Legislative News

Proposed Fishing Gear Ban

California is moving to ban many forms of fishing gear - The proposed new regulations would ban the manufacturing, distribution and sale of some forms of popular fishing gear for one of California's most popular forms of outdoor recreation.

The Work Plan is the first release of Governor Jerry Brown's Green Chemistry Initiative. The California Department of Toxic Substance Controls (DTSC) plan identifies seven consumer product types, including fishing sinkers and gear that contain metals such as lead, zinc and copper.

The exact wording of the Plan states: "Recreational anglers fish in sensitive habitats like lakes, rivers, streams, bays, and the ocean. More than two million Californians fish recreationally. Together, these anglers may lose hundreds of tons of fishing and angling equipment into the environment.

The hazardous chemicals in the equipment they lose can expose, and potentially harm, birds and other wildlife. Products in this category contain a variety of chemicals that appear on the Candidate Chemicals List, including metals such as lead, zinc, and copper.

Of particular concern are products such as fishing weights and sinkers made from lead that are used to add weight to a fishing line, lure or hook.13 Lead poisoning associated with the ingestion of lead fishing weights has been well documented in a variety of bird and animal species around the world, including swans, waterfowl, gulls, turtles, cranes, herons, pelicans, and others.

California Boater Card Starts in 2018

The California Boater Card will show that its holder has successfully taken and passed a NASBLA state-approved boater safety education examination. The new requirement will begin on Jan. 1, 2018 for all persons 20 years of age and younger who operate any motorized vessel on state waterways, including powered sailboats and paddlecraft. On that date, these boaters will be required to carry a boater card issued by DBW.

Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. By 2025, all persons who operate on California waters will be required to have one. Once issued, the card remains valid for a boat operator's lifetime. California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:

January 1, 2018 - Persons 20 years or younger
January 1, 2019 - Persons 25 years or younger
January 1, 2020 - Persons 35 years or younger
January 1, 2021 - Persons 40 years or younger
January 1, 2022 - Persons 45 years or younger
January 1, 2023 - Persons 50 years or younger
January 1, 2024 - Persons 60 years or younger
January 1, 2025 - All persons regardless of age

The card will be issued by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). DBW plans to begin issuing the California Boater Cards prior to Jan. 1, 2018, implementation date. The Boater Card Technical Advisory Group anticipates that the cost of the card will be no more than $10. The lost card replacement fee will be no more than $5.

California age restrictions for operating a motorized vessel: According to California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 658.5, NO person under 16 years of age may operate a boat with a motor of more than 15 horsepower, except for a sailboat that does not exceed 30 feet in length or a dinghy used directly between a moored boat and the shore (or between two moored boats). The law allows children 12-15 years of age to operate boats with a motor of more than 15 horsepower or sailboats over 30 feet if supervised on board by an adult at least 18 years of age. Violating these provisions constitutes an infraction. Click Here for more information.