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N.H. Fish and Game Funding, 'Woefully Underfunded,' Under Review

The Exchange


A state commission is studying ways to address what it calls the "woefully underfunded" New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.


Glenn Normandeau, executive director of Fish and Game,  says his office is constantly monitoring its funding stream -- only 3 percent of which comes from the state's general fund.


A third of his budget is funded by fishing and hunting licenses. A little more than a third comes from federal funds. 


The rest is a mix, including OHRV registration and a boat surcharge. Some revenue sources haven't changed in decades.


"So I get $5 from every state boat registration that goes into access, which amounts in a typical year to $450,000 or so," Normandeau said Thursday on The Exchange. "That’s the same $5 we got in 1992 when we were assigned the boat access program.”


New Hampshire Fish and Game owns and maintains 142 boat ramps to access state waters. The Concord Monitor reported that a study commission is looking at steps to shore up the department's budget.


Fish and Game has a budget of about $30 million, according to its website

In response to a caller, host Laura Knoy asked Normandeau about climate change--and noted some politicians question the science behind it.

Normandeau, who maintains a lobster license and fishes out of Portsmouth, responded that he has an upclose view of it. "Fifteen, 20 years ago you never saw blue crabs in your lobster traps," he said. "You never saw black sea bass show up. I mean, we're getting a lot of species that used to be only south of Cape Cod that are coming up."

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