NH Fish and Game News

Proposed Fish and Game License Fee Increases Announced - 8-14-15

Hunting and fishing license fees would increase in 2016 under a proposal from the N.H. Fish and Game Department. The increases were authorized by the Legislature to fill a $1.2 million hole in the Department’s proposed budget for this biennium. They would take effect January 1, 2016. On August 12, the N.H. Fish and Game Commission approved moving forward with the rule-making process.

“The proposal is out for public comment, but the question is not whether to raise prices, but which prices should increase and by how much,” said Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau. “The Legislature is counting on this new revenue to keep the Department going. We’ve already cut costs as much as we can without reducing services to sportsmen and women.”

Normandeau pointed out that while costs have gone up over the past twelve years, license prices have not. Basic hunting and freshwater fishing license fees have not increased since 2003.

Public hearings on the proposed fee increases will be held at 6:30 p.m. on these dates:

Under the proposal, regular hunting and fishing license fees would increase by $10. Resident freshwater fishing licenses would go from $33 to $43; hunting licenses from $21 to $31; and combination hunting/fishing from $44 to $54. Annual hunting and fishing permit fees for nonresidents would also increase by $10. One, three and seven-day fishing permit fees would not change.

Residents who reach their 68th birthday after January 1, 2016, would pay an annual fee of $10 for a fishing license or combination hunting and fishing license. These licenses are currently free. Residents who are 68 before January 1, 2016, will be eligible for a free license. Permits for turkey, bear and pheasant would continue to be purchased by all those over age 68.

Resident hunting and fishing guide permits would increase from $59.50 to $100.  Permits for non-resident guides would go from $200.50 to $350.

Various miscellaneous permits would also increase, from special permits for taking additional deer to recreational lobster permits. See a complete list of the proposed Fish and Game fee increases at wildnh.com/funding/fg-value.html.

“While no one likes to see prices go up, these licenses are still the best deal around: You get a full year of outdoor recreation, fish or game for dinner if you’re successful, and the knowledge that you’re supporting the work that conserves the resource and makes these opportunities available for yourselves and future generations,” said Normandeau. “We’ll continue working with the Legislature on long-term funding solutions for the Department.  In the meantime, these moderate increases are necessary to avoid making significant cutbacks in Department services.”

Written comments will be accepted through October 9, 2015.  Send to: comments@wildlife.nh.gov (use “Fee Increase” in subject line); or write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to 603-271-5829.

A notice detailing the specific Fish and Game rule language that would change as a result of this proposal will be posted on the Fish and Game website in early September.

For more information on Fish and Game’s funding situation, visit wildnh.com/funding.