Raymond Webster and Michael Burton have been fishing buddies since they were kids.
They head out to fish at least a couple of times a week, for a peace of mind that can only be found on the water.
“I’ve been fishing my whole life. As a little boy, my uncles, the neighborhood, friends, everybody just taught us,” Raymond Webster said. “It’s just been a way of relaxation to us, and it keeps you out of trouble. It frees your mind. You’re just able to be with nature.”
However, sportsmen and women could soon find themselves paying more to hunt and fish.
House Bill 687 would reduce some license fees and raise others.
Webster says he doesn’t mind paying a little more.
“We’ve been at $9.50 for over 15-20 years. I mean, if it’s going to help the economy and keep this beautified, I’m willing to pay for it.”
West Monroe’s Clint Thompson agrees.
“If the money is going in the right place, I don’t think it’s much of an increase to really worry about,” Thompson said. “Right now the license is about $10. If it goes up to $13, it’s not that much higher. A pack of bait costs more than that increase.”
The plan would also reduce the number of licenses for hunting and fishing from 117 down to 30. Many believe the plan will cut down on complications.
Legislators hope to raise 6.5 million dollars for the conservation fund under the new plan.
Meanwhile anglers aren’t discouraged.
“I feel like fishing is something that everybody can enjoy. You can get out here and relax and have a peace of mind,” Burton said.
The bill has made its way to the House Natural Resources Committee. Next, it will go to the house for debate.