April 26, 2018 - Sacramento, CA. - The leading advocate for California’s recreational anglers announced Wednesday that Assembly Bill 2787, authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, passed out of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Substances, but not before being amended from an outright ban of fishing weights/sinkers 50 grams or less, to a bill that will “study” the potential impacts of lead on California wildlife.
AB 2787 passed 6-1, mostly along party lines. Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, of the Inland Empire, was the only Republican to vote for the bill.
“While we appreciate the author’s willingness to amend the bill and work with the angling community, the bill has not earned our support – not yet,” said Marko Mlikotin, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing League. “The study, as defined by the author, is overly broad and could be contracted out to an anti-fishing organization, instead of an objective government agency. “
A significant coalition group of industries and organizations representing sportfishing, boaters, marina operators, retailers, tourism and hospitality demanded greater analysis before passing legislation that could have lasting impacts on fishing participation rates and jobs dependent on outdoor tourism. The way the bill was amended, it would allow any non-governmental organization to conduct a study, and not an objective government agency.
“Anglers can claim a big victory here, but there is no question that we need to continue to communicate to legislators the importance of protecting recreational fishing’s future,” said Mlikotin. “Proponents of banning lead fishing tackle will not give up, even if there is no science to justify it.”
Over 5,500 California anglers signed the “Stop the Fishing Tackle Ban” petition, urging legislators to oppose the bill as originally drafted.
VOTES: Assembly Committee on Environmental Science and Toxic Substances
Yes - Chair Quirk, author of AB 2787 (D-Hayward)
Yes - Vice-Chair Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore)
Yes - Arambula (D-Fresno)
Yes - Bloom (D-Santa Monica)
No - Brough (R-Dana Point)
Yes - Holden (D-Pasadena)
Yes - Muratsuchi (D-Torrance)
Opposition Coalition: American Sportfishing Association, California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains, California Association for Recreational Fishing, California Aquaculture Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Parks Company, California Parks Hospitality Association, California Sportfishing League, California Yacht Brokers Association, California Yacht Marinas, Coastal Conservation Association, Coastside Fishing Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Coyote Bait and Tackle, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, Douglas Elliot, Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFED), Los Angeles Rod and Reel Club, Marina Recreation Association, National Federation of Independent Business, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, Oceanside Senior Anglers, Inc., Paradise Bass Club, Safe Harbor Marinas, San Diego County Wildlife Federation, United Pier and Shore Anglers of California, Visit Mammoth Lakes, Western Boaters Safety Group.
The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of recreational anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.6 billion annually to California’s economy, a major contributor to outdoor tourism and jobs.