Policy Watch

On April 24th, 2018 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. As an example, to date, no studies have ever been conducted in California that demonstrates lead tackle has an adverse impact on wildlife at the population level.

Prior to the committee hearing, in a collaborative process with representatives from angling organizations and the recreational sportfishing industry, the bill’s sponsor committed to amending the bill to mandate a study of the potential impact of lead fishing tackle on wildlife. As promised, the bill was gut and amended in committee from an outright ban of lead fishing weights/sinkers to a bill that will “study” the potential impacts of lead on California wildlife. Based on these amendments the measure passed out of the committee on a 6-1 vote.

However, as amended by the ESTM Committee, the study called for in AB 2787 is overly broad, undefined in scope, and allows the state to contract out the study to a third party entity. While we appreciate 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.  Therefore, the sportfishing community continues to oppose the bill and will ask for additional amendments in order to yield the best possible scientific and unbiased outcome.  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.

ASA Appreciates Lead Tackle Protection in Appropriations Requested by Senators Thune and Klobuchar

On April 27, Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) submitted a letter to Senate leadership on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies requesting that language to protect traditional fishing tackle from being regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be again included in Appropriations legislation for FY 2019.

The Senators outline the exorbitant cost of alternatives to lead tackle and the common-sense nature of this language in helping to encourage more young people to participate in recreational fishing and not dis-incentivizing participation or pricing them out of the sport with no scientific basis for such regulations.

ASA is very appreciative of the Senators’ leadership in advocating for the sportfishing industry and looks forward to the inclusion of this language in FY 2019 Appropriations.

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