SACRAMENTO — If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. The line from William Edward Hickson’s popularization of a proverb could well be a rally cry for State Sen. Tom Berryhill, as the Central California legislator is again campaigning for a 12-month fishing license scheme.
Berryhill’s latest attempt – Senate Bill 187 – hit a wall about five months ago, when the Assembly Appropriations Committee held his 12-month fishing license proposal back despite no known opposition throughout the legislative process.
Attempts to shift California’s fishing licensing scheme from a calendar system to 365-day setup appears to have new life, as Senate Bill 518 was updated as a proposal for 12-month fishing license.
“This legislation aims to increase fishing participation rates, license sales and state revenue by making annual fishing license valid for a full 12-months from the date of purchase at a premium of 130 percent of the annual calendar-year license ($62.86),” the legislation section of California Sportfishing League’s website stated about SB 518.
The Republican legislator from Modesto was actually able to place language similar to SB 187 into SB 518 shortly after the former bill was killed in the Assembly. Berryhill acknowledged the revival of his 12-month fishing license campaign in a September 2017 newsletter to his constituents.
“I’m sad to say SB-187, my bill that would have created a 12-month fishing license, died over in the Assembly. However, as luck would have it, I was able to get similar language into a new bill, SB-518. I believe the new language will be able to get a majority of support. I will be fighting hard for this one next year,” Berryhill said in his legislative update a few months ago.
Legislators have yet to formally act on SB 518 in any capacity, but the clock has definitely started on yet another attempt to shift California’s fishing licensing system to a 12-month scheme.
Two states – Kansas and Nevada – formally rolled out a 365-day fishing license scheme for anglers earlier this year. Purchasing fishing license for a full 12 months, regardless of purchase date, is also an option in Arizona, Texas, Utah and a handful of other states.
SB 187 was the latest in several attempts to switch California over to a 12-month fishing license scheme. An analysis of SB 187 in April 2017 such attempts occurred in the three legislative sessions prior to Berryhill’s proposal last year.