After what seems like decades of outdoorsmen (and women) pushing for common sense reform on California’s fishing licenses, the state finally made a perfect cast.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed AB 817 authorizing the director of California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to transition the calendar-based fishing license to one that is valid a full 365 days from the date of purchase.

The law, authored by our 2nd District Assemblymember Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, also authorizes DFW the option to display a sport fishing license electronically on a mobile device.

We applaud this on two counts.

First, we can’t tell you the number of times we get into fall and think “this is a perfect time to go fishing.” Then we stop, wondering why we would want to purchase an annual license that expires in less than three months. It made no sense, especially when states that had transitioned to the 365-day license all showed spikes in license requests and renewals.

Secondly, though we’re not a great fan of smart phones as the answer to life (ask any of our friends), the idea of an electronic license sounds so much better than the sometimes 6-foot-long paper tape license currently provided.

Kudos to Wood, Newsom and California for finally reeling in a much-needed common sense solution.

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