DNR Secretary Scott Hassett says without increased fees, there could be substantial staffing cuts in the wildlife management program.
Speaking on Wisconsin Public Radio, Hassett says his department is already running its programs with 30 fewer wardens than it needs.
Hassett says the agency will need to raise hunting licenses by $12 and fishing licenses by $3, or face a $20 million deficit by the end of 2007.
He says without the increase, muskie stocking, trout habitat maintenance and other programs will suffer.
The DNR will brief the Joint Finance Committee on its budget at the end of March. Legislators wouldn't take up a fee increase until late April or early May.