The long-anticipated Louisiana recreational saltwater license fee increase that was approved by the Legislature earlier this summer will officially go into effect Aug. 1, according to a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 

The jump from $15.00 to $22.50 will generate an additional $2.25 million annually and will be used to fund the agency’s LA Creel program, the state’s answer to improved data collection over the federally established Marine Recreational Information Program.

The $22.50 price for a recreational saltwater license places Louisiana anglers right in the middle range of saltwater fees for Gulf states, according to the release.

Since federal officials do not recognize LA Creel as MRIP compatible, over $500,000 typically used to fund recreational surveying in the state was pulled, leaving LDWF responsible to pay for data collection.

Since the department recognized that it would be unable to adequately fund a high-quality recreational survey for the long-term, they sought angler support for the fee increase, the release states.

The license fee increase bill, which was authored by Rep. Stuart Bishop and supported by the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, passed the 2014 Legislative Session and was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 19.

The legislation contains a sunset provision so the increase will be revisited in 2018 before being automatically renewed, according to the release.