CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

TODAY'S HOT NEWS


WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS


California’s Only’s Sportsman’s News Since 1953

Daily Reports is a WON service to readers looking for the latest and hottest news in the state and Baja. If you like to contribute a report we can immediately post after approval, e-mail pat@wonews.com
Support for license bill needed
License bill to heard May 18 in Appropriations

 

Needs on-site support


SACRAMENTO -- Senate Bill 345, the Sportfishing Stimulus Act of 2015, by Sen Tom Berryhill, will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee, State Capitol, Rm. 4203, Monday, May 18 at 10 a.m.


I am urging readers to support this bill that is endorsed by more than 25 industry and tourism associations.


“It would help as a strong turnout could determine the outcome of this bill,” said Marko Milotkin of the California Sportfishing League that is pushing this legislation that is long overdue.


Anglers can also help by visiting the League’s website, www.SportfishingConservation.org to join the online petition — and the group that has pushed this bill, Sportfishing Conservation, is urging its members to contact their State Legislators.


“On May 18, California could be one step closer to reforming a costly and antiquated fishing license system — beginning with a fishing license that is valid a full 12-months from the date of purchase,” said Milotkin.


Go to wonews.com for the link, or go to www.sportfishing Conservation.org for more background material for SB 345, including a list of over 25 associations who support the legislation: The link is

http://www.sportfishingconservation.org/index.php/the-sportfishing-stimulus-act-of-2015-sb345


A 12-month fishing license from the date of purchase is needed and we see no reason for the DFW to oppose this bill that would spur license sales. This writer once asked former DFG (when it was called that) Ryan Broddrick why a license that would be good for 12 months from the purchase date could not be instituted, he said the department did not have the digital capabilities to make the change. That was 10 years ago.


The DFW now has those digital capabilities, and it is time to make the change, and others.


This is the California Sportfishing League’s position:


The Sportfishing Stimulus Act of 2015 (#SB345), authored by Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), provides common sense solutions to addressing California’s declining fishing participation rate which has dropped to dead last in the nation.


#SB345 would:

-Establish an annual fishing license that is valid for a full 12 months


-Establish a discounted junior angler license for 16/17 year olds (base price: $15.12).


-Kids under 16 would continue to fish for free.


-Exempts bona fide charitable organizations from possession limits for donated sport fish.


This would allow non-profits to solicit donations in recreationally-caught fish without being over the organization’s possession limit. For example, an organization may wish to solicit recreationally caught fish for a Feed the Hungry event. The same exemption for non-profits and hunted game was recently signed into law by Gov. Brown.

It’s time for a 12-month fishing license in California
Perspective: BY MARKO MLIKOTIN

Imagine if you produced a product that experienced a 55 percent decline in sales over 35 years. Now, imagine that projections showed that sales would decline an additional 47 percent over the next 10 to 15 years. Would you call for an emergency meeting of your sales team?


While this scenario may elicit fear from business owners everywhere, it’s a reality for California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), as these numbers reflect the actual sales history of resident annual fishing licenses. While DFW should find these sales figures alarming and take immediate action to reform its antiquated fishing license program, the Department continues to aggressively defend the failed status quo.


Consumers typically consider price and value when making financial choices. This is why it’s so puzzling that DFW offers one of the costliest fishing licenses in the country yet remarkably chooses to push a license that does not offer anglers maximum value by being valid for a full 12 months.


What’s more, defending a costly and antiquated system is not in the long-term financial interest of DFW and its programs. DFW is funded in large part by sportfishing license fees, and receives millions of dollars from the federal government from taxes generated from fishing tackle sales. As state fishing license sales continue to decline, DFW stands to lose millions of federal dollars within a few short years, putting fishery management, fish stocking and habitat conservation programs at further risk.


In fact, a “death spiral” in fishing license sales could occur as the state continues to lose more than 35,000 annual fishing licenses per year. The time has come when the sale of fishing licenses will not keep pace with the department’s financial needs, evident by the DFW’s cuts in its trout stocking programs due to budget constraints. Simply put, by defending the broken status quo, DFW is biting the very hand that feeds it – the California recreational angler.


Their failure to act is why the California Sportfishing League has sponsored the Sportfishing Stimulus Act of 2015 (SB 345), legislation introduced by Senator Tom Berryhill and Assembly Member Frank Bigelow and co-authored by a bipartisan group of 8 additional legislators. SB 345 aims to provide anglers greater value and savings, including the establishment of a 12-month license and a junior license ($15.12 for 16-17 yrs) so that kids don’t have to purchase an adult license that can cost anywhere from $47.01 to $120 year!


