Back in April, it looked like California anglers were going to get a 12-month fishing license.
A State Assembly Appropriations Committee squashed a proposed bill, which was almost entirely unopposed,
Currently, whenever an angler buys a license in the state, it expires Dec. 31.
Sen. Tom Berryhill authored Senate Bill 187, which would have made a fishing license in California valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. Seems fair enough.
“Fishing is important for so many Californians,” Berryhill said. “From anglers who love the sport to people just trying to feed their families, this bill would improve the quality of life for our constituents.”
Berryhill has introduced the 12-month bill three times.
The proposed legislation went to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The committee, chaired by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, did not report out S.B. 187. No reason has been given for the bill dying in the committee.
Fishing license sales have dropped because rates have increased. In 2017, a license cost residents $47.01. To use a second rod adds $14.61 to the tab, and saltwater anglers add another $5.14 “ocean enhancement fee.”
There is concern in California that declining fishing license sales will cost funds for fishery and conservation programs.
Officials say the Fish and Game Preservation Fund has a $20 million deficit. It’s funded by license revenue.
Anglers in California are now watching the progress of another bill sponsored by State Assemblyman James Gallagher. Assembly Bill 986 also seeks to make a fishing license valid from the date of sale, along with offering discounts to veterans.
A.B. 986 could be acted upon in January 2018.