09-29-2003, 07:40 PM
Our wonderful, budget-slashing Governor has decided to close the state-operated fish hatcheries in Montague and Sandwich due to budget constraints. I don't have any statistics regarding changes (decreases???) in revenue from fishing licenses or changes (increases???) in operating costs of these hatcheries, but if they have been able to operate within the budget thus far, then I wonder why they can't continue to operate as they have been.
This raises an important question: What does the Governor intend to do with the funds that he "saves" by closing these hatcheries? Will they still be used to support the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife? We may never know for sure because there is also a gag order that prohibits state employees from discussing the issue!
10-01-2003, 08:35 AM
The problem is the Govenor is taking the 9m in the Fish and Wildlife fund (which also goes to land appropriation/acquisition) and putting it into the general fund to reduce the state deficit. In other words the $ you pay for a fishing licence goes towards fixing potholes - in addition to your already paid state taxes. I posted some details of this scam a while ago but was surprised to receive zero response. Probably because there aren't a whole lot of Mass FWFF on this board.
The topic has been covered in depth on the "other board" and I suggest you check it out. I have already written my local representatives and I suggest you do the same.
We can probably expect so see less enforcement of regulations on the SW scene as well (if this is possible) along with dwindling public access.
My opinion - this is BS. Speak up and maybe the collective voice of MA freshwater fisherman will be heard.
10-01-2003, 06:12 PM
Dave, I knew that the issue of license revenue being diverted to the general fund had been discussed before in posts about the saltwater license proposal. I haven't seen the discussions on other boards.
According to an article in today's paper, part of the information in my initial post is incorrect: the Governor didn't close the hatcheries directly, he just cut the budget, which forced the Board of Fisheries and Wildlife to close the hatcheries.
And now for the good news. Here's an excerpt from today's Berkshire Eagle:
SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- Federal officials have given the state 30 days to restore money from hunting and fishing license fees that were diverted to the state's general fund, or face the loss of millions of dollars in federal aid. :D
The rest of the article can be found here: