JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KAIT) -It may cost you more to chase trout in Missouri if a proposed increase is passed in August.
The Missouri Department of Conservation wants the prices of annual trout permits and daily trout tags to go up, starting in 2020.
According to MDC, these increases are needed to cover costs of running five trout hatcheries that raise and release more than 1.7 million trout each year.
MDC stocks the trout at four popular trout parks, in more than 150 miles of cold-water trout streams, at Lake Taneycomo and at numerous lakes around the state.
The annual cost of fish food and labor to raise a trout in 2003 was only $1 per fish. MDC said the cost in 2017 jumped to nearly twice that amount.
The five hatcheries also require regular maintenance and a number of them have been damaged in recent years by spring flooding.
According to MDC, they have spent more than $11 million over the past decade on repairs and improvements to the hatcheries. Utility costs have also increased by more than 25% since 2008.
“The Conservation Department has not increased these permit prices in nearly two decades,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “We are adjusting these permit prices, which were set in 1999, to make them more in line with today’s real costs of the work we do. The price increases will help MDC meet the pressures of increased management costs at our hatcheries and help meet the increased demand for trout fishing around the state.”
If the increase is passed, the cost of an annual trout permit will go from $7 to $10 for people 16-years of age and older. It will change from $3.50 to $5 for someone 15-years-old and younger. The cost of a daily trout tag will go from $3 to $4 for adults and $2 to $3 for someone 15-years-old and younger.
These proposed increases were given initial approval by the Missouri Conservation Commission on May 23.
MDC is asking for public comments on these changes during July and early August. To comment on price increase for trout permits, refer to “3 CSR 10-5.430 Trout Permit.” To give your opinion about daily trout tags, refer to “3 CSR 10-5.250 Daily Hunting or Fishing Tags.” Click here to give an opinion.
The Commission will consider input received before a final decision is made on August 23.
If approved, the changes will go into effect on Feb. 29, 2020.