Fishing Lead Tackle Bill has Become an Energy Bill
July 13, 2018 (Sacramento, CA): Assembly Bill 2787, legislation that aimed to ban lead fishing tackle (50 grams or less), has been gutted to become an energy storage procurement bill. Assemblyman Bill Quirk’s bill first sought to ban lead tackle, then it became a study and now it has become an energy bill.
“This is a great victory for anglers. Anglers owe a special thanks to a broad based coalition of associations representing anglers, boating and small businesses for AB 2787’s defeat,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Sportfishing League (CSL). “Banning lead fishing tackle would have made fishing too costly and less accessible and would have had a devastating impact on coastal communities dependent on outdoor recreation and tourism for tax revenue and jobs. Greater environmental analysis was needed to justify the economic consequences of banning common fishing tackle.”
Assembly Bill 2787 originally stated; “A person shall not manufacture, sell, or purchase a fishing weight or sinker in California that has no cross section greater than or equal to two centimeters (less than ¾ of an inch) in length, is under 50 grams (less than 1 ¾ ounces) in mass, and contains more than 0.1 percent lead weight.”
No scientific study has ever been conducted in California that would justify the merits of this legislation and most notably, weights of such large size. Wildlife found in Canada and other parts of the U.S. are not common in California, and no study has determined that where fishing takes place in California, lead fishing weights have harmed wildlife populations.
In response to the bill, the CSL launched a “No Fishing Tackle Ban” petition that sought to organize California’s 2.6 million anglers in opposition to the bill. More than 6,000 California anglers signed the “Stop the Fishing Tackle Ban” petition.
The bill was then amended to commission a study on the effects of lead tackle. This “study” called for a review of a compilation of other lead studies from around the country. CSL had concerns that it would not provide the appropriate insight into what was happening in California. Also, the basis for a tackle ban could be studies drafted by anti-fishing organizations, and not objective third parties.
“Now that the bill has been gutted to an energy bill, California anglers can rest easy for now knowing AB 2787 will no longer ban lead weights, but we need to all be prepared to stop the fishing tackle ban in the next legislative session,” said Mlikotin.
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.