California Association for Recreational Fishing http://www.savecalfishing.org Protecting California's Recreational Fishing Industry Mon, 13 Jan 2014 20:43:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PLF Appeals Decision Upholding Department of Fish and Game’s Illegal Fish Stocking Regulations http://www.savecalfishing.org/2013/04/04/plf-appeals-decision-upholding-department-of-fish-and-games-illegal-fish-stocking-regulations/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2013/04/04/plf-appeals-decision-upholding-department-of-fish-and-games-illegal-fish-stocking-regulations/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 23:43:27 +0000 CARF Staff http://www.savecalfishing.org/?p=529 From the PLF Blog: Today, PLF filed an appeal on behalf of the California Association of Recreational Fishing, challenging regulations imposed illegally by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  These regulations threaten the ability of private hatcheries and private fishing lakes and ponds to remain in business.  They also deprive the people of the …

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From the PLF Blog:plf

Today, PLF filed an appeal on behalf of the California Association of Recreational Fishing, challenging regulations imposed illegally by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  These regulations threaten the ability of private hatcheries and private fishing lakes and ponds to remain in business.  They also deprive the people of the state, particularly urban children, of opportunities to fish.

As we’ve blogged before, the case arises out of an environmental impact report (EIR) that the Department prepared to determine the environmental effects of stocking fish in the state’s own hatcheries.  Yet the Report also radically changed the permitting process for private fish stocking.  Under California law, one must obtain a permit from the Department in order to stock fish, and the Department must grant the permit unless regulations adopted by the California Aquaculture Commission would prohibit the stocking.  In the EIR, the Department changed this regime by prohibiting all stocking which would have an adverse effect on “decision species.”  More than half of these so-called “decision species” are not listed under any statute or regulation, but were included by agency whim.  The EIR also requires private hatcheries to engage in continuous and expensive monitoring for invasive species, the results of which must be reported to the Department for use in its investigations and permitting decisions.

Under the California Administrative Procedure Act, agencies must follow notice and comment procedures before adopting regulations.  These procedures not only protect the people that will be subject to the regulation, but benefit everyone by ensuring that agencies only adopt regulations once the consequences have been brought to light.  Any regulation that is adopted without following these procedures is an “underground regulation” and void.

Here, the Department of Fish and Game failed to follow the notice and comment procedures when it adopted the fish stocking regulations in the EIR.  The court below excused its failure, finding that, because it was acting pursuant to “long-standing objectives of public policy,” the Department didn’t have to comply with the notice and comment procedures.  In our opening brief, we explain why these underground regulations cannot be excused for any reason, and certainly not for a reason as amorphous as “long-standing objectives of public policy.”  The Legislature, in enacting the Administrative Procedure Act, decided that the notice and comment procedures do not conflict with public policy.  The courts should not ignore this judgment.

If the Department had complied with the notice and comment procedures, it might have learned about the impacts that these new regulations would have on the private fishing industry.  According to CARF Board Member Craig Elliott, “The Court’s decision, if upheld on Appeal, will have a devastating economic impact on recreational fishing, aquaculture, jobs and tourism. [The] decision sends a message to Californians that unelected bureaucrats, and not the State Legislature, can develop regulations with no public oversight.  That’s not going to sit well with a public that seems to be losing its freedoms and liberties on a daily basis.  There are times in life when you must fight, and this is one of those times; fishing is as American as apple pie.”

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Lawsuit Update http://www.savecalfishing.org/2013/01/04/lawsuit-update/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2013/01/04/lawsuit-update/#comments Fri, 04 Jan 2013 21:09:00 +0000 CARF Staff http://savecalfishing.epsilonfinancial.com/?p=362 Last September, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the California Department of Fish and Game, allowing the State to implement overly excessive and costly fish stocking regulations. The economic analysis shows that the new regulations will impact over 4,000 California lakes and reservoirs, and over 20,000 ponds – including golf courses and …

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Last September, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the California Department of Fish and Game, allowing the State to implement overly excessive and costly fish stocking regulations. The economic analysis shows that the new regulations will impact over 4,000 California lakes and reservoirs, and over 20,000 ponds – including golf courses and Koi ponds, both under the broad legal definition of what is a “Water of the State”! The analysis concluded that what was once a $53 fish stocking fee could cost some lake operators and water districts over $100,000 in environmental assessments! Yes, costs so high that no lake operator would even consider staying in businesses.

