Proposal would hike fishing, hunting fees to fill budget gap

OLYMPIA, Wash.  — Fees for recreational hunting and fishing licenses would increase by 15 percent in 2019 under a proposal recommended by a citizen board that sets policy for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Monday to revise its proposed license fee increase to 15 percent, from 5 percent. The proposal also limits the total increase for those who buy multiple hunting and fishing licenses.

The board directed the state agency to include its fee recommendation to the governor as part of the budget planning process.

The proposed increases, along with other proposals, are aimed at reducing a $31 million gap between projected revenues and expenses for the two-year budget that begins next summer.