State Senate committees weigh in on fishing proposals

SACRAMENTO — State legislators have begun deliberating new laws proposed by their colleagues, as various bills are now making their respective ways through committee. At least two fishing-themed bills received supportive votes on March 14 by State Senate committees.

Senate Bill 144 (SB 144) was unanimously support (9-0) by the State Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee.

The proposal, introduced by State Sens. Mike McGuire and Jim Nielsen, would require a fishing report-restoration card for steelhead trout to be in effect through July 1, 2022 – five years longer than currently required by law.

Meanwhile the Natural Resources and Water Committee also supported State Sen. Tom Berryhill’s proposal (Senate Bill 234, or SB 234) to prohibit local agencies “from adopting or enforcing an ordinance to regulate fishing.” The committee vote was 8-0 with one “No Vote Recorded.”

SB 234 would specifically make it harder for cities to restrict or regulate pier or jetty fishing.

“According to the author, some localities in California have enacted ordinances that restrict fishing without any underlying authority for those ordinances. The author observes that pier and jetty anglers are predominately subsistence fishers hoping to catch their next meal,” a legislative analysis of SB 234 stated. “The author asserts that these individuals have no access to attorneys when they are shut out of certain high-income areas that have fishing piers, especially along the southern California coast. The author further states that the bill allows parties to such discrimination to engage legal counsel, which would otherwise be denied on the basis of financial capacity.”

FishRap News and The Log will continue to track these and other bills as they move through the legislative process.

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