California Sportfishing League introduces new bill to establish 365-day fishing license and mobile fishing app


Fishing in Mariposa County
Sierra Sun Times file photo

February 26, 2019 – Sacramento, California. — On Monday, Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) drafted Assembly Bill 1387, state legislation that will transition to the California calendar california sport fishing league logoa fishing license valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and a mobile phone app that makes fishing easier and more accessible. The bill, sponsored by the California Sportfishing League (CSL), is co-authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and a bipartisan group of 12 other lawmakers.

Since 1980, annual sport fishing license sales for residents have declined by 55%, while the state’s population has increased by more than 60%. While California has a population of over 39.8 million, one of the longest coastlines in the country, more than 3,000 lakes and thousands of rivers and streams, it has the turnout to the lowest per capita fishing in the country.

Expensive fishing licenses that are not valid for 365 days from the date of purchase are a major contributing factor to declining fishing participation rates. California calendar-based fishing licenses expire on December 31 each year, regardless of the date of purchase. Because most anglers will not pay full price for a license that is not valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, fishing license data from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW ) reveal that annual license sales peak in the first quarter of the year. then decline significantly in the spring, even as the weather warms and outdoor activities increase.

Recognizing this marketing flaw, 14 states have moved to a 365-day license. According to Rob Southwick and Associates, a national marketing and economics firm that analyzes fishing license sales nationwide, states that offer a 365-day license exceed the revenue of states that only offer a license. calendar based.

“It’s time for California to drop an outdated fishing license that’s hurting our participation rate,” said Wood. “Upgrading our fishing license to one valid for 365 days from the date of purchase will encourage more Californians to fish and increase fishing license revenue that funds critical state fishing and conservation programs. . Making fishing more accessible truly supports communities that depend on outdoor recreation and tourism.

Wood sits on the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife. He was elected in 2014 and represents Assembly District 2, a northern California district with 300 miles of coastline and numerous state parks, lakes, rivers and streams.

Key Features of Assembly Bill 1387 (Timber):

  • Replaces the current California calendar-based system for a fishing license valid for a full 12 months (365 days) from date of purchase. There will be no increase in fees charged for the 365 day license (same as calendar license).
  • Requires CDFW to create an app where anglers can view sport fishing and hunting licenses on mobile devices. Several states offer mobile phone apps that provide anglers with information on fishing locations, regulations, stocking schedules, campground reservations, and more.
  • The 365-day license will take effect on January 1, 2021, after CDFW updates its automated licensing data system, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by not requiring a software overhaul.

“Calendar-based licensing deters many Californians from purchasing licenses later in a calendar year,” said Wood. “While this legislation does not reduce license fees, it does provide anglers with greater value and the convenience of technology that enhances their fishing experience.”

In 2018, Southwick and Associates released a study titled “Considerations for 365-Day Fishing Licenses” which assessed the current fishing license structure in California and the potential benefits of a 365-day license. He concluded that in order to maintain adequate funding for conservation, changes are needed in state sport fishing license structure, pricing, and/or marketing approaches.

“The bipartisan support for the bill underscores the recognition by members of the state legislature that California’s outdated sport fishing license system is not serving current or future anglers as well as it should,” said CSL CEO Marko Mlikotin (sponsor of the invoice). “Providing anglers with access to a fishing license that offers greater value and technology that makes fishing more accessible is long overdue.”

California’s sport fishing license remains one of the most expensive in the country, second only to Washington State. Since 1986, the price of annual fishing licenses for California residents has risen 216%, or 41% more than the rate of inflation. Today, the license costs 110% more than the national average.

The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of recreational anglers and small business owners dedicated to protecting access to recreational fishing. California’s 2.6 million recreational anglers contribute more than $4.6 billion annually to the California economy, a major contributor to outdoor tourism and employment.

To learn more, visit or Twitter @CASportfishing
Source: California Sport Fishing League


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