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MORE THAN 329,000 ANGLERS ALREADY HAVE THEIR TICKET TO FISHING FUN AND RELAXATION

April 30, 2014

MADISON - Fishing license sales for Saturday's fishing season opener are looking very similar to last year's, another year when cold spring weather left many northern lakes covered in ice as well.

Through Tuesday, April 29, 329,333 anglers had purchased fishing licenses and 76,270 trout stamps. That's a bit behind last year at the same time, when 335,639 anglers had purchased fishing licenses and 75,856 trout stamps. It compares to 448,472 at the same point before the 2012 season, which followed the warmest spring on record statewide.

Karl Scheidegger, fisheries outreach leader, expects sales to pick up in coming days. "People are tired of the long winter and will gladly venture outside to enjoy the opening day tradition."

And he notes that last year's license sales caught up to the normal levels by mid-summer. Typically, 1.3 million to 1.4 million anglers buy Wisconsin fishing licenses.

Anglers have three easy ways to buy their license: over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).

New veterans' program, discounts make it easy to share the fun

Recently returning Wisconsin resident veterans may receive a one-time free annual fishing license under a 2013 law.

Veterans who wish to receive a free license must first contact the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs to determine their eligibility for this program. Such eligibility-related questions should be directed to the Veterans Benefits Resource Center via web chat [www.wisvets.com (exit DNR)], email wisvets@dva.wisconsin.gov or phone 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387).

Anglers who have never purchased a fishing license - or who haven't purchased one in 10 years - can get a discounted "first time buyers" license. The discounts are automatically applied when the license is purchased. Residents' discounted license is $5 and non-residents' is $25.75 for the annual licenses.

Anglers who recruit new people into the sport can get rewarded for their efforts. Wisconsin residents who have been designated as a recruiter three or more times within one license year are eligible for a discount on the license of their choice the next year.

Anglers can buy a one-day fishing license that allows them to take someone out to try fishing, and if they like it, the purchase price of that one-day license will be credited toward purchase of an annual license. The one day license is $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents.

Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LICENSE NUMBERS CONTACT: Diane Crawford, 608-261-0770

Last Revised: Wednesday, April 30, 2014




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