Well it's the beginning of April which means it's time to buy a new fishing license. After being a resident of Washington for 24 of my 26 years, this is only the 2nd out of state license that I have bought, and for a whopping $50 plus $8 for an Upper Columbia endorsement, I can catch some of the most amazing fish left in the world. This is an absolute bargain considering the quality of fishery that we get to enjoy, for such a miniscule amount of money.
|$50 to catch these beaut's is crazy!|
As Washington and the WDFW are currently broke, an increase in license prices seems like an easy way to make some more $, especially charging more for out of state anglers. While trout fishing in Washington has little to offer, there are many of the best steelhead rivers in the PNW that are at your disposal. It is absolutely amazing to me that for $50 you can catch (and kill in certain areas) endangered and threatened runs of amazing anadromous fish. In Montana an out of state license costs $90 and Idaho it's over $100, and in both of those states I see enforcement and management on a much more regular basis than Washington.
I ran into the local game warden on the lower Duc the other day, who had recently busted poachers for killing 7 native fish on the Hoh (Strong work!). Talking with the warden was great, and he definitely works his ass off. His territory covers the entire quillaute system all the way down to the Queets. Another game warden certainly could be used in this area.
Another concept that Geico and I talked about today after buying our license would be a regional tag for Washington. Break the state into 4-6 regions, and then if you fish in that region you pay a one time payment for a yearly tag, and that money stays in the region. Wouldn't you pay an extra $50 to enjoy your favorite rivers, and help protect them?