The proposal simplifies the current license structure to foster recruitment and retention of resident and non-resident hunters, anglers and trappers. The State would greatly reduce the number of licenses offered and lower many fees for both resident and non-resident holders under the proposal. The proposal also will make permanent a free marine fishing registration, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2013.
The proposed legislation will:
· Reduce by 11 the number of licenses available while maintaining all current hunting and fishing privileges and opportunities
· Reduce the price of a hunting license by 24 percent from $29 to $22
· Reduce the price of a fishing license by nearly 14 percent from $29 to $25
· Make fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase
· Create a non-resident license structure which is the same as the resident license structure
· Fold trapping privileges into the hunting license for no additional fee for certified trappers
· Maintain Junior Trapper and Trapper Mentor opportunities
· Reduce fees for non-resident hunting and fishing licenses to attract more out-of-state participants
· Retain discounted licenses for youth, seniors, military disabled and Native Americans.
Previously, a fishing license was only valid from the date of purchase through the end of the season, and anglers who bought a license in mid season did not get a full years worth of use. Under the new plan, anglers will get a full year of fishing no matter when they purchase the license. Also, the proposal consolidates both small-game and big-game license privileges into a single hunting license. In addition, the proposal creates a non-resident license structure which affords the same license privileges as resident licenses.
The proposal also makes the marine fishing registration permanent. It was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2013, which would have required anglers fishing in the marine district to purchase a license for $10. Under Governor Cuomo’s bill, marine fishing will continue to be free.
This proposal must be approved by the state legislature.