This is why these regulations were unanimously rejected by the California Fish and Game Commission in December, 2011. Unfortunately this did not deter the department from defending the regulations in court. Remember, a coalition made up of over 60 organizations representing sport fishing, small business, restaurants, local government and the outdoor tourism industry shared our concerns that $3 billion in regulatory costs will cripple freshwater fishing in California.

We have fought the Department for the last couple years with the help of supporters like you and the Pacific Legal Foundation. Please join our organization so we can continue the fight for increased access in California!

Click here for an article about the regulations that would have cost thousands of dollars per lake, and jobs! Click here to read an article about the adverse effects this court ruling will have!

Click here for an economic analysis.

Click here to read the court ruling.

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Many Changes in Store for California Fishermen http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/12/24/many-changes-in-store-for-california-fishermen/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/12/24/many-changes-in-store-for-california-fishermen/#comments Mon, 24 Dec 2012 23:10:26 +0000 CARF Staff http://savecalfishing.epsilonfinancial.com/?p=236 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. The wait could delay the …

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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.

The wait could delay the rules from being enacted into early January, said Stafford Lehr, chief of the Fisheries Branch for the Department of Fish and Game.

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

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Ruling on Stocking Permits Disappoints Fish Farmers http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/10/10/ruling-on-stocking-permits-disappoints-fish-farmers/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/10/10/ruling-on-stocking-permits-disappoints-fish-farmers/#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:19:23 +0000 CARF Staff http://savecalfishing.epsilonfinancial.com/?p=254 California fish farmers say they are disappointed with a recent court ruling that would allow the state to proceed with new fish stocking regulations that they fear could cause economic harm to their businesses and their clients. A Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled last month in favor of the California Department of Fish and Game, …

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California fish farmers say they are disappointed with a recent court ruling that would allow the state to proceed with new fish stocking regulations that they fear could cause economic harm to their businesses and their clients.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled last month in favor of the California Department of Fish and Game, which had sought to implement new rules and changes to current private stocking permit regulations.

Under the proposed regulatory changes, aquaculture farms that stock fish in the state’s private and public waters would need to be regularly inspected and certified free of disease and invasive species.

The new rules would also require landowners who want to stock fish in their private lakes and ponds to obtain a permit and a health certificate from the farm conducting the stocking. Some landowners would also be required to conduct an environmental review to evaluate the effect of stocked fish on a list of some 80 sensitive species.

Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Association for Recreational Fishing, which filed the lawsuit against DFG, said the
environmental assessments are so cost-prohibitive that they will drive lake operators and those who supply fish to them out of business. The association commissioned a study last year that estimates the cost of a full environmental review could reach as high as $100,000 for some properties.

“The court decision will have a devastating impact on freshwater fishing and California’s food supply,” Mlikotin said. “It’s a trickle-down effect. If that lake operator goes out of business, the fish farmer that stocks it will lose a significant part, if not all, of their business. And unlike other California businesses that have migrated to business-friendly states, fish farmers just don’t have that option.”

The department proposed the new rules in response to a 2006 lawsuit by environmental groups against the state’s fish hatcheries. That suit said DFG had not adequately studied the potential effect of its fish stocking program on protected species. The court ordered DFG to complete an environmental impact report, released in January 2010. The report outlined proposed changes to the department’s own facilities but also included new regulations to cover privately held fish hatcheries and stock ponds.

Mlikotin said the association is considering an appeal and discussing options with its members and coalition partners, including the California Farm Bureau Federation. The case was litigated by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of CARF.

