Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Poor weather blamed for decline in to-date fishing license sales

This spring's unseasonably cool and wet weather did more than just keep the winter clothes from being put in mothballs.
 It also placed a decided chill on to-date Ohio fishing license sales.

In calculating figures, the to-date figures begin when licenses are required and for this specific look the process ended at midnight June 10.

For the fiscally all-important resident adult fishing license, to-date sales fell 6.84 percent when compared to the 2012 to-date sales. Numbers show this decline as being 32,931 documents.

Besides the to-date sales descent of Ohio adult resident fishing licenses, also falling were the to-date sales of non-resident adult fishing licenses (3.25 percent), three-day fishing licenses (3.48 percent), one-day resident fishing licenses (13.07 percent), one-day non-resident fishing licenses (17.48 percent), and Lake Erie charter non-resident one-day licenses (5.28 percent).

At least one wide spot appeared in the road for to-date fishing license sales, though. Up were the to-date sales of Lake Erie charter resident fishing licenses (16 percent).

Not to worry, however, says Wildlife Division assistant chief Susan Howard.

“While fishing license sales are down from last year it is important to remember that such early sales are weather dependent, and 2012 was a banner year for such sales,” Howard said. “And if you compare 2013 against 2011, fishing license sales are up 16 percent. That's a good position to be in, too.”

Better to-date license sales were seen in the hunting permit arena. Mostly that is as the figures demonstrate.

The to-date sales of adult resident hunting licenses increased 8.35 percent from the same period in 2012, the Wildlife Division figures show.

Other to-date climbs were seen for apprentice resident hunting licenses (68.35 percent), fur-taker permits (7.61 percent), and spring resident adult wild turkey-hunting permits (6.99 percent).

Then again, most of these percentages reflect small actual document sales. For example, the to-date number of general adult hunting licenses in 2012 totaled 54,017 while this year's to-date sales totaled 58,525.

Even so, any increase in hunting license sales bodes well for what's in store, Howard says.

“Hunting license sales are up about seven percent and that's a very good number going into the fall seasons,” Howard said.

A few misses were noted, however.

Sales of shooting range permits (to-date, of course) were off 5.66 percent. Here too this spring's poor weather likely had an impact, keeping shooters from wanting to visit a windy, rainy shooting range.

Meanwhile, the to-date sales of non-resident adult hunting fell as well, but only dropping a paltry 0.34 percent.

Not factored are sales of the various deer-hunting permits. The reason for this is because beginning this year such sales begin June 1.

When taken as a whole the to-date revenue stream for the Wildlife Division shrunk in the amount of 4.93 percent. In real dollar terms that statistic calculates into a loss of $627,736.

Yet while at first blush that figure may seem to be a creel full of cash the Wildlife Division has noted in the past how its budgeting protocols take into account any number of variables. Among them being weather-related license sales ups and downs.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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