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Proposal floated for lifetime fishing license in Wisconsin

Wisconsin DNR

If you're angling for more time on the water, a new proposed law could get you there.

Some lawmakers in Wisconsin are pushing for a lifetime fishing license: a one-time purchase that would allow Wisconsin residents to fish on the water and the ice.

"We really want to promote our sporting heritage and allow residents and our anglers to instead of having to purchase a license year after year, to give them the opportunity to buy a one-time license," said Senator Patrick Testin.

The cost would be $577.50 which equals about 30 years worth of fishing. It's an idea fishing guide Kurt Schultz said he can get behind.

"I think overall it will help my business, but that's going to be hard to say until they see how many people actually buy the license," said Schultz, Owner of Kurt's Guide Service.

The proposal comes as Wisconsin is seeing fewer anglers, especially among kids and teens. Schultz and Testin agree this is a good way to get them on the lake.

"We kind of owe it to our youth to teach them as much as we can and let them experience the outdoors just like we did when we were kids," said Schultz.

"I think any time we can get kids away from a screen and put down that Xbox or PS controller and give them a fishing rod or a hunting rifle and the opportunity to get that trophy buck (or fish) it's a win-win," said Testin.

Testin said that he would like the profits to go back into funding to promote the sport.

"These oftentimes go into stewardship projects that help promote stewardship and conservation, so it's really an opportunity for fishermen if they want a lifetime license to make that investment and know that money's going to a good cause," said Testin.

Testin mentioned that for certain species such as trout, you would still need to purchase a stamp. He hopes to get this into law as soon as possible.

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