As you know, I am an outdoors enthusiast, and that enthusiasm includes fishing. Anything we can do to get people out of doors, especially our kids, will lure people away from electronic distractions and expose more people to the outdoors.
This session I am a very proud co-author of Senate Bill 187 (SB 187), introduced by Senator Tom Berryhill (R – Twain Harte). Beginning January 1, 2020, the bill will make sport fishing licenses valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, rather than expiring on December 31st regardless of when you bought it during the year.
There has been a significant decline in the number of fishing licenses purchased in California in recent years. California fishing licenses cost $47.01 per year, with a $14.61 additional rod add-on, making our fishing license fees the second-highest in the nation. This can be a significant deterrent for families purchasing fishing licenses for several children and adults, especially since many buy their licenses in the summer. Making the licenses valid for an entire year from the date of purchase could be the bait that lures families back to fishing.
I am happy to report that SB 187 is sailing through the Legislature with unanimous support. The bill passed the Senate on May 31, and the Assembly Water Parks & Wildlife Committee on June 27. It is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, with the next step being the Assembly floor for a final vote.
It is my hope that final passage and enactment of SB 187 will encourage more people to buy fishing licenses since they will be valid for an entire year from the date of purchase.
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Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.