A LOCAL fishing club president says he will happily wear the increase to fishing licence fees so long as revenue is filtered back into the sport.
The fee for a three-year fishing licence has increased by $10 to $85, the three-day fee from $6 to $7, one-month fee from $12 to $15 and one-year fee from $30 to $35.
New charges came into effect on the weekend.
West Tamworth League Fishing Club president Alan Maguire said the marginal rise will unlikely deter club members from renewing their licence.
“I don’t think so. Real fisherman are willing to pay that,” he said.
Mr Maguire said he had no qualms about forking out the extra money on the proviso increased revenue was used to boost fishing stocks, especially for inland dams and river systems.
“If that’s going to be the outcome of the increase in fees then I’m quite happy for that to happen,” he said.
“We’re all about sustainable fishing and fishing for the future, but if it goes to general revenue I won’t be so happy.”
Apart from improving stock levels, Mr Maguire said it would be useful to see more clean-down stations installed at key fishing spots.
“Something up at Split Rock would be handy as facilities up there are a bit scarce,” he said.
The last fee increase occurred in 2005, Tamworth-based DPI fisheries manager Craig Watson said.
He confirmed all funds generated will go into a trust to improve recreational fishing.
Mr Watson said money will be used to re-stock local rivers in and around Tamworth, Manilla, Somerton and Gunnedah, install fish cleaning tables at Lake Keepit, undertake fish habitat restoration projects at Nundle and fund a compliance officer stationed at Inverell.