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A bill that would create a lifetime fishing license is moving through the state legislature.

The author of Assembly Bill 878, State Rep. Don Vruwink (D-Milton), said the bill is primarily aimed at younger generations.

“The intent of the bill is to encourage the next generation of fishing men and women,” Vruwink said. “But any person who fishes regularly may benefit from a lifetime license so they don’t have to purchase one every year.”

Revenue from the lifetime license, like all fishing licenses, will go into the state Conservation Fund to maintain and improve fish and wildlife habitats.

The Assembly Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage Committee held a public hearing on the bill January 31. Among those testifying were students from a high school fishing club, members of a senior citizens fishing club, and members of The Wisconsin Fishing Club of southeastern Wisconsin.

One student testified that he believed more kids would get into fishing and hunting if they had a lifetime license. Another student said fishing helps him relieve stress and meet new friends.

Others who testified said a lifetime fishing license could be a gift to a child or grandchild, or a prize in a fishing contest.

The current price for an annual resident fishing license is $19.25 plus a 75-cent issuing fee for a total of $20. A lifetime fishing license would be $19.25 times 30, for a total of $577.50.

The Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage will vote on the bill on Wednesday, February 7.

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