Posted in Local, Posted: Wed, April 30 2014 at 8:22 AM, Updated: Wed, April 30 2014 at 11:46 PM
Medford, Ore. -- Fishing season just opened, but there's already some bad news for anglers. Budget concerns are forcing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, (ODFW), to increase license fees.
ODFW says less people are buying fishing and hunting licenses, and that will lead to major budget issues in the future.
Despite this, Southern Oregon outdoor retailers tell us they haven't noticed a big drop.
"They seem to line up as soon as there available in January, when we open up they line up to get them," says Jodi Toews from Black Bird Shopping Center.
ODFW proposed a small raise in license fees every two years instead of a big one every six, in hopes of making up the money.
Fisherman we spoke to say any money added to the budget needs to go to improving the wildlife and fisheries.
"The money from hunting and fishing licenses should go to improving the hunting and wildlife," says fisherman Tom Gascon.
Southern Oregon waters once were world renowned, but that doesn't seem to be the sentiment any more.
"If they can improve the numbers...the rogue use to be world renown...but people don't come here anymore and spend there money," says Gascon.
And others say the decline in interest is simply a sign of the modern age.