Assembly Appropriations is weighing in on year-round fishing license bill

AB 1387 is on suspense file, meaning it is being reviewed for budgetary constraints. Will the bill finally make it out of this committee and onto the floor for a full vote?

SACRAMENTO—The latest attempt to establish a 12-month fishing license bill was recently placed on the suspense file by California’s Assembly Appropriations Committee. Previous iterations proposing a year-round fishing license bill had previously died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, but the fishing lobby in Sacramento is holding out hope this year will be a little different.

Assembly member Jim Wood introduced AB 1387 earlier this year, taking the torch from State Senator Tom Berryhill, who had championed the 12-month fishing license proposal throughout his legislative tenure, albeit unsuccessfully.

Marko Mlikotin, executive director of California Sportfishing League, told FishRap he is more optimistic than years past. He added the Department of Fish and Wildlife has recognized the decline in fishing participation across the state; the decline has affected the department’s funding, according to Mlikotin.

Several states already have a 365-day licensing scheme already on the books, Mlikotin added, further aiding the case for reform in California.

Also helping the cause: a Democrat introduced AB 1387; Berryhill, who introduced a few versions of the 12-month fishing license bill, was a Republican.

Mlikotin also noted the governor’s mansion has a new tenant, which could be a positive development.

AB 1387 also includes a mobile application feature, which would allow anglers to purchase and/or display fishing licenses. Previous proposals did not have the application element.

Stay tuned to FishRap and The Log for continued updates on AB 1387.

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