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Fishing License Fees Go Directly To Support Fisheries

Contributed photo from Don Evens

UNDATED — As you go to buy your fishing license in anticipation of this weekend’s opener, you may be wondering how your license fees are spent.

The DNR’s fisheries section has an operating budget of about $35-million a year. Half that is raised through fishing licenses — about $18-million. 32-percent of the remaining budget comes from a federal excise tax on fishing gear that manufacturers pay the federal government. Minnesota State Lottery revenues account for 12-percent. And, four other smaller funds account for the rest.

The DNR’s Dirk Peterson says the Clean Water, Land, & Legacy Amendment has yet to contribute in a significant way and there are no general fund tax dollars supporting fishing.

So, what does the DNR do with the money? The biggest slice pays for lake and stream surveys which monitors fish populations and reveals water chemistry and biological information about the water bodies. The remaining monies are spent stocking fish, education, outreach, planning and program support.

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