LANSING (AP) - Michigan lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to the first significant increase in hunting and fishing license fees since 1997.
Legislation passed 72-36 by the House will raise about $20 million more, a 40 percent boost. The fees will be used to improve wildlife, fisheries and habitat programs once they're signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The legislation would create a "base" hunting license costing $11 for in-state residents, with lower rates for youths and seniors. For out-of-state hunters, the price would be $151. The base license would pay for hunting waterfowl, migratory birds and small game such as rabbits.
Separate fees still would be levied for hunting certain species, and some of those would increase: Tags for deer would rise from $15 to $20, and the bear license from $15 to $25. A 24-hour fishing license would increase from $7 to $10. The fee for a seasonal all-species license would drop from $28 to $25 for Michigan residents, but rise from $42 to $75 for out-of-state anglers.
Supporters say it has been too long since the fees went up, saying purchasing power has eroded over time. Outdoor groups do not oppose the higher fees.
Michigan has 227 different types of hunting and fishing license fees. The bill will simplify the licensing system and leave the state with approximately 40 fees.
Out-of-state residents will face higher fee increases.