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California Sportsfishing League is asking anglers to take survey, help reverse angler decline


The California Sportsfishing League (CSL), an advocate for making recreational fishing more accessible and affordable, has launched an outline survey to determine what anglers believe are the barriers to fishing and help solve the question as to why California has the lowest fishing participation rate in the nation per capita.

The survey asks anglers why they don’t fish anymore or not so often, and it has been distributed by email and posted on CSL’s Facebook page and website Anglers who have not participated are encouraged to go to the website and take the short survey.

The results of the survey will be shared with state policy makers in the hope that it will bring about meaningful public policies that stimulate participation in sportfishing and economic activity that surrounds the sport.

“According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, only 4.3 percent of California adults fish, which ranks dead last among the 50 states,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the CSL. “California’s fishing participation rate is unacceptably low given its size and vast natural resources. It is time for California to review its fishing policies if they view outdoor tourism and recreation as important.”

Mlikotin also pointed out that over the last 40 years total participation has dropped over 50 percent from over 2.5 million anglers to around 1 million in California – and during the same time frame the state’s population has grown from around 20 million to nearly 40 million.

Even with the decline, recreational fishing still contributes $4.6 billion to California’s economy. The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (DFW) Fish and Game Preservation Fund, fueled by license sales, experienced a $20 million deficit in 2017.

Something is amiss here.

DFW makes heroic effort

to protect golden trout

The Department of Fish and Wildlife rescued 48 Volcano Creek golden trout, the unique and original strain of golden trout, in the early fall of 2016 because several years of drought had degraded the habitat in the small alpine stream to the point the population could be lost.

The trout were held in special hatchery conditions at the American River hatchery after the trout were packed out by horse, then via tanker truck to the hatchery -- over 1,000 miles.

When conditions reversed after our long, wet winter, the trout made the reverse journey this year and they were put back into their historic home where the DFW expects they will continue to thrive. The learn more about this program, you can watch the DFW video at:

Junior deer application for Carrizo

Hunt due not later than Aug. 21

A special junior deer hunt is being held Sept. 16-17 on the Chimineas Unit of the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve in San Luis Obispo County just north of Highway 166, and the deadline to apply for this hunt is Monday, Aug. 21.

The two-day buck hunt, which is being offered in cooperation with the California Deer Association, is only open to junior hunters, and there will be a mandatory hunter education orientation meeting Friday, Sept. 15. Only three junior tags will be drawn by lottery.

Selected junior license holders must possess an A zone deer tag and must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will receive classroom, range and field training in gun handling techniques and safety, deer hunting and game care. Hunts will be led by CDA volunteers. CDA will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday, as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday.

Junior license holder applicants may apply online through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) at Successful applicants will be notified by phone and will receive additional information, including maps and special regulations, prior to the hunt.


[Jim Matthews is a syndicated Southern California-based outdoor reporter and columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 909-887-3444.]

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