It is unclear how and how quickly DFG will implement the proposed rules, which still must be approved by the state Fish and Game Commission. The commission rejected the department’s new regulations last December, a move that many aquaculture farmers saw as a “big win,” said Michael Lee, executive director of the California Aquaculture Association, who said he was surprised by the court ruling.

“We really thought it was going to go in favor of the industry, so it definitely came as a bit of a shock to us,” Lee said.

CAA is communicating with its members about the outcome of the case and will continue to support CARF in its efforts, Lee said.

Mike Taugher, spokesman for DFG, said the department will work “with a broad group of stakeholders to try to craft a plan that meets their concerns and complies with the law.” He said he expects discussions to begin in the coming months.

Tony Vaught, owner of Professional Aquaculture in Chico and president of the California Aquaculture Association, said he hopes CARF will appeal the ruling but is “thankful” that the department had recently appointed an aquaculture coordinator “to engage with the industry” in its next steps to implement the proposed rules.

Vaught, whose business is in consulting and helping fish farmers with site selection and setting up their operations, said the potential impacts of the court ruling and the new regulations have given some of his clients pause with regards to expanding their operations or starting a new aquaculture business. But he said he’s telling them to “go ahead cautiously, because I really believe we have a case here that we can argue.”

Source: Ching Lee | AgAlert

(Ching Lee is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at clee@cfbf.com.)
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.

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Yuba-Sutter Pond Owners Fishing for Answers After Judge’s Ruling http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/10/06/yuba-sutter-pond-owners-fishing-for-answers-after-judges-ruling/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/10/06/yuba-sutter-pond-owners-fishing-for-answers-after-judges-ruling/#comments Sat, 06 Oct 2012 23:26:04 +0000 CARF Staff http://savecalfishing.epsilonfinancial.com/?p=258 By Ben van der Meer/ADbvandermeer Owners and operators of fish ponds and lakes may feel like they’re getting a hook in their thumb from new state regulations set to be adopted in coming months. After a Sacramento Superior Court judge’s ruling last month, all such ponds and lakes will have to be permitted and checked …

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By Ben van der Meer/ADbvandermeer

Owners and operators of fish ponds and lakes may feel like they’re getting a hook in their thumb from new state regulations set to be adopted in coming months.

After a Sacramento Superior Court judge’s ruling last month, all such ponds and lakes will have to be permitted and checked by state officials for possible impacts on local and native species.

Read the Sacramento judge’s ruling.  Or read the cost implications.

Though the exact costs have not been fleshed out, a spokesman for the California Association for Recreational Fishing said small operators may choose to stop stocking entirely rather than pay for permits.

“The environmental assessments, if they’re needed, will cost upwards of $100,000,” said Marko Mlikotin, the association spokesman. “That small lake operator will say, ‘I can’t stock fish anymore.’”

In Yuba-Sutter, the regulations, which the state Fish and Game Commission must still formally adopt, will affect bodies of water operated by public agencies, like the Yuba County Water Agency’s Lake Francis in Dobbins, and those managed privately, like Lake Minden in Nicolaus.

Mlikotin said the regulations emanated from a lawsuit by environmental groups against the state over state-run fisheries amid concerns about possible fish escapes and subsequent interactions with native species.

The state lost the suit, but the subsequent regulations were written to apply to both private and public fish stocks, he said.

“Our contention went that a major source of the aquaculture industry wasn’t brought into the discussion of the regulations,” he said.

But the ruling last month, in response to another suit filed by the recreational fishing association, gives the state the go-ahead to require owners of fish lakes and ponds to pay an undetermined fee for permits. In some cases, the owners may also have to pay environmental assessments.

“This decision reinforces what we have known here at Fish and Game for some time: that our fish-stocking program adopted in 2010 strikes the right balance by affording public fishing opportunities while maintaining our stewardship of California’s rivers and streams,” said DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham, in a press release issued after the ruling.

