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Bill to revamp fishing licenses, reduce price for veterans advances

A bill to make fishing more accessible to Californians passed the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee with unanimous bipartisan support Tuesday.

AB 986 will give anglers a 12 consecutive month fishing license option and will discount licenses for California's veterans.

"California's recreational fishing industry is at a crossroads. Fishing licenses sales continue to decline each year as our population increases," said Assemblyman James Gallagher. "We must take concrete steps to increase fishing participation by making licenses more accessible."

Gallagher's office said as fishing license sales continue to decline, the state stands to lose millions of federal dollars within a few short years, putting fishery management, fish stocking and habitat conservation programs at risk.

California currently offers an "annual" sport fishing license, however this license expires on December 31 of every year regardless of when it was purchased.

AB 986 would require the state to add a 12 consecutive month fishing license option to encourage more license sales and greater participation in recreational fishing.

The bill, spearheaded by Gallagher, will now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

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