JFC Budget does NOT include a Trout Stamp Increase

Dear Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Supporter,


We are deeply dissappointed in the move by our Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to leave a proposed trout stamp increase out of the state budget. The Committee postponed the start of their meeting by 8 hours on Thursday, in order to craft a DNR spending motion that was approved late last night. Despite us hearing broad support for the trout stamp increase from legislative offices in recent days, the Committee chose not to include it.


Instead of increasing investments in popular programs that are making a difference on our landscape like the Trout Stamp program and the Producer Led Watershed program at DATCP, the JFC chose to keep those programs funded at the same level as the last state budget. It appears they actually decreased funding by a small amount for County Conservation Staff compared to 2021-23 budget levels and reduced the funding in the Municipal Dam Safety program from 10 million to 4 million. The motion also increases the fees on out of state fishing licenses, a move that could harm our tourism and outdoor recreation industries.


You may read the full motion (#54 DNR Omnibus) here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lfb/jfcmotions/2023


We believe this legislature missed an opportunity to make our watersheds a priority in their 2023-25 state budget. The challenges our trout streams face over the coming decades will be hard to overcome if we don't make increased investments in programs like the trout stamp and the habitat improvement projects it funds.


We would like to thank all of you who have taken the time to advocate on behalf of our cold water resources in recent years. With your help, we will continue to advocate for policies that will ensure future generations access to cold, clean, fishable water in Wisconsin.


Much Respect,

Mike Kuhr

Wisconsin Trout Unlimited

Advocacy Chair