However, the new regulations may have the opposite effect of what is intended, said Dan Spangler, who operates an aquaculture farm for catfish near East Nicolaus.

Because the fine for not submitting to a permit inspection is $250, Spangler said, many lake owners may opt to pay that instead and be largely unregulated.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to have any impact on me,” Spangler said. “My question is, what are the unintended consequences?”

Lincoln Young, general manager at Collins Lake near Browns Valley, said he’s not concerned about the impact on him.

Fish and Game already has an active program to stock the lake with rainbow trout, the only species in the lake that isn’t native. Because those trout are sterile, he said, he doubts state regulators will see any potential issues.

“The ones most likely to be impacted are the ones Fish and Game is not active in,” he said.

Still, he said he’s sympathetic to state regulators who want to preserve natural river systems and animal species, and lake owners who see the issue as another example of state overreach.

In the long run, Mlikotin’s group believes, the impact will be felt first by fishermen who enjoy visiting lakes and the local economies around them.

And with much of the state’s fresh fish coming from such ponds, Spangler said, others will notice too.

“If you’re somebody in the live fish market who’s getting supply, you’re going to hit the consumer really hard,” he said.

Source: appeal-democrat.com

CONTACT Ben van der Meer at bvandermeer@appealdemocrat.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.

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Fish and Game Permit Proposal Roils Private California Lake Owners http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/09/30/fish-and-game-permit-proposal-roils-private-california-lake-owners/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/09/30/fish-and-game-permit-proposal-roils-private-california-lake-owners/#comments Sun, 30 Sep 2012 21:02:33 +0000 CARF Staff http://www.savecalfishing.org/?p=446 Operators of private fish ponds and lakes around the state say a recent court ruling could saddle them with devastating costs and potentially force some out of business. The Sept. 19 ruling by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly allows the state’s Department of Fish and Game to proceed with plans to require fish pond …

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Operators of private fish ponds and lakes around the state say a recent court ruling could saddle them with devastating costs and potentially force some out of business.

The Sept. 19 ruling by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly allows the state’s Department of Fish and Game to proceed with plans to require fish pond owners to obtain permits for their operations. The new permitting requirement would apply to 4,000 lakes and 20,000 ponds in California.

Pond and lake owners would have to pay an as-yet-undetermined fee to obtain a permit. Some would also have to conduct an environmental review to show that their fish would not invade other bodies of water and cause harm to native fish or animals. Fish and Game also proposes to require them to provide a certificate stating that their fish are pathogen free.

Fish pond operators say those requirements are too onerous.

“The (court) ruling is just not prudent,” said Ken Beer, owner of the Fishery – a Galt-based fish farm that has four locations and grows sturgeon, catfish and carp. Beer supplies live fish to more than 60 Asian live markets as well as local restaurants in the Sacramento region.

He said the proposed requirement that fish be certified as disease-free would be particularly difficult to meet.

“We would have to go out and find the company to do that certification –and right now there are few labs that can do it,” he said. “It would be like going to the city of Los Angeles and certifying that everyone there is disease-free.”

The permitting is meant to safeguard a list of 89 “decision” native animal species, each of which may come under threat depending on what kind of fish a landowner decides to stock in a pond or lake.

Fish and Game proposed the new regulations after environmental groups filed lawsuits arguing that the department was not adequately evaluating the potential impact on native fish species reared in its own hatcheries. The department responded with new rules for the hatcheries – and is now proposing new scrutiny for private lakes and ponds as well.

In a court filing, the department argues that protecting native fish and animals is of the “utmost public interest.”

The department’s proposed permitting program, which still must be approved by the state Fish and Game Commission, would apply to 37 counties, most of them in the Central Valley, including Sacramento County.

Lake and pond owners in those counties currently are not required to pay any permitting fee to stock fish.

Fish pond and lake operators in the state’s remaining counties – mostly in the mountains and along the coast – already are required to obtain permits, which now cost $53. There is no environmental assessment required.

