California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Press Clips

Fishing Passport Kickoff Draws Kids to Santa Monica Pier
The Log - June 14, 2006
by Ron Ballanti


"I think we made some kids happy today," said United Anglers of Southern California's Victor Mendez, summing up the kickoff of the Kid's Summer Fishing Passport Program, a joint effort of the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and United Anglers of Southern California (UASC). Between 150 to 200 youngsters showed up on Santa Monica Pier for a free introduction to ocean fishing and a chance to earn their first passport stamps for the new Kid's Summer Challenge.

Many kids caught their first fish during the Saturday morning event, which included not only expert instruction for kids and parents alike, but also free loaner tackle, special treats and prizes provided by program sponsors like Berkley, West Marine and Alpen Optics. NOAA Recreational Fisheries was also on hand to help educate kids, parents and pier visitors alike about California's great ocean fishing opportunities.

This event on Santa Monica Pier was held in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week (June 3-11), a time dedicated to increasing national awareness and participation in this great American pastime. DFG volunteers handed out colorful Kid's Fishing Passport booklets, filled with information about popular fresh- and saltwater game fish in California.

The summer program challenges youngsters to catch as many of the listed fish species as possible, earning stamps for each type of fish they catch. In addition to the event at Santa Monica Pier, there will be a trout fishing event at Mammoth Lakes July 29, a half-day party boat trip out of San Diego on August 21, and DFG Fishing in the City events all summer long.

The Kid's Summer Challenge is a preview of the upcoming California Fishing Passport Program, set to debut in January 2007. Passports will be distributed free of charge to anglers purchasing their 2007 California sportfishing licenses, as well as to children under 16 upon request.

The passport will list a wide variety of fresh- and saltwater sportfish, offering incentives and rewards for anglers to catch and record as many different fish species as possible. Fish identification books, maps and other helpful information will also be available as part of the program to encourage fishing participation and recognize anglers for various levels of personal achievement.

"It was great seeing all the support from the industry, NOAA and the DFG," said UASC president, Tom Raftican. Among those in attendance were DFG Director Ryan Broddrick and Marty Golden, Pacific Recreational Fisheries coordinator for NOAA.

"It was especially gratifying to see the smiles on kids' faces today as they reeled up their first fish," Raftican said. "It doesn't matter how big or small it is, you'll always remember that first fish."

For more information about the Kid's Summer Fishing Passport Program and upcoming kids' fishing events, call Carrie Wilson at (831) 649-7191 or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport.


Hanging 75 for original state beach
San Francisco Chronicle, USA - June 11, 2006


... The state Department of Fish and Game's new California Fishing Passport incentive program challenges anglers to catch one of each of the state's different ... The state Department of Fish and Game's new California Fishing Passport incentive program challenges anglers to catch one of each of the state's different sport fish species along the state's more than 13,000 miles of coast, lakeshore, streams, rivers and bay and delta waters. The program for kids started June 10, first free fishing day of 2006; the official launch for all ages will be January 1. Call (916) 445-0411 or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport more details.


Weighing In
San Diego Union Tribune - June 3, 2006
by Ed Zieralski


Free Fishing Day
No license is required to fish in California on June 10. Lake permits and other fees might apply, so check ahead. The DFG and United Anglers are teaming for a special day on Santa Monica Pier, part of the DFG's California Fishing Passport program that begins January 1, 2007. This will be one in a series of Summer Challenge events just for kids. The second one will be July 29, Trout Fishing in Mammoth, Children's Fishing Festival. And the third will be here aboard a San Diego sport boat. For more information, check www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport. The day also is one of four upcoming Friends of Rollo "Kids Fish Free Days," with kids 15 and under eligible to fish free on half-day or three-quarter-day trips when accompanied by an adult. Each paying adult may take two kids 15 and under on those trips at participating landings. The other three Friends of Rollo "Kids Fish Free Days" are June 11, September 23 and September 24.


California Fishing Passport: A Nifty Plan to Aid Conservation
Redding Searchlight - May 21, 2006
by Thom Gabrukiewicz


True story -- I don't yet have my passport.

My California Fishing Permit.

In March, the good folks at the Department of Fish and Game announced the creation of the California Fishing permit. The program rewards people -- through prizes, awards and other incentives -- to fish.

Sign me up.

"The California Fishing Passport will guide people who are interested in discovering new fishing adventures throughout the state," DFG director Ryan Broddrick told the crowd at the Fred Hall Fishing, Tackle and Boat Show in Long Beach. "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 passport will contain a list of all the gamefish in California waters, including more than 40 species of freshwater fish, 150 species of saltwater fish, and a handful of shellfish species. Anglers get 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.

The passport program will roll out June 10 for children 15 years old and younger -- which also happens to be the first of two free fishing days in the state -- while people older than 15 can begin their passport challenge on January 1.

Kids get an early jump on their passport adventure by signing up for one of three kickoff events in the state. Those include a pier fishing day June 10 at the Santa Monica Pier; a trout fishing day July 20 at Snow Lake in downtown Mammoth and an August partyboat fishing event in San Diego (the date is not yet set) where Seaforth Sportfishing of Mission Bay will sponsor a trip for kids out to the kelp beds for an amazing day of ocean fishing.

