License fee hearings today and Wednesday

Posted March 02, 2009, at 9:01 p.m.

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has rescheduled public hearings on proposals to charge commercial fishermen, hunters and anglers more for licenses. Monday’s hearings were canceled because of the snowstorm.

At 3 p.m. today, staff with the Department of Marine Resources will brief the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee on the proposed changes to the fees charged for commercial fishing activities.

DMR is recommending fee increases across the board. For instance, a resident Class III license would increase from $341 to $407.25. The fee for a hand-raking mussel license would go from $115 to $133, while the fee for a mussel boat license would go from $230 to $265. Nonresident license fees also would rise.

Staff at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will present its budget recommendations to the committee at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Under the current proposal, fees for hunting and fishing licenses would increase by $2.50 in January 2010 and by an additional $1 in January 2011. Resident hunting and fishing licenses now cost $21 each or $38 as a combo. Both public hearings will be held in Room 228 of the State House. Live audio streaming of the hearings also is available online at www.maine.gov/legis/audio/.

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