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Feature Article: CA Fishing License

With no perceivable opposition, 12-month fishing license bill (SB 187) shot down by State Assembly Committee

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 13, 2017

SACRAMENTO — Senate Bill 187, the proposal to change California’s antiquated fishing license process to a 12-month-from-date-of-purchase system, was shot down by the State Assembly appropriations Committee just before Labor Day weekend. It was torpedoed without a vote despite huge support by the California Sportfishing League, a universal consensus that the current “calendar system” is outdated and no recorded opposition.

“California anglers and communities dependent on recreational fishing for tourism and jobs should be profoundly disappointed that a bill that enjoyed overwhelming support was killed in committee. If the bill had been allowed to move to the Assembly Floor, we are certain it would have made it to the Governor’s desk,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Sportfishing League. “Fishing reforms supported by all, and opposed by none are now dead, and so is the hope of reforming a failed fishing license program that is a major contributor to California’s declining fishing participationrate.”


The current license system is believed to be a key factor in substantial decline in license sales in California, and SB 187 could only have helped remedy that problem. Along with better license sales, SB 187 was designed to increase fishing participation and state revenue from long list of businesses that depend on the sport. 


According to a 2015 CSL study, since 1980, annual fishing license sales decreased over 56 percent in California, while the state’s population increased over 60 percent during the same time period. In addition, California has one of the costliest annual licenses in the Nation, not including permits. And despite having one of the nation percent of California adults fish, which ranks dead last per capita among all 50 states.


The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and businesses devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. California’s 2,795,253 million anglers generate $4.6 billion in economic activity annually, supporting local tourism and jobs.




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