DNR asks legislature for license and tag increases - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DNR asks legislature for license and tag increases

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) Hunting and fishing license fees could go up. The Department of Natural Resources is asking the Iowa State Legislature to raise the cost of licenses and tags for residents and non-residents.

According to the DNR's proposal, a hunting and fishing license for an Iowa resident would go from $17.50 to $23.50. A deer tag would go from $25.50 to $35.50. A turkey tag would go from $23.00 to $27.50.

Mike Everett began fishing as a teenager.

"It's a challenge, good to get outdoors, good to enjoy our resources that we pay for," he said.

Now, he's the owner of Hank's Live Bait and Tackle in Waterloo. The store sells fishing and hunting licenses. Everett said some customers are asking about possible cost changes.

"We've got a lot of people that are asking about the increase of the licenses. I know there's some uncertainty when it'll go into effect or how much it will increase," said Everett.

The cost of lifetime licenses will stay the same. First antler less deer season tags will actually cost less by about ten dollars. For everything else, price jumps range from three dollars to ten dollars for Iowa residents.

"We have to ask the legislature for permission to raise those fees. So as such we don't go in and do it every year. We have to wait several years. As a result, a lot of people get kind of a sticker shock when they see my license is going up six, seven or eight dollars or something like that, without realizing it might have been seven or eight years or in the case of deer tags 18 years since that cost has gone up," said Joe Wilkinson with the DNR

Wilkinson said the increase in fees would go to the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, not the general fund.

"Hunters and anglers pay for their recreation to this trust fund and it's not used for anything but fish and wildlife management and protection," said Wilkinson.

The money keeps lakes and streams stocked with fish and helps manage habitat. If the state legislature doesn't approve the proposed fee increases, Wilkinson said projects could be delayed.

The DNR is already trying to replace $5 million worth of fish and wildlife damaged during our record flooding.

Whether fees go up or not, Mike Everett hopes more people take advantage of the great outdoors.

"So many kids these days are tied up with electronics on the television, and they don't realize the outdoor life. Fishing and hunting and the resources Iowa has to offer," said Everett.

If the fee increases get approved, it's up to the state legislature when those changes will take effect.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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