(KXNET) — Some tournament fishermen are casting a line in Bismarck, asking for a break from state lawmakers.

House Bill 1538 seeks to do away with a 10% conservation fee that is being charged to anglers who fish in tournaments.

Currently, no one can host a fishing tournament in the state without a permit.

Supporters of the bill argue the fee is too costly and is preventing more North Dakota high schools from starting their own fishing teams.

“It’s a barrier to student angling. Many student angling events are free, and they give away, 10, 15, 20, 25 thousand dollars in scholarships,” Bill supporter Geremy Olson said.

“If it really is a tourism issue, and getting those tournaments. And Mr. Power has always said the department has been neutral on that. One option is to get commerce to provide grants to these tournaments and these cities,” retired ND Game and Fish director Terry Steinwand said.

Game and Fish leaders say the fee charged helps pay for lake and river habitat as well as boat ramp maintenance.