Several legislative proposals aimed at improving access for California’s recreational anglers are currently under consideration by the state’s legislature.
California law currently stipulates that anglers are not required to purchase a fishing license until the age of 16. Assembly Bill 478, introduced by California Outdoor Sporting Caucus Member Assembly Member Marie Waldron, would increase that limit to 18. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife on March 21.
Senate Bill 187, introduced by California Outdoor Sporting Caucus Member Senator Tom Berryhill, would make annual fishing license sales valid for a full 12-month time frame from the date of purchase. This bill is intended to encourage angler recruitment and retention, as well as increase license sales and state revenue. California fishing licenses currently expire each year on December 31, regardless of the purchase date. This bill is not currently scheduled for a committee hearing.
Also introduced by Senator Berryhill, Senate Bill 234 reaffirms that the authority to regulate recreational fishing in the state rests solely with the California Fish and Game Commission. In addition, the bill would empower citizens to sue local governments who violate this edict, and requires that courts award damages to the prevailing party. Senate Bill 234 will be heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee on March 14.
For more information on angling access, please refer to CSF’s 2017 Issue Briefs.
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?