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Possible license cost increase not bothering area anglers

Officials at the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission spent months seriously considering a price increase in the cost of a fishing license for the 2019 trout season.

That did not come to pass, but had it gone through, it would have been the first trout license fee increase since 2005.

Licenses currently cost $22.90, plus $9.90 for a trout stamp, for resident fishermen ages 16-64.

A trout license fee increase may become a reality in the year 2020, but fishermen interviewed by the Mirror at Unkel Joe’s Woodshed who were preparing for Saturday’s opening day of trout season for Blair County and surrounding areas would be fine with that.

“If they went up, it’s not about the money,” said Andy Smithmyer of Altoona. “It’s about going out, spending time with family and having fun, and enjoying the wildlife and wilderness.”

John Benedict of Port Matilda now has a senior lifetime license that is available for $51.90, plus the $9.90 annual cost of the trout stamp, for fishermen ages 65 and over, so he would not be affected by a price increase.

But even if he was affected, Benedict said that the increase would be OK with him.

“I think that it all goes to a good cause,” Benedict said. “I’m locked in (with the price of the senior license).”

For people who fish regularly, the trout license and stamp is the best bargain that money can buy.

Tim Baker, a buyer at Unkel Joe’s Woodshed, said that the pleasure of fishing with his wife and two children far outweighs the cost of any license fee increase.

“It (wouldn’t) really bother me,” Baker said of a license fee increase. “I get so much use out of (the license). With the opportunity to get out fishing with my wife and kids, it could be 10 dollars more, and it wouldn’t bother me.”

The only increase that the PFBC invoked for this year was a charge of $3 for the booklet that had been previously given free with the purchase of a trout license and trout stamp. Two dollars of that fee goes to the PFBC, while the other dollar goes to the license issuing agent.

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