When it comes to political leadership, it is often said that “as California goes, so goes the nation.” However, when it comes to promoting recreational fishing, this has not been the case. DFW should embrace positive change, not fear it. Rather than justifying their opposition to reforms by citing states that have faced challenges transitioning to a 12-month license, they should emulate those who have been successful and build upon that success, all the while recognizing that California is unique.


This is what an unprecedented coalition of influential angler, business and tourism associations is calling on the California State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown to do. It is imperative that state decision makers look beyond DWF’s opposition to recognize that recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion in economic activity each year, supporting communities and families dependent on it for jobs, tourism and local tax revenue. More fishing simply means more economic activity.


If the state’s goal is to grow recreational fishing’s contribution to the economy and increase Department funding, then it’s time to abandon a failed program that has only resulted in fewer licenses sold and fewer anglers. It’s time to abandon the indefensible position that the status quo is working. It’s time to embrace bold reforms that have worked in other states. It’s time for a 12-month fishing license that offers greater value and results in increased license sales. We hope you agree.


Marko Mlikotin, is the executive director of the California Sportfishing League. To join a growing coalition of SB 345 supporters, visit www.sportfishingconservation.org.




Business/Tourism Community Rallies in Defense of Recreational Fishing


SACRAMENTO — California State Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water passed Senate Bill 345, the California Sportfishing Stimulus Act of 2015, by a vote recently of 8-0.


“A bipartisan panel of California legislators recognized that reforming California’s fishing license program is necessary to increase fishing participation and grow the economy,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director for the California Sportfishing League. “As consumers, it makes no sense for anglers to pay full price for annual fishing license that is not valid for a full 12 months. It’s time to reform a costly and antiquated program that is discouraging participation and harming the jobs dependent on the future of recreational fishing.”


An unprecedented number of prominent business and tourism associations appeared at the hearing in defense of a form of outdoor recreation that generates over $4.9 billion in economic activity each year, supporting communities dependent on fishing for tourism, jobs and tax revenue.


“California’s great outdoors and vast coastline, and thousands of lakes and streams attract anglers from all over the world, generating tax revenue and jobs for communities dependent on recreational anglers,” said Ken DeVore, Legislative Director, National Federation of Independent Business/CA. “Unless California’s extraordinary decline in fishing participation is addressed quickly, jobs and tourism dollars will be at risk.”


Senate Bill 345, sponsored the California Sportfishing League and introduced by Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) and Assembly Member Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), must be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee before the legislation goes to the full California Senate.


Members of the Committee who voted in support of SB 345 were: Chair Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Vice Char Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County), Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica).


The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing.


To learn more visit www.sportfishingconservation.org or @CASportfishing


casportsleaguelogo


License bill passes first Senate test
California Fishing License Legislation Passes First Committee

 

 Community Rallies in Defense of Recreational Fishing



 SACRAMENTO   --  The California State Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water passed Senate Bill 345, the California Sportfishing Stimulus Act of 2015, by a vote of 8-0 on April 28.


“Today, a bipartisan panel of California legislators recognized that reforming California’s fishing license program is necessary to increase fishing participation and grow the economy,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director for the California Sportfishing League. “As consumers, it makes no sense for anglers to pay full price for annual fishing license that is not valid for a full 12-months. It’s time to reform a costly and antiquated program that is discouraging participation and harming the jobs dependent on the future of recreational fishing.”


An unprecedented number of prominent business and tourism associations appeared at the hearing in defense of a form of outdoor recreation that generates over $4.9 billion in economic activity each year, supporting communities dependent on fishing for tourism, jobs and tax revenue.
“California’s great outdoors and vast coastline, and thousands of lakes and streams attract anglers from all over the world, generating tax revenue and jobs for communities dependent on recreational anglers,” said Ken DeVore, Legislative Director, National Federation of Independent Business/CA. “Unless California’s extraordinary decline in fishing participation is addressed quickly, jobs and tourism dollars will be at risk.”


Senate Bill 345, sponsored the California Sportfishing League and introduced by Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) and Assembly Member Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), must be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee before the legislation goes to the full California Senate.


