Details on Fishing License Money, Trout Stamp and 65+ License Fee

Details on Fishing License Money, Trout Stamp and 65+ License Fee

I have laid it out in the past for many readers, some get it while others always seem to know more than everyone else, including those involved and those that actually discuss the details first hand with DEEP Officials.

Here I will help explain it again (I won’t touch on the trout stamp bill because this was already passed, although it is discussed in the video) and I will also be sharing a video, courtesy of Yankee Fisherman and John Kovach. In the video, Bill Hyatt, Chief of The Bureau of Natural Resources and Peter Aarrestad, Director of Fisheries, discuss with The Connecticut Council of Trout Unlimited, where license revenue goes, the status of the proposed trout stamp as well as discussing some numbers in regards to a fishing license for anyone aged 65+ with an attached fee rather than the current free license they receive.

In regards to license and stamp revenue, one of the major misconceptions is where license revenue goes. The revenue goes into the general fund but by law must come back out to the Bureau of Natural Resources. If it does not come back out 100% then the state does not get the Federal funding reimbursement. While it does not necessarily come back out to the hatcheries and our fisheries it is being used by the correct department.

Also, when I say it comes back out, that is not what exactly happens. Basically the BNR runs what is needed and then submits the bill which comes out of the general fund. A major portion of those expenditures are covered by revenue created from BNR programs but there is a portion that is not covered. This remaining part not covered by BNR revenue then comes from additional general fund appropriation (tax payer money). This leftover gap that comes out of tax payer money is what they hope the trout stamp will help shrink.

BNR expenditures total approximately $24M with fringe costs included. 39% of that money goes towards wildlife, 10% towards marine fisheries, 35% towards inland fisheries (approx. $8.3M), 13% towards forestry and 3% towards BNR chief costs(not 100% sure what this consists of lol).

BNR funding sources are approximately $24M. License and permits account for 29% (approx. $7M), Federal Wildlife Restoration 17%, Federal Fish Restoration 12% and then approximate 33% from other funds. 9% comes out of the additional general fund appropriation from tax payers. That 9% is what we need to make smaller.

Click on the photos below to see the full size image.

Now as far as the 65+ license, I was just informed that the General Assembly has raised a bill again this year which would require those who turn 65 after January 1, 2018 to pay a small fee to obtain a license: $5 for either a Resident Inland or Marine and $7 for a Resident All-Waters license. (S.B. No. 831)

Looking at the license demographics by age we currently have in the state, within the next 5-10 years we are gonna see a spike in the overall numbers of licenses issued to people turning 65…..a major spike. Those between approximately 42-62 currently hold the most paid licenses in the state. Not to mention, 28% of current licenses issued are of the free nature already.

While we will see the spikes in that age group we will not see the same growth in the younger generation to make up the difference. So if we are bringing in about $7M in license/stamp/permit fees across the board right now, you figure we will lose a substantial amount of that when these people reach 65 and we will not be making up the difference on the back end, but the expenditures will not lessen. They will stay the same, if not grow due to the costs of things.

Bottom line based on these numbers, we are looking at the potential for an additional 2500 free licenses per year minimal, for about 20 straight years. 2500 licenses no longer being paid for is a minimal of $70,000 per year in lost revenue. $70,000 for 20 years is $1.4M. We need to find a way to replenish this potential loss to assure we keep our fisheries thriving.

Please be sure to check out this video from Yankee Fisherman that gives you these same basic details with a bit more in depth discussion from those that are first hand involved with the moneys and situations presented to our fisheries and current fiscal issues.

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