Columbus – Hooked by a slow-growth economy and rapidly
escalating fuel prices, Ohio’s fishing license sales are lagging
behind last year’s figures.
Still, the DNR Division of Wildlife believes that weather is
more of a factor for the declines than the lethargic economy.
For the Feb. 15 through May 31 period, the state sold 25,698
fewer fishing licenses than for the same period in 2007. A total of
512,214 fishing licenses of all kinds – there are actually nine
different varieties, including replacement duplicates – were sold
from Feb. 15 through May 31.
Last year for this same time frame, 537,672 fishing licenses of
all types were sold.
Gains were seen, though, in sales of both nonresident seasonal
and nonresident three-day fishing licenses.
However, a drop was noted for the sale of one-day fishing
licenses; a decline of 491 permits from the 11,603 such tags sold
between Feb. 15 and May 31, 2007.
The overall decline means that the Division of Wildlife has
$361,999 fewer dollars to work with, a 3.94 percent decline.
Meanwhile, the sale of all kinds of hunting licenses experienced
a 2.58 percent drop: down from the 239,925 licenses and permits
sold between Feb. 15 and May 31, 2007 to the 233,723 licenses and
permits issued from Feb. 15 to May 31 this year. A drop of $48,970
in revenue is the net result.
Sales of adult regular hunting licenses hardly changed at all,
however; 57,850 licenses sold between Feb. 15 and May 31, 2007
compared to 57,895 licenses sold for Feb. 15 to May 31 this
Sales of spring turkey hunting permits likewise was static,
demonstrating less than a 1-percent gain to 49,889 permits.
Yet, wildlife division officials have mixed opinions as to what
has caused lackluster fishing license sales.
“It’s an interesting question and it is one of the things we’ve
talked about internally,” said Jim Marshall, an assistant chief of
the division. “Actually, we relate the decline more to poor weather
than anything else because it’s been hard to get out on Lake
There is a general opinion that because state parks have shown
increases in camping that people are staying closer to home,
Marshall also said.
“That may be a good thing for us,” he said. “I guess I’m a
little bit of an optimist, and maybe people won’t do it as often
they’ll still want to go fishing.”