By LOUIE STOUT
THE GOSHEN NEWS
It’s official - Hoosiers will pay more to fish in Michigan next year.
A lot more.
The Michigan House of Representatives has accepted Senate amendments to a fishing/hunting license bill that will go into effect next spring. That is, assuming the governor signs the bill, which there is little reason he wouldn’t.
While the bill reduces fees somewhat for residents, it more than doubles some non-resident fees. It has been supported heavily by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs organization.
For example, non-residents would pay $75 for an annual fishing license, $150 for a basic hunting license, and $170 to hunt deer.
Under next year’s plan there will not be a “restricted” license. Anglers will be able to fish for all species, including trout and salmon, under one license. The current fee for a non-resident all-species license is $42 while a restricted license is $34 – less than half of what it will be next year.
Residents will pay $25 (was $28) for an all-inclusive fishing license, $10 for a basic hunting license, $15 for trapping and $20 for a deer license. Seniors would see their deer licenses go from $6 to $8 while resident seniors’ all-species fishing licenses would drop to $10 from $11.20.
Also, a 24-hour fishing license will increase to $10 (was $7) for all anglers while the 72-hour license will go to $30 ($21).
Michigan officials say the new license structure will simplify the former system and raise another $20 million for DNR coffers.
In addition to the new fees, a surcharge of $1 will be added onto the base of each hunting and fishing license with the new money going to a dedicated public awareness fund for “marketing, education and outreach to benefit hunting, fishing and trapping.” The state will continue to charge $1 for a “Sportscard” for sportsmen who don’t already have one.
While the new fees will raise more money, they will no doubt hurt tourism and non-resident sales, at least temporarily. The structure really hurts Indiana seniors, many of whom fish Michigan lakes during weekdays.
Based upon numerous emails received when the proposal was first announced, several Hoosiers said they would not buy Michigan licenses under the new fee structure. The DNR anticipates that, citing an expected 7 percent drop in license sales initially.
The Marshall County Pheasants Forever Chapter will host its 13th annual Rick Megonnell Youth Hunt Sept. 28 at the St. Joseph Valley Beagle Club.
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon with registration at 8. It’s open to youths ages 10 to 17 with hunter safety certificates or apprentice licenses.
The club will provide shells, clays, birds, hunting guide and safety equipment. Youths must bring guns, hunter orange clothing and a parent.
For more information, call Dennis Engbrecht, 574-315-3053.
The Goshen Ducks Unlimited chapter will conduct a “Harvest Cookout” Sept. 26 at Bosco’s Place in Goshen.
Barbeque rigs will be served and a large selection of artwork, gear, collectibles and hunting guns will be up on silent and live auctions.
The event starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7. Tickets are $30 for individuals, $50 for couples and $20 for youths. For more information, call 574-849-6080.
3-D archery shoot
The Berrien County Sportsman’s Club will conduct 3-D archery shoots Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shooting fees are $8 for adults and free to youths 16 and under. Also, free instruction will be offered to all youths and first time shooters.
For more information call Larry, 269-470-4926.
Andy Buss (North Liberty) and Mark Fennell (Lagrange) beat out 44 teams to win the R&B Circuit tournament on the St. Joseph River at Benton Harbor.
The winners’ 11.37-pound limit won them $712. Their fish came from small points with submerged rock piles. Two fish fell for a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper on a D’s Lures swimbait jig and three on were fooled by an Xtreme Bass Tackle Tube (Muskegon Goby) on a ¼-ounce D’s jig.
Greg Mangus (Fremont) and Kevin Fletcher (Elkhart) had five smallmouth weighing 9.99 pounds to finish second ($452) by fishing black/blue Mango jigs. They also caught the second heaviest fish of the event ($90), a 3.47-pound smallmouth.
Trevor Paulus (Osceola) and Brad Sterling (Bremen) ran upriver where they used jigs, tubes, and split shot worms in eddies to catch 9.84 pounds for third ($332).
The Money Mouth Baits Big Bass ($360) was a 4.44-pound smallmouth caught by Tom Montague (Elkhart) and Aaron Likens (Kendallville) while Justin Hahaj (Bridgman) and John Gipson, Jr. (Lafayette) won the C Flash Big Bass with a 3-pound smallie.
Hoosier Pro winners
Rick Patton (Plymouth) and Dave Morrow (Knox) won the Hoosier Pro Tournament on Lake Maxinkuckee with 10.41 pounds.
Dan Milligan (Bremen) and Kris Shipley (Syracuse) were second with 8.83 pounds that included big bass prize for a 3.19-pound Largemouth. Steve Colema and Tim Rasala (Whiting, Ind.) were third with two fish weighing 3.53.
The next tournament will be Sept. 22 on Wawasee. Registration starts at 5:30 a.m. at the Syracuse ramp. Call Mitch Hayes, 219-716-4808.
Contact Goshen News outdoor writer Louie Stout at email@example.com.