The cost of a resident fishing license will increase from $22.50 to $26 next year, and will gradually increase to $40 by 2026.
It’s just one of several fishing and hunting fees that are on the rise. After getting feedback from the public and research by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries (DFW) staff and the Fisheries and Wildlife board, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance approved DFW’s increase to freshwater fishing and hunting license fees on Oct. 4. This is the first price increase to the licenses in 26 years. The first price increase will occur in 2022 and gradually rise until 2026, except for some permits and stamps that will only see one price increase.
According to DFW, the fee structure is designed to “address MassWildlife’s current revenue shortfall, sustain the Inland Fish and Game Fund for another decade, fund core operations, and maintain MassWildlife’s popular, high-quality programs and services.”
Some of the fee increases will not affect people’s wallets that much. For example, trapping licenses for Massachusetts residents age 65-69 will only see an increase in cost from the current price of $15.25 to $20 by 2026. Other licenses will see price increases ranging from around $5 to $35 by 2026 for Massachusetts residents.
Hunters and anglers on the Island are aware that the price increases are coming. Brian Athearn, the treasurer of Martha’s Vineyard Hunt Club, said the club met on Sunday to discuss the matter.
“We are all in consensus we support the increase,” Athearn said. The club views the fee increase as an important measure to augment conservation efforts and education about hunting.
Those who would like to see the fee increases up to 2026 can view it at bit.ly/MVnewfees.