Get ready, get set. And well, it’s not quite go yet.
Landmark changes in fishing regulations for San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta – revamped to protect endangered green sturgeon – are ready to launch New Year’s Day, pending the final paperwork by the State Office of Administrative Law.
A new Sturgeon Report Card, which will cost $8.13, is part of sweeping changes that will affect the state’s 2 million licensed anglers, most of whom live in Northern California.
The DFG, to appease environmental groups, will change its name to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Yet funding for the new DFW will not come from environmental fees, but mainly from fishing and hunting licenses and tags, special taxes on fishing and hunting gear, and gas for fishing boats, just like the DFG before it.
The cost of a fishing license for 2013 will rise to the highest of any state, $45.93, plus additional tags that can make the total cost a record $81.37 for Northern California anglers. That could price out many people, especially youth and seniors.
The new regulations for sturgeon fishing are the most wide-reaching changes since the late 1970s, when a section of San Francisco Bay along Tiburon was closed to fishing to stop sturgeon poachers.
The new DFW will distribute the regulations in Russian, Hmong, Vietnamese, Spanish and English in an easy-to-read flyer, said Mike Taugher of the Fisheries Branch.
New license fees: Fishing license, $45.93; Two Rod Stamp (for lakes), $14.04; Sturgeon Report Card, $8.13; Steelhead Report Card, $7.05; North Coast Salmon Stamp, $6.22. Also: One Day License, $14.61; Abalone Punch Card, $21.86.
New sturgeon regs: Sturgeon Report Card required; use of no more than one hook, barbless, single-shank and single-point; use of snares banned; no green sturgeon can be removed from water; no white sturgeon over 68 inches can be removed from water; slot limit, 40 to 60 inches, measured from the snout to the fork in the tail (not end of tail, as previously).
Source: San Francisco Chronicle