Kids can sign up early for their passports at www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport/registration.asp. For those older than 15, signing up will be just as easy come January 1. All anyone has to do is buy a fishing license; there's no additional fees or stamps to buy. When you get that new license -- remember, fishing licenses make great Christmas gifts -- the DFG will give you your passport to record notes about catches and a place for each stamp, a fish identification booklet that contains all the fresh and saltwater gamefish in California, information where each lives and additional information, maps, guide and goodies to get everyone started.

This is going to be fun.

But it will not be an easy endeavor. Think about it: The state has 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 places to fish than any other state in the union. In fact, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Sportfishing Association, sport fishing contributed more than $9.04 billion to California's economy in 2003.

And that is what ultimately drives this program.

Licenses -- whether fishing or hunting -- supports the DFG's preservation fund (accounting for a third of the department's revenue) and protects all the state's wildlife.

This is a fun and exciting program, one anglers of all ages should get behind.

The program rewards people-through prizes, awards and other incentives -to fish. Sign me up. "The California Fishing Passport will guide people who are.
www.redding.com/redd/od_columnists/article/0,2232,REDD_17547_4715000,00.html


Cast a line in state's lakes and rivers
Camarillo Acorn, CA - May 12, 2006


The "California Fishing Passport" program, introduced by the Department of Fish and Game, will offer awards, prizes and other incentives to encourage anglers of all skill levels to explore California's full range of fishing opportunities. Set to kick off on Sat., June 10, the program contains a list of all game fish 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. The department'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.

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 billion to California's economy. Additional information on the program will be announced in the upcoming months and posted online at www.dfg.ca.gov.

This story provided by StatePoint Media.


California Creates "Passport" Program to Promote Fishing
State Matters, the National Association of Sportsmen's Caucuses Newsletter
Volume 4, Issue 13 - 4/4/2006


The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) recently announced a new program to reward people for fishing the state's diverse waters called the "California Fishing Passport." Officially launching in June, the program will provide awards for anglers who receive stamps on their passports when they fish a wide variety of California's waters. The fishing passport will contain a full list of all game fish, including more than 40 species of freshwater sportfish, 150 species of saltwater game fish, and a handful of shellfish species. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a NASC partner, has joined with the DFG to promote the program across the state.


Be a Fishing Ambassador
United Anglers of Southern California (UASC) Log
The Log - 3/22/2006
by Tom Raftican


One of the most important things we can do to protect recreational fishing for the future is to promote fishing today. Now, I can hear you all saying, "Tom, more people fishing means more crowds and more pressure. How can that be good for fishing?"

Everyone of us - myself included - who's dealt with a crowded launch ramp on a holiday weekend or fought for the stern corner on a packed cattle boat knows that sometimes it feels like there are already too many people fishing. But the fact of the matter is, participation in fishing across the country is dropping. And we should all be very concerned about what this could mean in the long run.

As baby boomers age and drop out of the sport, there just isn't the same number of younger anglers coming in to take their place. It's little wonder, with so much competition from other sports, movies, TV, video games and the like. Hectic schedules that never seem to have enough time for family-oriented outdoor activities are no help either.

If the number of recreational anglers continues to drop, so will our collective voice when it comes to speaking up for future access to fishing, limits on destructive commercial fishing gear and a healthy marine environment. To put it another way, if recreational anglers as a national body aren't a relevant and strong force in the future, nobody will care what we think.

There is some good news. Elements of the boating and fishing industry are getting aggressive about "re-acquainting" the American family with all the joys and memories of fishing. And there is plenty you can do to help.

Take, for example, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's (RBFF) nationwide "Take Me Fishing" campaign. Supported by the industry, the RBFF has invested millions of dollars in advertising, promotions and grass-roots efforts to attract new people to the sport we all love. Its website (www.takemefishing.org) is a one-stop source of information for those considering casting that first line, with useful tips ranging from local fishing opportunities and how to get started to sources providing free loaner tackle or life jackets.

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is developing a program with great potential to promote the unique and diverse fresh- and saltwater angling opportunities available to anglers in the Golden State. Called the California Fishing Passport, this program will encourage anglers to get out and catch as many different fresh- and saltwater fish as possible. By recording each catch with an official "passport" stamp, anglers can not only experience more of the great fishing California has to offer, they can earn incentives and prizes provided by various program sponsors like West Marine, Berkley and the RBFF.

Anglers enrolled in the program will receive a special passport book for recording catches and personal notes, a fish identification booklet containing all California fresh-and saltwater game fish species, information about where to catch each of the species in our state and additional maps, guides and special "goodies" to get anglers started.

UASC is proud to be partnering with the DFG in this unique fishing program - one that stands to directly support the sportfishing industry by encouraging anglers to get out and fish. New anglers will be exposed to the wide variety of fish and fishing experiences California has to offer. Old salts who think they've seen and done it all will have a chance to prove just how skilled - and versatile - they really are. All in all, this program is a great way to both promote fishing and encourage participation across the state.

