Legislative Update: AB817 365-Day Fishing License for California

STATEWIDE一 On Oct. 7, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 817, which will transition California’s calendar-based fishing license to a license that will be valid for 365 days from the day of purchase.

The bill will also include a mobile application that will offer an option for anglers to display their sportfishing license, validation, report card, and other sport fishing entitlements on an electronic mobile device.

The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Jim Wood on Feb. 17 and was a reiteration of previous attempts to make the transition.

“Prior legislative attempts to create a 365-day license have enjoyed bipartisan support, underscoring that California’s current, outdated sport fishing license system does not properly serve anglers in the Golden State,” said Wayne Kotow, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL), sponsor of AB 817 in an Oct. 7 press release from Assemblymember Jim Wood’s office. “Providing anglers access to a fishing license that provides greater value and technology that makes fishing more accessible is long overdue, and what better way to achieve these goals than to boost the value of a license purchased by an angler? It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

The bill would require the director to provide recommendations to the Legislature for increasing fees for sport fishing licenses to provide resources to fund sport fishing and supporting activities by Jan. 1, 2025.

The bill also requires the director to provide a report evaluating sport fishing licenses by July 1, 2028.

There is an autorenewal option started in 2020, and funding for the electronic fishing license is included in the budget for the upcoming year. To read the full bill, see the California Legislative website at https://bit.ly/3Fzu4eX.

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