your fishing experience. Here are some reminders of using fishing license fees:
- Access for anglers and boaters. With the renewal of your fishing license, funds will be available to your state to potentially improve access to inshore fishing through the purchase of additional parkland. The maintenance of boat ramps and public fishing docks also benefit greatly from fishing license fees.
- Fish research. Despite the results of our insane fishing skills, the best way to monitor a fishery is to get scientific data. Using various sampling methods, fishery biologists can not only measure the quality of the fishery but also predict trends in order to maximize future fisheries. Spawning areas and times can also be identified and thus better protected.
- Education. Knowledge is power. In order to protect our aquatic resources, it is important that we are all on the same page and have information such as identifying invasive species, best catch and release practices, and statements on how to keep other management practices and regulations changing.
- Habitat management. Fishing license fees also help with a variety of fish management projects and other nature reserves. Adding plants to control runoff, collecting and submerging Christmas trees for fish structure, or controlling invasive species of aquatic plants and animals are three examples of how this money helps.
- Fish sock. In western Pennsylvania, trout fishing is primarily a put-and-take fishery. Every spring, the state hatcheries load the streams with rainbow, brown and brown trout. Although many anglers prefer catch and release practices, most of these trout were harvested after the first or second weekend of “trout season”. The state has just completed a hasty restocking effort, and perhaps now more than ever, everyone needs to see these fish back in the creeks.
A night at the movies can be more than the cost of a fishing license, especially if you buy popcorn and a drink. And that’s just a night of entertainment. When you renew your fishing license, not only have you bought a year of fishing entertainment, but you have contributed to many years.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and the US state of Michigan.