With hunting and fishing participation at its lowest levels in Oregon in 30 years, and operating costs on the rise, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is facing a projected $32 million gap as it works to create a budget for the 2015-17 biennium.
Well, there they go again; our government at work: not enough folks are out there, hunting and fishing, so the obvious solution is to increase the fees for doing so. By the way, today and tomorrow are this years’ Free Fishing Days in Oregon and Washington, so for these two days, you don’t need a license.
I used to buy a license every year, and fly-fished regularly throughout the season – until the various agencies, in their infinite wisdom, shut down practically every drainage in the Northwest quadrant of Oregon. Those actions took out all of my favorite haunts within relatively easy access of Portland, and I’m not about to spend the better part of a day driving in order to get in an hour or two of fishing on the Metolius or the Deschutes or the McKenzie. If I want to spend some quality time on the water, it’s cheaper to buy a day pass.
That means they’re getting way less money from me, but it’s entirely a self-inflicted wound. Naturally, being government, their solution is not to re-open the west fork of Hood River or Coffee Creek or the Salmonberry River. No, their answer is to raise license fees yet again. That’s sure to attract more users. “License fees must rise as hunting, fishing is down”. What geniuses.