Commission Approves Proposed Hunting and Fishing License Fees
BURLINGTON – The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Commission approved a proposal to raise fees for fishing and hunting licenses at their public meeting in Burlington on October 22, 2015. The new fees will be effective January 1, 2016. KDWPT staff have been discussing fee increases since early last spring and presented a draft proposal before the Commission at their public meeting in August.
Fee increases were deemed necessary to ensure pivotal programs important to hunters and anglers can be maintained and enhanced. Basic hunting and fishing license fees haven’t increased since 2002, and the price of resident deer and turkey permits haven’t increased since 1984. Inflation has increased the cost of doing business by almost 30 percent since 2002, and the uncommitted balance of the Wildlife Fee Fund was beginning to decline. License and permit revenues go into the Wildlife Fee Fund to pay for wildlife and fisheries programs, which receive no State General Fund money.
By unanimously approving the proposed increases, the Commission ensured that programs such as Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA), Community Fisheries Assistance (CFAP), Pass It On, Fishing Impoundment and Stream Access (FISH), and Wildlife Habitat Improvement (WHIP) will continue to provide hunters and anglers with high-quality outdoor opportunities. Increased revenues will also help fund day-to-day business such as operation of four fish hatcheries, law enforcement, public lands management and private land programs.
Beginning January 1, 2016 a resident annual hunting or fishing license will cost $25. The current fee is $18. However, value-added options are built into the new fee structure, including a discount for purchasing a combination hunt/fish annual license ($45) and an early-buy combination discount ($40) if purchased before February 1. Also included are multi-year hunting and fishing licenses that will provide savings. A five-year fishing or hunting license is priced at $100, and a five-year combination hunting/fishing license is $180, a savings of $70 if those licenses were purchased individually each year.
Nonresidents will pay $95 for an annual hunting license and $50 for an annual fishing license.
Resident deer permits will go from $30 to $40; nonresidents will pay $415 for the combination (one antlered deer/one antlerless whitetail) permit. Resident turkey permits are set at $25 and nonresidents will pay $50 for a fall turkey permit and $60 for a spring turkey permit.
Lifetime hunting and fishing licenses will go from $440 to $500 and $880 to $960 for a combination.
Youth license and permit fees were not changed, and the senior lifetime hunt/fish combination license ($40) will not change.
Vendor and convenience fees of $2.50 are added at the point of purchase. For a complete listing of fee changes see K.A.R. 115-2-1 at: http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Upcoming-Commission-Meetings/October-22-2015/October-22-2015-Approved-Regulations.
In other business, commissioners approved an amendment to the definition of a setline, allowing anglers to anchor a setline with a 25-pound weight, and use a closed-cell float to mark it. Amendments to the creel and length limit reference document were approved, including several changes to length and slot-length limits for blue catfish. To see all approved creel and length limits see K.A.R. 115-25-14 at: http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Upcoming-Commission-Meetings/October-22-2015/October-22-2015-Approved-Regulations
And in final action, commissioners approved staff’s proposal for duck zone boundaries. After months of public meetings, discussion and surveys, KDWPT staff proposed a new map that will go into effect for the 2016 fall duck seasons and remain in place for five years. The only change was a boundary shift to move Cedar Bluff Reservoir out of the Low Plains Early Zone and into the Low Plains Late Zone. All other duck zone boundaries remained the same.