I talked to a guide today t the fly shop here in Johnson City. He was in favor of the fee. His reasoning. A lot of out of state guides are coming to Tennessee and not spending a dime beyond their license. No food, no gas, nothing, no need too the just bring it all with them. He also believed that this will in no way thin the guide population, or at least not enough to matter. Most guides who have any stake in their business will pay the fee, only a select few would not. It's a revenue that was otherwise not collected and wheether it fills the entire void left by federal funding withdraw or not, it's still more than nothing. He mentioned that a $200 resident $1000 non resident option was on the table, and I would be all for that, to help promotion our local guides.
We all like to blame the bait fisher, or "stringer full" guy, but the truth is we all use the resource whether we actively keep fish or not. Fish die, sometimes naturally, sometimes with a size 18 fly in their throat. If we want them their to catch, I think we need to be willing to pay to support them. I agree that trout stamps should be higher as well, it's currently $10 cheaper than any other add on stamp. $10 per angler would go a long way to support the fisheries.
These fees also would not go into the general fund, they would be specifically allocated to Trout Fishing, so if we add all other warm water guides and hunting guides, that's just mre hands in the cookie jar.
Hands down I just think it's a good idea
Remember......I'm and idiot