There have been several items of interests to anglers floating around halls of the legislature this past week. Most notably is the conversation around a public works “Jobs Creation” proposal. This is significant to Washington anglers because the House proposal authored by Representative Hans Dunshee, distributes over $43 million to Fish Hatchery and Fish Passage Way improvements and looks to improve marine access by investing in projects like $2 million for a new ramp at Point No Point.
The Dunshee proposal presents us with a tremendous opportunity to rehabilitate our fish hatcheries in a manner that is consistent with the science. With this revenue, we can make significant environmental improvements to to our hatcheries by improving water quality and runoff issues that will eventually lead to increased fish production through better survival rates. The Dunshee proposal identifies / funds numerous WDFW projects that touch virtually every community around the State.
$43 million is not chump change my friends. Not only would this create a large number of construction jobs for our State, the end product will exponentially drive millions more in revenue into the economy as a result of the additional opportunity for anglers to catch fish. After all, that is what it’s all about!!! Additional opportunity also translates into more fishing licenses sold, this benefits the Wildlife Account, which in turn takes pressure off the General Fund. It will also stimulate the economies of many rural communities in our state as anglers from Puget Sound flock to these areas to spend money on gas, lodging, food and restaurants.
All this seems so simple to me, but still many legislators just don’t understand that “Recreational Fishing Is Good For The Economy”. We need to continue to remind legislators of this fact. Recreational fishing is is a “Life Style”. We work so we can play. Fishing is where we spend our money. Just go to the boat show…. When you fork over $30k – $500k for a nice fishing boat, you are paying 8% or 9% just in sale tax. I am no economist, but those are serious dollars that go to support our schools, social services and other important programs. Fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry in our State. Think of what our fisheries would be like if everyone understood the economics of recreational fishing as well as Representative Dunshee!!!
Contact your legislators now and urge them to support the Dunshee “Job Package” as it relates to investing in our State’s fisheries!! Follow this link to find your legislators http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx