California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 817, first introduced by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), which is set out to transition California’s calendar-based fishing license to one that is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. The bill also includes a mobile application designed to make fishing easier, more accessible, and an electronic fishing license.
“It’s time for California to abandon its antiquated fishing license sales system,” Wood said. “Modernizing this to a full 365-day license from the date of purchase will encourage more Californians to fish and increase fishing license revenues that fund critical state fishing and conservation programs.”
“Prior to 2020, annual license sales had experienced a decline starting in 1980 to the tune of 55 percent, while the state’s population has increased over 60 percent since that time, Wood said. ‘In 2020, California fishing license sales spiked upward due to increased participation in angling activities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the long-term trend is still downward.”
Before getting to Governor Newsom’s desk, the California State Senate and Assembly passed Assembly Bill 817 with unanimous votes, and the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) served as the bill sponsor for AB 817. This victory for all anglers had failed on 9 previous attempts by others. This is something that the entire sportfishing industry has been asking for a long time.
“The anglers of California have been asking to get the full value out of their purchase of a fishing license forever.” said Wayne Kotow, Executive Director for CCA CAL. “We finally can see success for the efforts of so many who have tried to accomplish this task over the years. The anglers of CA deserve this along with the option to display their license electronically and have auto-renewal available.”
Under the bill’s language the 365-day license versus a calendar license and electronic display option would go into effect on or before January 1, 2023. The auto-renewal option has already been rolled out in 2020 and the funding for the electronic fishing license is included in this year’s budget.
California’s sport fishing license remains among the costliest in the country and 110 percent over the national average. California’s 1 million recreational anglers contribute over $4.6 billion annually to California’s economy, a major contributor to outdoor tourism and jobs.
For more information, visit ccacalifornia.org
The Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) was created in 2015 when recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts came together to work for the conservation and enhancement of our marine resources and coastal environments.
Today, we are working to protect not only the health, habitat and sustainability of our marine resources, but also the interests of recreational saltwater anglers. Our goal is to protect your access to the marine resources you cherish and enjoy everyday. CCA CAL consists of 2,300 members spread across 7 local chapters in Southern California.