New Law Creates 365-Day Fishing License

On October 7th, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 817, first introduced by Assembly member Jim Wood, which is set out to transition California’s calendar-based fishing license to one that is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. The bill also includes a mobile application designed to make fishing easier, more accessible, and an electronic fishing license.

Since 1980, annual resident sport fishing license sales have declined 55 percent while the state’s population has increased over 60 percent. While California has a population of more than 39.8 million people, one of the country’s longest coastlines, more than 3,000 lakes and thousands of rivers and streams, it has the lowest fishing participation rate per capita in the country.

Tourism is one of the largest parts of the North Coast’s economy, and anglers come from all over to enjoy fishing in our ocean and many lakes, rivers and streams,” said Wood., “and it’s only common sense to move past the calendar-based license to a model that is used for so many things in your everyday life, like your Costco membership card.”

Under the bill’s language the 365-day license versus a calendar license and electronic display option would go into effect on or before January 1, 2023. The auto-renewal option has already been rolled out in 2020 and the funding for the electronic fishing license is included in this year’s budget.

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