California Department of Fish and Wildlife

News Release: January 5, 2007

California Fishing Passport Program Begins January 11 at the International Sportsmen's Expo in San Mateo

Contact: California Fishing Passport Program, (831) 649-7191

SAN MATEO - On your mark, get set, GO - California's Fishing Passport Program will officially begin on Thursday during the International Sportsmen's Expo. Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Director Ryan Broddrick will officially announce the start of this new promotional fishing incentive program at 2:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Chronicle Sportfishing Theater stage.

"The start of the California Fishing Passport Program marks a milestone in sport fishing in our state," said Broddrick, who will be joined at Thursday's event with some surprise sport fishing ambassadors. This program serves as a great complement to California's highly prized ocean and freshwater fisheries by challenging all types of anglers to get out and explore the Golden State along with the challenge of catching a variety of fish species.

Anglers who buy a 2007 Sport Fishing License will receive a Passport courtesy of DFG and its program sponsors. The Passport includes 150 finfish and shellfish species, and anglers earn special stamps by successfully catching each species.

A guide to a lifetime of fishing adventures, the California Fishing Passport Program was designed to highlight and promote the variety of fishing experiences to be found in California. And with more than 4,172 lakes and reservoirs, 29,664 miles of streams and 1,100 miles of ocean shoreline, anglers need only a license, Passport and their fishing gear to participate in this new program, the first of its kind in the nation.

The Passport Challenge starting January 11 will be open to people of all ages. Last summer, DFG hosted three Kid's Summer Challenges - sneak peak previews of the Passport Challenge geared just for kids. For the pilot program, kids received an introductory Passport and were challenged to try a variety of fishing experiences, including pier fishing off Santa Monica's historic pier, high Sierra trout fishing at Mammoth Lakes, and party boat fishing off the coast of Southern California.

"The pilot program was a huge success with the kids and their families, and with the official launch of the full program on January 11, we hope that anglers of all ages and skill levels will take the Passport Challenge," said Carrie Wilson, DFG marine biologist and program coordinator. "This program is not only a great way to get the family outdoors, but virtually all types of fishing industry businesses and supporters stand to benefit economically, including local bait and tackle shops, sporting goods stores and fishing guides and boats."

At the industry supported International Sportsmen's Expo, DFG's booth will be staffed with biologists and game wardens answering questions, selling annual fishing licenses and handing out free Passport books. After January 11, Passport books and stamps will be available at any of DFG's 10 license offices throughout the state.

For additional information, log on to the California Fishing Passport website at www.fishingpassport.org, which includes a schedule of upcoming events, an online fishing map, TripTracks (a new personal online fishing log), and lots of other great resources to help anglers in their pursuit of a lifetime of fishing adventures.