SACRAMENTO — A proposal aiming to continue funding for steelhead trout conservation programs is officially on the books, as Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 144 (SB 144) into law, Sept. 26.
The new law would allow funds taken from steelhead trout reporting to continue helping pay for conservation programs. SB 144 earned the support of assembly members and state senators during the most recent legislative session.
All 40 state senators voted in favor of the bill in late May; SB 144 passed out of the Assembly by a 75-0 vote on Sept. 5.
Anyone taking steelhead trout from the state’s inland waters must have a fishing report-restoration card on their possession. The base fee for the card was set at $5 in 2004; the fee has been subject to annual adjustments ever since.
Funds raised from the card fee were directed toward steelhead trout conservation programs. However the program was set to end Jan. 1, 2018. SB 144 would extend the report card funding for conservation programs until Jan. 1, 2023.
National Park Service photo