How Florida Anglers Steal Millions In Conservation Funds From The FWC.
By: Joe Simonds on September 28, 2016
Potentially $6 million dollars is gone that could have gone towards conservation here in Florida…
What a shame.
Don’t you think the state of Florida and the FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) could have done some good for our fisheries with an extra $6 million in cash for conservation projects?
Perhaps this “stolen” $6 million could have been used for things such as:
- Fighting big sugar over the mess they made in our waters…
- Investing in new redfish nurseries
- Protecting our valuable estuaries
So what happened, and where did this potential $6 million go?
Too many of our fellow Florida anglers decided they wanted to skimp out and fish without a license…
Let me explain:
Every single time that an angler buys an annual Florida fishing license, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife gives the state a percentage of extra conservation money up to a certain level.
And the more anglers that buy fishing licenses, the more conservation money each state receives.
It’s all part of the Sport Fish Restoration Act (aka Dingell-Johnson Act)
Here’s how it works:
Each state’s share is based on:
- 60% of the revenue is determined by the number of licensed anglers AND
- 40% of the revenue is determined by total land and water area.
As an example, if someone in Florida buys an annual resident fishing license today, not only does it boost our state’s share because of additional licensed anglers (see above), but it also comes back to Florida in the form of money from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife (not to mention new revenue for the FWC from the purchase of the license).
Pretty sweet deal!
And considering that Florida is the fishing capital of the world, we should get the most, right?
The bad news is that we only qualify for a maximum of $12,000,000 based on the amount of anglers that actually pay for their fishing licenses (see all 50 states Sport Fish Portions here)
In total, Florida could earn close to $18,000,000 in annual conservation funds from this Sport Fishing Restoration Act per year like these states did if we had more anglers paying for licenses (these three states hit Maximum Allocation):
But of course, that is only if the state sells enough fishing licenses. In the case of Florida in particular, that means selling a lot more licenses to max out our subsidy from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
So where is the missing $6 Million?
Here is the sad news folks.
- There are well over 3 million people that fish (and go fishing) in the state of Florida every year that are in the age bracket of needed a license
- However, only about 2 million actually buy licenses.
- This issue is NOT about seniors or youth (Ages 1-17 fish free in Florida and so does anyone 65 or older). It is about the anglers that are between 17 and 64 year old that are skimping out and trying to save money by not buying a fishing license when they should be.
And it’s not just Florida that is missing out.
According to a recent article on Guy Harvey Online Fisherman, there was $273,427,215 NOT claimed in potential Sport Fish Restoration payouts by states in 2015.
As you saw from above, the more active licenses Florida (anglers) has, the more money we all get back from the Sport Fish Restoration program (this includes the FREE shoreline license).
- Let’s unite as anglers to do what’s right.
- Renew your fishing license if it has expired.
- Report people who are fishing without a license.
- Encourage others to fish.
It’s up to us to keep fishing going for the future generations.
Personally, I want my kids and grandkids seeing lots more of this below for years and years to come…
What To Do Next
First and foremost, buy a fishing license if you fish in Florida! (
(Click here to visit the FWC page to decide what license is best for you).
Next, sign the IDO pledge!
It’s 100% FREE!
And the amazing people over the FWC donate $1 to outdoor recreation and education programs for kids here in Florida.
Click here to take the pledge
Here is the video about the IDO pledge.
Want to learn more about the Sport Fish Restoration Act?
Then click here to see how it all works (FWC site).
Related Post: “Does It Make Sense To Buy A Lifetime Florida Fishing License? Find Out Here“
P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please help spread the word by Tagging them or Sharing this with them.
Tight Lines. Fish On.