Fishing – New 365-day license takes effect for 2023

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THANKS TO THE EFFORTS of the Coastal Conservation Association of California and Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), anglers in the Golden State will enjoy the benefits of a 365-day fishing license program beginning with the 2023 season. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS
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SACRAMENTO – Thanks to the efforts of the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) and Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), anglers in the Golden State will enjoy the benefits of a 365-day fishing license program beginning with the 2023 season.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will begin selling 365-day fishing licenses on November 15, 2022, far sooner than the Department had anticipated, said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. If you purchase a 2023 license prior to January 1, it will be from January 1 to December 31.

However, all annual licenses purchased after January 1, 2023, will be effective from the date of purchase for a continuous 365 days. Previous annual license sales were available only for a calendar year and expired on December 31, no matter when you purchased it.

This program is the direct result of efforts by CCA CAL working in coordination with Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), who introduced introduced AB 817 in February 2021, allowing a transition of California’s fishing license validity from a calendar year to a full 365 days from purchase. This was not the first attempt to pass such a bill in California, but all previous attempts had failed until CCA CAL grabbed the reins and exerted its lobbying pressure on the state legislature to finally take action.

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The CDFW and California Fish and Game Commission had always opposed a 365-day license for years, citing a potential decline in revenue if such a program was instituted,” said Wayne Kotow, Executive Director of CCA CAL “However, providing a 365-day fishing license that offers greater value to California anglers is long overdue.

It is also an important step in the implementation of California’s R3 program, which seeks to boost the number of anglers and others recreating in the outdoors, through recruitment, retention and reactivation. We are thrilled that Assemblymember Wood’s perseverance on this issue has paid off, and proud that CCA CAL helped achieve this milestone for California anglers.”

CDFW Director Bonham now echoes Kotow’s sentiments. “I applaud the (CDFW) staff that worked tirelessly to bring this benefit to California’s anglers who have been asking for the 365-day license for a very long time,” Bonham said.

To purchase a fishing license, visit CDFW’s online sales portal. At checkout there is an additional option to enroll in auto-renewal for fishing licenses, which allows anglers to automatically purchase and receive their new license when their current one expires.

To learn more about CCA CAL, visit ccacalifornia.org

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