Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

License price hike for hunting, fishing


Hunters, trappers and sport fishermen will be charged more for licenses and tag fees in 2017.

The Alaska State Legislature raised the fees last session through the passage of House Bill 137, which received broad support from user groups. The new rates mark the first time in 24 years that hunting license and tag fees have increased, while sport fishing licenses last increased about 10 years ago.

“Fishing rates for locals are really reasonable,” said Al Badgley, a clerk at Olerud’s Alaska Sport Shop. Annual resident sport fishing fees will go from $24 to $29 and resident hunting licenses will increase from $25 to $45. “I don’t think it’s out of line. There’s a lot you can hunt for $45,” Badgley said.

The sport fish, hunt and trap license for residents increased from $62 in 2016 to $94 in 2017. A low-income sport fish, hunt and trap license is still $5.

Non-resident fees are higher this year. For example, an annual hunting and trapping license has gone from $250 in 2016 to $405. Increases for non-resident big game tags include: black bear tags are now are $450, brown bear tags are $1,000, muskox bull tags are $2,200 and sheep tags are $850, up from $425.

“I think they are just trying to raise some money for conservation,” Badgley said.

The license fee increase was supported by groups as well as the guiding industry, including the Territorial Sportsmen, Safari Club International, Kenai River Sportfishing Association, Alaska Professional Hunters Association and the Alaska Outdoor Council.

“Alaska’s new prices are in line with other states. Alaska fees are significantly less expensive for resident hunters, because Alaskans don’t pay resident hunting tag fees,” Fish and Game commissioner Sam Cotton said in a statement.

According to Fish and Game, revenue from licenses, stamps, and tag fees are used to fund state fish and wildlife management and conservation. The fee increases will enable the state to leverage tens of millions of Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson federal aid dollars, which provide core management and conservation funding.


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