WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts is hiking its freshwater fishing and hunting license fees for the first time in more than a quarter century, state wildlife officials said.

The fee increases announced Monday were approved by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance following a review by the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Fisheries and Wildlife Board, which took into account feedback from the public, the agency said in a statement.

The fishing, hunting and trapping license fee increases, which will be phased in over five years, are the first such increases in 26 years, according to the agency.

Under the new fee structure, resident fishing and hunting licenses will increase annually from $22.50 this year to $40 by 2026. A non-resident big game hunting license will go from $94.50 this year ro $112 by 2026. Many hunting and fishing fees — including those for teens ages 15 to 17, people over 70, and for the physically disabled, will remain free.

The higher fees will be used to address MassWildlife’s current revenue shortfall, sustain the Inland Fish and Game Fund for another decade, fund core operations, and maintain programs and services.

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