The Fish & Game budget request for next year shows a 20 percent increase, but that's due to a one-time project: $13 million to build the new Springfield fish hatchery with Bonneville Power Administration funding, for sockeye recovery. “Excluding the hatchery, our budget request is $79.3 million, or an increase of less than 3 percent from this current year,” Fish & Game Director Virgil Moore told JFAC this morning.
Asked by lawmakers whether the department needs to look at a license fee increase, Moore said, “We probably should come back next session for a request, but we can likely survive one more year. At that point we're going to be right up against the wall … unless the economy improves and non-residents start coming back in previous numbers.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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