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News Release: March 2, 2006
DFG will Offer a New Fishing Passport Program to State's Adventure-Seeking Anglers
Contact: Carrie Wilson, Office of Communications, (831) 649-7191
Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Director Ryan Broddrick today announced a new program that will reward people for fishing in California's diverse waters. The "California Fishing Passport" program starts June 10 and will use awards, prizes, and other incentives to encourage people at all fishing levels to explore California's full range of fishing opportunities. Broddrick announced the program before an audience of sport fishing enthusiasts at the Fred Hall Fishing, Tackle and Boat Show in Long Beach.
"The California Fishing Passport will guide people who are interested in discovering new fishing adventures throughout the state," said Broddrick. "This new program will have broad appeal for everyone from children fishing for the first time to seasoned anglers who think they've done it all. The objective is to introduce and promote the entire 'fishing experience' to all ages, skill levels and backgrounds."
The fishing passport will contain a full list of all game fish occurring in California waters, including more than 40 species of freshwater sportfish, 150 species of saltwater game fish, and a handful of shellfish species. Anglers will receive stamps on their passports when they fish a wide variety of California's waters, from high mountain lakes to rivers and streams to coastal kelp beds. DFG's initial sponsors and partners in the program are the United Anglers of Southern California, West Marine, Berkley Fishing, and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
"United Anglers of Southern California is proud to partner with the Department of Fish and Game in this exciting celebration of California's fishing opportunities. This is a fantastic way to not only recognize successful anglers, but also to highlight California's robust sport fishing," said United Anglers of Southern California president Tom Raftican. "Passports offer a great way to explore the wonderful fishing California has to offer and at the same time ensure conservation so that our kids and their kids may enjoy the same challenge."
The California Fishing Passport program's kick-off will be during California's free fishing day on Saturday, June 10. As part of free fishing day, DFG, UASC, and other fishing organizations throughout the state will host a wide variety of different fishing activities specifically geared toward kids.
California is a state of remarkable angling opportunities and a leader in the volume and diversity of fishing and outdoor experiences it offers. With 1,100 miles of ocean coastline, 4,175 lakes and reservoirs, 29,700 miles of streams and rivers, and 1,800 miles of bay and delta waters, California has more fishing opportunities than any other state in the country. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Sportfishing Association, in 2003 sport fishing contributed more than $9.04 billion to California's economy.
Additional information on this program will be announced in the upcoming months and posted online at www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport.