Proposed evaluation of fishing regulations clears State Senate committee

Members of the State Senate’s Appropriations Committee advanced a bill proposing to require a survey and evaluation of local fishing laws and regulations, in hopes the study would reveal whether such ordinances are consistent with local police powers.

Senate Bill 234 (SB 234), introduced earlier this year by State Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Fresno, would specifically evaluate each fishing and hunting regulation in California and determine whether any are unlawful.

California’s Fish and Game Commission would be tasked with completing the survey and issuing a report to legislators by Dec. 31, 2018, should SB 234 pass and be signed into law.

Existing law guarantees the right to fish on public waters. Any laws impeding access to public lands and waters for the purposes of fishing are prohibited.

The scope of the survey has not yet been determined, according to a legislative analysis of SB 234.

“The cost of this bill depends upon the number of local ordinances that must undergo legal review and the difficulty in obtaining this information,” the state’s legislative analysis of Berryhill’s bill said. “While it is unknown how many local ordinances impact hunting and fishing in the State, recent research indicates that it is likely a relatively small number. As such, this fiscal analysis assumes a relatively small number of local ordinances will need to undergo legal review. It also assumes that implementation will result in the redirection of one existing staff position for up to one year.”

            SB 234 will continue through the legislative process, with future votes to be reported by FishRap.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

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