Fish pond owners in the Central Valley say they’re worried that it will be expensive to comply with the proposed permitting requirements, because they may have to pay for an environmental assessment that could cost thousands of dollars.

The permitting process will likely be required every five years.

For some, the costs could run into six figures, predicted Marko Mlikotin, spokesman for the California Association for Recreational Fishing.

To help make its case, the fishing industry group hired Pasadena-based Sapphos Environmental, a consulting firm, to gauge what such permitting would cost for four different-size lakes.

The firm concluded that conducting an environmental analysis would cost the owner of Dixon Lake, near San Diego, $181,086. Closer to home, 8-acre Knickerbocker Lake in Lincoln would incur costs of $46,515 to satisfy permitting requirements, the report said.

“This will have a devastating impact on recreational fishing and outdoor tourism, and on businesses as well as local government sales tax,” CARF’s Mlikotin said.

Fish and Game officials say the cost of permitting will not be as heavy as the industry contends, because only a portion of ponds and lakes will be required to conduct environmental reviews.

“The department disputes CARF’s estimate,” said Fish and Game spokesman Mike Taugher.

Beer, though, contends that the permitting requirement could eventually cause some fish farms to go out of business, and so reduce the amount of fresh fish available to diners in the Sacramento area.

“Most of the fish grown in private fish farms, except for trout, are sold for food – and almost all of it is sold and consumed locally,” he said.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/30/4866937/fish-and-game-permit-proposal.html

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CARF Legal and Legislative Updates http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/06/13/carf-legal-and-legislative-updates/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/06/13/carf-legal-and-legislative-updates/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:06:45 +0000 CARF Staff http://www.savecalfishing.org/?p=449 Dear Fishing Enthusiasts, The California Association for Recreational Fishing (CARF) would like to thank you again for your support of recreational fishing in California. Lawsuit Update We have had a busy few months here at CARF! Our lawsuit against the Department of Fish and Game, questioning their legal ability to implement “underground” regulations, was heard …

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Dear Fishing Enthusiasts,

The California Association for Recreational Fishing (CARF) would like to thank you again for your support of recreational fishing in California.

Lawsuit Update

We have had a busy few months here at CARF! Our lawsuit against the Department of Fish and Game, questioning their legal ability to implement “underground” regulations, was heard in April, and we expect a decision by the end of the summer. We are hopeful that the Court will rule in CARF’s favor and force the DFG to rethink its strategy of implementing overly costly and burdensome regulations that threaten small businesses, fish stocking, and access to fishing.

To learn more about the case that the Pacific Legal Foundation is arguing on behalf of CARF, click here.

Legislation

CARF is also working hard on the legislative front to protect recreational fishing.

SUPPORT AB 1786 (Fishing Licenses) – One of the bills CARF is actively supporting is AB 1786, written by Assembly Members Curt Hagman and Allan Mansoor. This bill would change the term of an annual fishing license from one that expires on January 1 of each year, to one that is good for a full 365-days from purchase! This common sense bill will encourage more fishermen to fish more often and provide a boost in the number of anglers and the economic activity they generate! This bill has passed out of the Assembly unanimously and now moves to the Senate. Click here to read an article written by CARF’s Executive Director supporting AB 1786.

SUPPORT AB 1886 (Aquaculture Coordinator) – CARF also supports AB 1886, written by Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro and sponsored by the California Aquaculture Association. This bill would levy an increased fee on Aquaculturists in order to pay for a permanent Aquaculture Coordinator Position. AB 1886 passed out of the Assembly and will now be heard in the Senate.

OPPOSE AB 2179 (Administrative Fines) – CARF opposes AB 2179, written by Assemblyman Michael Allen. This bill increases the scope of administrative fees the DFG can impose without the necessary due process. If this law passes, the DFG will be able to levy fees up to $20,000without having to go through the Court system. In effect, the DFG becomes the judge, jury and executioner for any fine less than $20,000! This is simply wrong! This bill passed out of the Assembly and now moves to the Senate.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! You have a voice in the Legislative process! Please contact your Legislators (click here) and ask them to support recreational fishing and the thousands of jobs dependent on it by supporting AB 1786 & AB 1886, and opposing AB 2179! Only by voicing your opinion can we be successful in protecting recreational fishing!

