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Letter to the editor: A great thing going

Al Lindner wrote a letter to the editor in the Brainerd Dispatch May 9, 2017, opinion page titled "User pays."

He wrote: "I have been fortunate enough to make my living in the sport fishing industry my entire life." And that he hears people say: "Let's get this done, we'll gladly pay the $3 (more for a fishing license)!"

"We want to make sure our DNR is able to continue to protect our fisheries so our fishing opportunities are not in jeopardy," he writes.

This comes from a professional guide who, along with other guides, has raped our lakes for the last 35-40 years. Most people don't know that these guides fish professionally with only the same licenses you and I carry in our wallets.

I've been informed the going rate for these guides is $320 for a four-hour trip, $520 for eight hours. It's also a known fact they fish along with their clients if slow to fill out limits. They're guides only!

For a guy who claims to have made a living all his life spent fishing public lakes at no cost to himself, then to ask us to ante up another $3 to feather his nest - that takes guts.

I'm not opposed to guides. They certainly have their place. But you don't make a livelihood he talks of without paying some restitution. Even bait dealers are required by state law to have four licenses - sell, transport, helper and a regular fishing license - but guides have a free ride.

Mr. Lindner has the right idea (users pay) but he doesn't follow his own motto. He uses, but he doesn't pay. They have a great thing going, and you and I have to pay for it, and the $3 increase (if it goes through) makes it sweeter for them.

Jack Schmidt,

Pequot Lakes