Members of the Committee who voted in support of SB 345 were: Chair Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Vice Char Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County), Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica).



For more information about the bill or to become a supporter, visit CSL’s website or click here.
The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing.


To learn more visit www.SportfishingConservation.org or @CASportfishing
Contact: Marko Mlikotin
916.817.4444

We Won! Court forced DFG to back off
Court ruling sinks Cal. state assault on recreational fishing

 

Victory preserves jobs, recreational opportunities for individuals, families


Sacramento,  Feb. 10 --Today the  California Third District Court of Appeal has struck down the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s illegally drafted permitting requirements on recreational freshwater fishing — regulations that threatened to decimate the $2.4 billion industry by driving fishing lakes, private hatcheries, and fish farms out of business.


The ruling today, Tuesday, came in a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), by Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), representing the California Association for Recreational Fishing (CARF), a grass-roots organization of freshwater recreational fishermen and businesses that serve them. PLF represents CARF — as with all clients — free of charge.


Even though the state’s freshwater fish population is historically healthy, DFW devised a radical new mandate on hatcheries and stocking ponds. Before they could stock or raise any fish, DFW would have to determine there would be no effect on dozens of arbitrarily-selected species — including species that are abundant and thriving in California.


This process would be so cumbersome and drawn out that it could effectively block many stocking ponds and hatcheries from continuing to operate.


Heavy-handed regulations adopted without public input


PLF challenged the new requirements because they were drafted without public input, as mandated by the California Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA). In ruling for PLF and striking them down, the Third District agreed they are illegal ‘underground regulations’ — i.e. the bureaucracy did not comply with CAPA’s requirements for public review and comments.


PLF statement: A win for accountability in government


“This court ruling is a powerful victory for everyone who values recreational fishing opportunities, and for everyone who values openness and accountability in government,” said PLF Senior Staff Attorney Joshua Thompson. “The DFW concocted these radical regulations all on its own, without any request from the Legislature and without seeking public review and comment as state law requires. This court victory saves recreational fishing from out-of-control regulators and protects everyone’s rights by reminding bureaucrats they aren’t above the law.”


The controversial new regulations are rooted in a 2010 Fish and Wildlife Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that claims the stocking of lakes and ponds with hatchery bred fish puts indigenous fish and habitat in danger. The report also radically changed the permitting process for stocking private fishing lakes and ponds without any public review or input, and without direction from the State Legislature.


The state agency changed its fish stocking permitting process in the EIR by prohibiting all stocking which would have an adverse effect on "decision species." More than half of these so-called "decision species" are not listed under any statute or regulation, but were included by agency whim, stated Thompson. The EIR also required private hatcheries to engage in continuous and expensive monitoring for invasive species, the results of which must be reported to the Department for use in its investigations and permitting decisions.


The regulations would also have required environmental reports for California fishing lakes, at costs potentially exceeding $100,000 every 1-5 years, threatening the ability of fishing lakes to remain in operation and provide an affordable form of outdoor recreation.


Under CAPA, agencies must follow notice and comment procedures before adopting regulations. These procedures not only protect the people who will be subject to the regulation, but benefit everyone by ensuring that agencies only adopt regulations once the consequences have been brought to light. As the Third District affirmed in striking down the new permitting requirements, any regulation that is adopted without following these procedures is an “underground regulation” and void.


CARF president: A win for families who love freshwater fishing


“We could not be more pleased with the Appellate Court’s rejection of the Department’s illegal regulations,” said Craig Elliott, President of CARF and a recreational fishing lakes operator and fish farmer. “This ruling ensures that freshwater fishing will continue to be an affordable and accessible form of recreation for California families and a source of jobs. California anglers owe a debt of gratitude to PLF for championing our cause.”


The case is California Association for Recreational Fishing v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. More information, and the original complaint, may be found at PLF’s website: www.pacificlegal.org.


Additional information regarding the California Association for Recreational Fishing can be found at www.savecalfishing.org.

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation is the leading legal watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations, in courts across the country.


See more: San Diego Union Tribune's Ed Zieralski weighs in


http://m.utsandiego.com/news/2015/feb/10/outdoors-stocking-lawsuit-fisheries/

A RARE FISH IN A CRAZY SEASON
Palos Verdes Dogtooth Snapper? Really!?

