Governor Dirk Kempthorne has signed into law a Fish and Game fee increase bill intended to add about $4.4 million a year to the department's bottom line.
The new license, tag and permit fees go into effect May 1.
Not all fees were raised in the new schedule. In an effort to keep family recreation costs down, the price for a junior deer tag was reduced from $16.50 to $9.75 and a junior elk tag from $22.50 to $15. Deer, elk and bear tag fees for disabled American veterans were also reduced. Fees were adjusted upward in most of the more than 80 individual items on the schedule, however. (See accompanying chart.)
Revenue from the fee increase will go to fishery and wildlife management, 28.7 percent; fishing areas and access, 18.7 percent; hatchery repair and equipment, 15.9 percent; enforcement equipment, 11.7 percent; equipment replacement, 11.7 percent; Winchester Dam repairs, 8 percent; customer service, 3.4 percent; and information technology upgrades, 1.9 percent.