By Soren Nelson, Pacific Southwest States Coordinator
On April 2, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined a coalition of recreational fishing organizations in submitting comments opposing California AB 2787, a bill that would outlaw the manufacturing, sale, and purchase of lead fishing weights weighing less than 50 grams.
In the letter, CSF highlighted the potential impact this legislation would have on conservation in the state. It noted that in 2017 alone, California’s anglers contributed over $77 million to conservation through the American System of Conservation Funding. Annually, angler expenditures generate over $2.4 billion for the state economy and support over 35,000 California jobs.
AB 2787 has the potential to be among the strictest fishing tackle bans in the country, given the broad scope of weights and sinkers that would be banned under the bill provisions. To date, no studies have been conducted in California to demonstrate lead tackle has an adverse impact on fish or wildlife at a population level.
The bill is currently scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Committee on Government Organization on April 10.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?