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Fisheries officials from Yellowstone National Park announced Friday an increase in fishing permit fees. What are they thinking? Raising the price to enjoy fishing in a national park at a time when people are still struggling to make ends meet?

Yes, and I am all for it. In fact, I'd like to see the fees increased even more. Under the new structure the fee for a 3-day permit will be $18, $25 for a 7-day and $40 for an annual permit. Permits for anglers 15 and under remain free. The previous fees were $15, $20 and $35. The minor increases will help park fisheries biologists with projects decided upon in the 2011 Native Fish Conservation Plan.

A press release from Yellowstone National Park states "fisheries management activities are primarily focused on the recovery of the Yellowstone Lake Ecosystem through the restoration of the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout".

A huge protion of that is the removal of the non-native and illegally introduced lake trout in Yellowstone Lake. I applaud the focus on native species and I'll do what I can to help when possible. That may be as simple as paying for an annual permit even when I only plan on spending an hour fishing in Yellowstone. It was a habit I started long ago and I plan to stick with it as long as possible.The Yellowstone fishing season gets underway May 26 this year and runs through the first Sunday in November. Visit the website for more information.That's my fishing buddy Ron Bowman enjoying a Yellowstone cutthroat in the picture.

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