We’re Staying Vigilant

We are staying vigilant and will be sure to inform you if dangers to recreational fishing arise again. Our hard work to protect fishing from the DFG’s proposed “underground” regulations last year came at a tremendous cost to our organization. We ask that you join CARF or make a one-time donation, no matter how small, by clicking here.Your financial support is vitally important to protecting jobs and a great American pastime, fishing.

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WON: Fishing License Reform Needed, AB 1786 Would Provide It http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/06/08/won-fishing-license-reform-needed-ab-1786-would-provide-it/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/06/08/won-fishing-license-reform-needed-ab-1786-would-provide-it/#comments Fri, 08 Jun 2012 21:07:34 +0000 CARF Staff http://www.savecalfishing.org/?p=451 Would you pay $41.50 for a half-day fishing trip to Catalina Island, while your buddy pays the same price for a full-day trip? No way. But, crazy as it sounds, that’s how the fishing license fee structure operates in California. In our fine State there is no difference in cost for an annual license purchased …

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Would you pay $41.50 for a half-day fishing trip to Catalina Island, while your buddy pays the same price for a full-day trip?

No way. But, crazy as it sounds, that’s how the fishing license fee structure operates in California.

In our fine State there is no difference in cost for an annual license purchased at the beginning of the year, or near the end of the calendar year, with all so-called annual licenses expiring on the same day each year, Jan. 1.

The obvious consequence of this arcane system is that it creates a disincentive for anglers to purchase an annual license later in the year, and to purchase one- or two-day licenses instead, if at all.

In many cases, a licensing system that offers some anglers greater benefits than others has led many to stop fishing altogether, especially those on limited incomes. According to Department of Fish and Game, over a ten-year period, participation rates in freshwater and saltwater fishing have declined by 37 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

This is not good news for the future of recreational fishing and California’s economy. Today, recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion to our State’s economy, supporting communities and jobs dependent on recreational tourism. However, with fewer Californians and visitors purchasing licenses, indications are that fishing’s economic impact will decline.

Thankfully, Assembly Members Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) and Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) have a plan to protect recreational fishing. They have introduced Assembly Bill 1786 that would create a fishing license valid for a full 12 months. Yes, a sensible system that offers all anglers the same value for the same price.

This is also good news for the Department of Fish and Game. With greater enrollment, there will be more fees collected that fund fish stocking programs and conservation efforts for our future generations. All of which will ensure that California remains a tourism destination for millions of people who spend their hard earned dollars in our State each year.

Contact your State legislator this week and urge them to support sensible reforms that will encourage greater participation in a classic American pastime.

Marko Mlikotin is Executive Director of the California Association for Recreational Fishing. www.SaveCalFishing.org

Source: http://www.wonews.com/t-PerspectiveReport_FishingLicenseReform_061112.aspx

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PLF Blog: The Recreational Fishermen Go to Court http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/04/26/plf-blog-the-recreational-fishermen-go-to-court/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/04/26/plf-blog-the-recreational-fishermen-go-to-court/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:10:06 +0000 CARF Staff http://www.savecalfishing.org/?p=453 “Tomorrow, I will be in court representing the California Association for Recreational Fishing in their lawsuit against the California Department of Fish & Game.  The suit challenges onerous regulations that the Department is imposing on private fish stocking throughout the state.  For example, one of the challenged regulations forces those who try to stock fish …

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“Tomorrow, I will be in court representing the California Association for Recreational Fishing in their lawsuit against the California Department of Fish & Game.  The suit challenges onerous regulations that the Department is imposing on private fish stocking throughout the state.  For example, one of the challenged regulations forces those who try to stock fish in private lakes in California to demonstrate that their fish stocking will not have a substantial effect on some 80 different species of California fish.  Here’s the twist – many of those species enjoy no protection under either the Federal or California Endangered Species Act.  In other words, the regulations will prevent private fish stocking (in private water bodies) throughout California even though no endangered fish are being threatened.