 

Spearfisherman’s take of a dogtooth snapper recently off Palos Verdes is just one of his two rare freediving experiences


TODD BERGENBRING with dogtooth snapper off Rancho Palos Verdes a few weeks ago. PHOTO BY BECKY BERGENBRING


BY PAT McDONELL

WON Staff Writer

PALOS VERDES – Todd Bergenbring dove 133 days last year and speared only 12 fish, setting the bar high on what he takes. Among the fish he has taken are two rarities, a dogtooth snapper he speared a few weeks ago of Palos Verdes Peninsula, and before that a 40-pound white seabass off La Paz while on a 5-day live-aboard hunt in 2004.

The pictures of the dogtooth snapper on Facebook went viral and was just another example of how interesting and prolific this warm water season has been in SoCal. Wahoo near the coast? Bluefin continuing through winter on the banks? Blue marlin off San Clemente Island? A yellowtail season that may not end?

But a dogtooth snapper, a fish that ranges from southern Baja to the tropics is truly bizarre for this region. They are not pelagic. They do not migrate distances. Panama yes, Costa Rica yes, La Paz? Yes. But the rocky coast of PV? Come On, Man! No one can remember anyone ever catching or spearing a dogtooth off SoCal.

“Can you imagine how I felt as the scenario transpired?” asked Bergenbring. “I had been out for about 2 ½ hours and was getting tired and cold. I was on the way in, just diving under the kelp to travel to the inside, not really even in hunting mode anymore. In the really thick, canopied area about 20 feet deep, I see this head just sitting there stationary about 20 feet away. I was like, ‘Nice! Looks like about a 35 to 40-pound white seabass.’

“I come around the corner to see the short, stumpy body, and thought ’Oh, it’s a black seabass.’ As I’m inching closer and closer, the face is all wrong and looks just like a dogtooth snapper, but it can’t be. It looks totally gray under the shade of the canopy. When I finally get about 10 feet away, a slit opens in the canopy, a shaft of light comes through right on the side and it lights up bright orange!”

He took aim and the spear hit the snapper in the spine.

“I stoned it. It just dropped like a rock,” he said. “When I pulled it to the surface and held it in my hands, I still couldn’t believe it was happening. Talk about surreal.

It truly is a one in a million fish. Can you imagine how I felt as I drew nearer and nearer and it was becoming clearer and clearer what it was? How can you even explain something so strange? I was trying to explain to someone that doesn't know about fish that it was like going out your front door and there's a giraffe standing there. And it didn't escape from a zoo, it's wild.

Bergenbring, 48, has been freediving since 1993 and owns hull cleaning business in San Pedro called The Gleaming Keel.

“I put a lot of time into my diving, keeping it to a minimum of 125 days a year. This past year I dove 133 days and only speared 12 fish,” he said. “Now, that’s conservation! After doing it so long and having been blessed with so many awesome fish, I just set the bar really high and hold off until I see the fish that fits my predetermined criteria.”

Among his select kills are three white seabass 70 pounds, and all, he says, are certified weights at 71, 74 and a 76.6 pounder. The La Paz experience in 2004 was right up there with the dogtooth. White seabass in La Paz are often mistaken with totuava. His was definitely a white seabass.

“We were diving all over the islands down there, and for the entire trip we saw very little. In the last 10 minutes of the trip, I decided to swim way out off this pinnacle out into open water in the hopes of something special happening. I’m down about 20 feet just hanging there looking out into the gloom, when out of the corner of my left eye I see movement. I looked over and a huge amberjack, about 80 pounds comes swimming right out in front of me.”

He said he lined up for the shot when he noticed something was following it. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

“My mind was reeling as I was looking at it, because I wanted to make absolutely sure it wasn’t a totuava,” recalls Bergenbring. “As it passed in front of me, I knew it was a seabass and let the spear go. It was a perfect shot, right in the spine, and the fish just dropped. When I handed it up to the pangero who has done this all his life, he says to me, ‘What is it? I’ve never seen this fish before.’”

The fact is, he said, it’s all time in the water. Being selective. Just looking at the environment around you.

“If you put a lot of time in the water and hold off, you would be amazed at what you’ll see. That’s what I love about the sport, you just never know.”

Two rare kills, and now his friends are dubbing him the Fish Whisperer.

“Hilarious,” he says. But who knows, it might stick?

 

TODD BERGENBRING, right, and his 40-pound white seabass on a 2004 dive trip. RON MULLINS PHOTO

Page 1 of 22 First | Previous | Next | Last