License fees increase, proposed laws dominate right now

The stretch of beautiful spring-like weather we’ve enjoyed recently gives new meaning to the term “spring fever,” especially after what has been a rather long winter season, one that began with a heavy snowfall last October 29. Few outdoor enthusiasts have found the mild days more promising than have the legions of New York trout anglers. With the opener less than two weeks away (April 1), many hope it results in better stream and angling conditions. Sadly, history doesn’t support that promise.

Late March in our area can be a terrible tease. We may get a short stretch of beautiful weather such as we’ve had of late, only to be followed by cold Canadian air ushering in snow and winter-like conditions. My advice to trout fishermen is, hope for the best and prepare for the worse. Next week, we’ll start talking early spring trout fishing, but for now, let’s consider what’s being considered in Albany that may impact sportsmen and others.

License Fee Increases

With the new higher New York sportsmen’s license fees being proposed and honed, the ones I found rather disappointing had to do with age. Both the bowhunting and muzzleloading are being jumped from zero to $5, but that’s only half the story. The qualifying age for both are being changed from 65 to 70. Although we’re living longer, there probably aren’t a lot of hunters over the age of 70 who still bowhunt, and even the modest $5 fee just might cause some of them to quit, especially those who’ve hunted and paid for licenses for many years.

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