SportCon Seeks to Build Support to Repeal the Requirement of Having to Wear California Fishing Licenses
Santa Barbara, Calif. (June 15, 2009) - In an effort to repeal the regulation of having to wear a California fishing license when angling, The Sportfishing Conservancy (SportCon), a Long Beach-based recreational fishing advocacy group, launched an initiative called the "No Wear" campaign.
The campaign gathers signatures to support the repeal of the regulation, which the California Department of Fish and Game instituted more than a decade ago. There are more than one million fishing licenses issued each year in California.
"The more signatures and responses we can capture, the more impact we can have to have this issue placed on the Fish and Game Commission's agenda," said Tom Raftican, president of SportCon. "We believe that the Commission will vote on the issue and repeal the wearing of fishing licenses if we can generate support for it. The voice of the recreational angler can play an important role in moving fishing licenses from around our necks to our wallets or tackle boxes where they belong."
Rafitcan said the Commission met in early February to discuss the campaign. "I think we can generate enough support to have this issue formally addressed in the coming months and end the wearing of fishing licenses," he said. "I can't tell you how many anglers complain about having to visually wear their licenses - from the hassle of having it tangle around your neck while fishing to loosing it frequently. I've even had an angler tell me that those who fish and dogs are the only two who need to wear a license around their neck."
Rafitcan said the effort is not designed to make enforcement more difficult but to make it easier to comply and reduce the number of lost licenses.
April Wakeman, director of programs for SportCon, said the campaign's elements includes outreach to many of the state's fishing clubs and organizations as well as posters and advertisements showcasing the "No Wear" message.
SportCon has included an easy to sign petition for the "No Wear" campaign on its web site: . Those who want to endorse the effort can log on and follow the instructions to show their support.
The No Wear campaign is the first of several state angling issues that SportCon will address during the coming year.