How they biting? Fast enough I hope. While I’m waiting for my bobber to go down, here’s a look at what MN-FISH has been doing in recent months. Our biggest goals this year were to sponsor important bonding bills and have them passed by the Legislature. One bill called for $60 million to improve fish hatcheries; the other called for $37 million to start repairing boat accesses. We had support from both sides of the aisle on both bills, including Gov. Tim Walz.
So—guess what? Our state lawmakers, good grief, decided to go home and not pass a bonding bill!! Politics makes for strange decisions. And plenty of frustration for your board, our lobbyists, and MN-FISH members. Bottom line? We’re not going to go away and still working hard to get the funding needed for hatcheries and boat accesses.
In early May, MN-FISH sponsored an historic “Fishing Summit” to gather anglers and others to exchange information about fishing related issues.
One point I made was this: ‘’Fishing is not only a cornerstone to the quality of life in Minnesota, it creates $4.4 billion of economic impact. And, yet, lawmakers appropriate zero tax dollars from the state’s general fund to support the industry. “Zero.”
Do politicians realize how important it is to invest in fishing?
As MN-FISH digs into DNR budget history, we’ve learned that fishing-related issues are mostly ignored by lawmakers. Why, you ask? Because, we’ve been told, state anglers are not complaining loud enough — so our legislators believe we are content. In other words, we’ve been getting what we deserve…nothing.
So, we are going to continue to be a squeaky wheel in St. Paul for many angling issues. That’s why I hope you’ll renew your MN-FISH membership and/or send a donation to keep our boat afloat. Ask others anglers to join as well. We can be a force for fishing if we squeak loud and often.