Usually, when a government bureaucracy decides to impose regulations on the public, it must go through the Administrative Procedure Act.  That is, the government must notify the regulated public of its proposed regulations, solicit comments, vet the regulations with the Office of Administrative Law, state the legal authority for the proposed regulations, and a whole slew of other requirements before the regulation is effective and carries the force of law.

Here, however, the Department simply bootstrapped a number of regulations to an Environmental Impact Report that they were ordered to undertake.  But California law has a name for such bootstrapping — underground regulations — and they are illegal.  So I will be in Court tomorrow, arguing that these ‘mitigation measures’ are actually underground regulations, and that the court should strike them down as illegal.  PLF will also be arguing that the Department is exceeding its statutory authority by recommending that the Fish and Game Commission adopt regulations that would impose costly, scientifically unjustified testing regulations on the state’s private hatcheries.

Craig Elliott of the California Association for Recreational Fishing, had this to say: ‘This is an important case because we’re challenging the Department of Fish and Game’s unprecedented power grab.  This bureaucracy attempted to bypass an elected legislature to force their will upon hundreds of business owners and fishermen.   What we’re confronting is a blatant disregard for the law in an attempt to increase the scope of the DFG’s duties.’”

Written by Joshua Thompson of Pacific Legal Foundation

Source: http://blog.pacificlegal.org/2012/the-recreational-fishermen-go-to-court/

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Killer Regulations on Fishing Lakes are Voted Down http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/04/05/killer-regulations-on-fishing-lakes-are-voted-down/ http://www.savecalfishing.org/2012/04/05/killer-regulations-on-fishing-lakes-are-voted-down/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 21:12:07 +0000 CARF Staff http://www.savecalfishing.org/?p=456 “Everyone who loves fishing in California had reason to cheer recently when the state Fish and Game Commission voted down proposed regulations that could have sunk fishing lakes, private hatcheries, and fish farms throughout the state. The vote came after PLF Principal Attorney Damien M. Schiff, among other witnesses, testified about the legal and economic …

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“Everyone who loves fishing in California had reason to cheer recently when the state Fish and Game Commission voted down proposed regulations that could have sunk fishing lakes, private hatcheries, and fish farms throughout the state.

The vote came after PLF Principal Attorney Damien M. Schiff, among other witnesses, testified about the legal and economic problems with the proposed rules.

Concocted by the Department of Fish and Game, the mandates would have forced lake and hatchery owners to fund expensive testing of stocked fish and their effect on up to 80 species. The price was estimated at more than $100,000, for some lakes, for each series of tests. “This could literally wipe out recreational freshwater fishing in this state,” said Doug Elliott, a Southern California fishing lake owner.

The need was not clear, because the state’s privately stocked fish are historically healthy and safe.

If fishing lakes go under, a ripple effect on the economy would be easy to imagine. Sporting goods stores, boat dealers, bait and tackle shops, and other recreational businesses could take on water.

“The commission was right to defeat these expensive mandates,” said Schiff. “Now, the regulators in the Department of Fish and Game must fall into line.”

Indeed, in some regions, bureaucrats had been illegally imposing these rules even before the commission voted on them. This is why a lawsuit was filed in 2010. PLF stepped into the litigation last year to represent the California Association for Freshwater Fishing, a grassroots organization of freshwater recreational fishermen and businesses.

“PLF’s lawsuit will continue until we are assured that the regulators will cease and desist,” said Schiff. “They must not enforce fish-stocking rules that are unauthorized and destructive to businesses, employment, and recreational opportunities for millions of people.”

The case is California Association for Recreational Fishing v. California Department of Fish and Game. More information may be found at PLF’s website: www.pacificlegal.org.”

View the pdf version of this newsletter here.

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