Policy Watch

As we stated in April 2018’s Policy Watch, on April 24, California Assembly Bill 2787, authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), was heard in the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials (ESTM). As introduced, this bill proposed a full ban on the manufacturing, sale, and purchase of lead fishing tackle of 50 grams or less. The sportfishing community, led by ASA, CCA California, the California Sportfishing League, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Coastside Fishing Club and others mounted strong opposition to this proposal, arguing that the lack of population level affects, immaterial impacts to human health and readily available alternative products did not justify the imposition of such a ban.

After hearing considerable opposition, the bill was revised and amended from an outright ban of lead fishing weights/sinkers to a bill that will study the potential impacts of lead on California wildlife and human health. While ASA appreciated the author’s willingness to work with the sportfishing industry and angling community to amend the bill, there are still issues with this legislation in its amended form, which we outline in this letter.

This bill is now in the Assembly Appropriations committee, which is analyzing the bill for its potential costs to the State and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Should the Legislature determine this bill worthy of its cost, it will be presented for a full vote on the Assembly floor. Alternatively, the bill may be held in committee pending additional amendments that would reduce its cost. If that is the case, the author may consider a yet unidentified alternative approach that would warrant further engagement.

At this time, the sportfishing community continues to oppose the bill. If the bill is moved through the Appropriations committee as a study bill we will continue to voice our opposition to the bill as written. There is no question that we need to continue to communicate to legislators and we have more work to do.

For more information, please contact Vice President of Government Affairs, Scott Gudes.