At the end of the last legislative session, several pieces of critical legislation — crafted by CalTrout and its partners — awaited the governor’s signature.
Protecting and restoring California’s native trout, steelhead and salmon demands a strong legislative presence in Sacramento. CalTrout and Trout Unlimited partner to provide that unified voice for fish in Sacramento — which is why we’re pleased to annouce our three key pieces of legislation were signed. Here’s what passed:
CalTrout and Trout Unlimited worked together to craft SB 1148, which revitalizes California’s flagging Heritage & Wild Trout program, much of the funding for which disappeared during California’s budget struggles.
Essentially, it ensures the limited revenues generated by fishing license sales help support our Heritage and Wild Trout program and fund our recreational fish hatcheries.
SB 1148 ensures DFG’s Wild Trout program will receive at least $2 million per year, funds the seven permanent staff positions lost in past years, and directs the Department to protect and enhance quality trout fisheries sustained by natural reproduction.
SB 1148 also reaffirms hatchery production goals and allows private hatcheries to help meet those goals if needed.
“Trout fishing is important to the economies of rural areas and an important part of California’s outdoor recreation heritage,” said Curtis Knight, Conservation Director for California Trout.
“SB 1148 is just the shot in the arm the Wild Trout program and recreational fisheries need. This bill promotes good fishing for all Californians.”
(For more information about SB 1148, click here.)
This badly needed piece of legislation clears away the bureaucratic hurdles faced by landowners and conservation groups who want to improve or restore habitat for California’s coho salmon — whose populations continue to spiral downwards.
Targeted primarily at California’s coastal region, it directs the Department of Fish & Game to rapidly approve a three types of coho salmon habitat enhancement projects:
This bill was promoted by CalTrout, TU and The Nature Conservancy — with added support from timber companies and landowners eager to improve habitat for coho salmon and other fish.
(For more information about the Coho HELP Act, click here)
AB 2402 acts on specific recommendations of the Fish & Wildlife Strategic Vision process that was established by the passage of AB 2376 (one of last year’s legislative successes).
CalTrout was one of over 50 stakeholders representing diverse interests ranging from agricultural, industry, commercial fishing, recreation, hunting, and sportfishing that helped form the Strategic Vision. AB 2402 will:
Some legislative years are better than others, and we consider this an excellent session. We hammered out fixes to the difficult problems vexing California’s coldwater species, worked with other groups to see this legislation passed, and look forward to doing the same next year.