Gun clubs and other not-for-profit groups could be eligible to have permit fees waived for hosting fishing contests.
HF301, sponsored by Rep. Larry Hosch (DFL-St. Joseph), would allow the Department of Natural Resources commissioner to dispense with the fee, which can range from $120 to $1,000, depending upon the number of participants and the type of fishing. The commissioner already has the discretion to waive fees for nonprofit groups with 501(c)3 status, but there are not-for-profit organizations without that designation. The not-for-profit group would have to be registered with the Secretary of State, however.
About 444 permits for fishing contests are granted each year, earning $71,200 in revenue, according to Ed Boggess, Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife division assistant director. Boggess said the fee is designed to cover the cost of issuing the permit. Because of a recent decline in the number of permits issued, the department would not be able to recover their costs if the waiver allowance was expanded. He suggested raising the fees or “give up on the idea of fully recovering the cost.”
The House Game, Fish and Forestry Division, which heard testimony Feb. 16, laid the bill over for possible inclusion in its omnibus bill. A companion, SF186, sponsored by Sen. Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville), awaits action by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
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