ST. PAUL, Minn. - Planning on hooking up a fishing license before this weekend's Minnesota opener?
Well, you've got options; Licenses are no longer "one size fits all."
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering anglers a number of new license options for the 2013-2014 season, including a 72-hour fishing license, a three-year license and a reduced price annual license for youth ages 16 and 17.
"Based on feedback from our customers we created new options that reflect their interests," said Jenifer Wical, customer enhancement manager for the DNR's Fish and Wildlife Division. "Customers now have more choices for convenience and value."
Wical says the new 72-hour license, which costs $12,is likely to be popular among once-a-year weekend anglers, including those who have never fished. It does not require a trout stamp or spearing validation.
The $63 three-year fishing license provides a $3 price break from three annual licenses and is valid until 2016.
The $5 license for youth ages 16 and 17 is roughly a quarter of the cost of an annual resident fishing license, which is $22. Until this year youth ages 16 and 17 paid full price for a fishing license.
"If you love fishing, then share the passion with friends and family," Wical said. "The new license options make it easier to recruit those who haven't fished, retain those who do and reactivate those who have dropped out."
The DNR says license revenue is used to manage 5,400 fishing lakes and support 150-plus field conservation officers. Moreover, the agency saysthe license is a ticket to some of the best fishing in America.
"Minnesota ranks third in the nation as an inland fishing destination," Wical said. "Wherever you are in this state, you're close to great fishing."
Also new are individual and combination (married couple) super sports licenses that combine a variety of hunting and fishing opportunities into one license.
The DNR is working with the Legislature to readjust the cost of this license as its current price exceeds that sum of its individual components.
Licenses can be purchased and printed onlineanytime.
More details of the new license breakdown can be found on the DNR website.