KENAI, Alaska — Sport-fishing license sales dropped in Alaska last year, despite the state Department of Fish and Game recording an increase in revenue from license sales.
Division of Sportfish Director Tom Brookover said Tuesday that the department was expecting the decline in sales because fees rose.
Brookover said resident license sales fell by a much higher percentage than nonresident license sales. Resident anglers bought 162,500 licenses in 2017, about 20 percent fewer than about 203,000 licenses in 2016, Brookover said.
The Legislature approved an increase in license fees in 2016, which went into effect in 2017, the Peninsula Clarion reported .
Yearlong residential sport-fishing licenses increased to $29 and nonresident license fees increased to $25 for a one-day license and to $70 for a week license.
The goal was to raise revenue on both hunting and fishing licenses that Fish and Game could apply as a local match to obtain more funding from the federal Pittsman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.
The money from license sales goes into the Fish and Game fund, which helps pay for various research and management activities. For the Division of Sportfish, those funds in combination with the federal Dingell-Johnson funds comprise a majority of the budget, Brookover said.
Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com