Anglers avoid possible ban on common tackle box item, but similar legislation could be proposed later.
SACRAMENTO — A bill introduced on the Assembly floor proposing to ban lead fishing weights in California is no more, as the legislation was re-written as a possible regulation of bulk energy storage.
Assembly Bill 2787, which was proposed by Democratic lawmaker Bill Quirk, initially called for an all-out ban on lead fishing weights in California waters. Anglers and recreational fishing group immediately pushed back on the proposal, arguing Quirk’s bill was not based on any scientific studies or data showing the commonly used tackle box item was harmful to the environment.
Quirk’s bill, as originally drafted, referred to lead fishing weight bans in other states but did not delve into whether the tackle box item would negatively affect marine life in California.
AB 2787 soon was later altered to call for a study on the effects of lead fishing weights on local and regional waterways and whether such effects were harmful.
The bill would be re-written once again, this time shifting away from fishing policy and instead crafted as a proposal on energy regulation.
Anglers won’t face any studies or bans on lead fishing weights in 2018 and into 2019. It is possible, of course, for a lead fishing weight study or ban to be introduced during the 2019-2020 legislative session.
Groups such as the American Sportfishing Association, California Association for Recreational Fishing, California Sportfishing League, California Conservation Association, National Marina Manufacturers Association and Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching opposed AB 2787.