CHARLESTON — Hunting and fishing license sales were up by nearly 40 percent in June when compared to the same month last year, according to Gov. Jim Justice during his Monday press conference.
According to information provided by Justice’s office, in June 2020, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources sold 43,091 licenses, compared to 31,148 licenses for the same month in 2019.
“In an effort to encourage outdoor activity among West Virginia residents at a safe distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Justice greatly expanded the state’s annual Free Fishing Days promotion, holding dates for free fishing in March, extending the promotion through nearly all of April and May, and holding an additional free fishing weekend in June.
“As a result, this June, more than 10,000 total fishing licenses were sold, shortly after the series of free fishing promotions came to an end,” according to a statement released by the governor’s office.
“Over 50 percent of all fishing license sales this year have been from new, first-time license holders,” Justice said. “Now, what does that tell you? It tells you that when we did the program to let people go fishing for free, a lot of people went and they had a great time and now they’re buying licenses.”
Last week, the Governor also announced that West Virginia State Parks had seen a 227 percent increase in online reservations from West Virginia residents in June 2020 compared to the previous year as a result of the state’s ongoing WVSTRONG Discount.
“I’m just tickled to death that people are getting out and enjoying the great outdoors of this state because it is absolutely magnificent,” Justice said. “Go fishing, go hunting, go walking, go hiking, go biking. This state abounds in beauty like you can’t fathom.”
“Gov. Justice encourages all West Virginians to practice proper social distancing and maintain at least six feet of space between themselves and others as they continue to explore Almost Heaven through the rest of the summer,” the press release from the governor’s office stated.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.