If anglers embrace it and participate the way we think they will, it should have a positive effect on California's $9 billion sportfishing industry that can trickle down to charter boats, hotels, tackle shops, restaurants and other businesses that benefit from fishing. And it promises to deliver something even more important - increased participation from existing anglers along with new anglers who just might get "hooked."

This ambitious program should be ready to roll for next year. Interested anglers can learn more about it and monitor its progress by visiting the DFG's website at www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport.

What can you do as an individual angler to promote fishing? Become a goodwill ambassador for fishing in California. Go fishing often, and don't be afraid to take along a friend, co-worker or relative. Maybe he or she hasn't fished in years - or ever - and your introduction just might be the spark that ignites a life long love of fishing. Most important, make an effort to teach your kids and other youngsters how to fish. It's this next generation of anglers who will carry on the work we've started today. Last, support programs like Friends of Rollo and the 976-TUNA Youth Fishing Program that introduce thousands of youngsters each year to the sport of fishing.

To learn more about the California Fishing Passport program, youth fishing programs or other ongoing activities at UASC, visit www.unitedanglers.com.


DFG ready to kick off fishing passport
Stockton Record - March 15, 2006
by Peter Ottesen


California is home to more species of fish than any other state in the country and this week, Department of Fish and Game officials announced a new program that will reward people for fishing for freshwater, anadromous and saltwater species in a variety of waters.

The "California Fishing Passport" program starts in June and will use awards, prizes and other incentives to encourage people at all fishing levels to explore the full range of angling opportunities.

"No other state has what California has to offer," said Carrie Wilson, a communications officer for the DFG. "The whole idea of the program is to provide incentives to get people to go fishing and let them know we have unparalleled opportunities within easy reach. Our diversity of fish species is unmatched."

The fishing passport - soon to be available free from license agents and marinas - will contain a full list of all game fish occurring in California waters - much like a bird-watching list - including more than 40 species of freshwater sport fish, 150 species of saltwater game fish and a handful of shellfish species.

Anglers will receive stamps on their passports when they catch fish from a wide variety of state waters, from high mountain lakes to rivers and streams, to coastal kelp beds. Other non-profit and business partners are United Anglers of Southern California, West Marine, Pure Fishing, Berkeley Fishing and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Wilson said fishing contests will start in January 2007 and give anglers goals with incentives.

The Fishing Passport program will kick off during California's free fishing day on June 10 when the DFG and its partners will host a variety of different fishing activities - specifically geared toward kids - to boost sport fishing.


Editorial - California: passport to adventure
The Log - March 8, 2006


I think it's pretty safe to say that California is a state that offers a never-ending array of sportfishing opportunities. From freshwater streams and lakes to our saltwater harbors and inshore reefs to the offshore islands and banks, our choice of locations to fish is mind-boggling. If there is any doubt about this, consider these facts that have been released. California has 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.

Building on this idea of vast opportunities, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has developed a new program called the California Fishing Passport program. This program is being set up to encourage kids as well as adults and anglers of all skill levels to get out and try new and different areas of sportfishing in California.

Although this program has just been announced and is still in its early stages, it looks as though prizes and awards will be given to anglers based on certain criteria for fishing different areas of California. A stamp will be given for fishing a wide variety of places much like a travel passport. While we don't know the full details yet, this looks like a good idea, especially for getting kids involved. Many of the organizations as UASC, 976-TUNA and Friends of Rollo do such a great job of promoting the sport of fishing to children, and this looks like another great opportunity to educate and get kids hooked on sportfishing.

This program also looks like a good incentive for even seasoned anglers to break out of the mold and try new areas of fishing. I've said it before; sometimes when you try a different area of sportfishing, you can experience that same awesome sensation the first time you picked up a rod and reel and caught your first fish. And depending on the prizes and awards given, anglers just might be motivated to lay down the offshore tuna stick and pick up an ultralight spinning combo for an outing to the Sierras.

Some great sponsors, such as UASC, Berkley Fishing, West Marine and more, have already signed on and many others will probably get involved once the word is out and more information is available.

It will be interesting to see what develops with this program in the coming months. The program is set to kick off on June 10, which is a free fishing day in California. More information can be found on the DFG's website at www.dfg.ca.gov.


DFG unveils fishing passport program
Orange County Register - March 7, 2006
by David Strege


The program will encourage anglers to sample other fishing opportunities throughout the state. Anglers might be unaware of the numerous fishing opportunities the state has to offer: Sturgeon in the Delta. Rainbow trout in the Sierra. Lobster off Southern California. Abalone off Northern California. Largemouth bass throughout the state.

So the state plans to emphasize the various fishing hot spots with a travel plan.

How? With a California Fishing Passport, a program introduced by the Department of Fish and Game last week at the Fred Hall Show.

Anglers of all ages will be provided a fishing passport that lists all the fishing species in the state. As they catch each species, anglers will receive a stamp.

Awards, prizes and other incentives will be used to encourage anglers to sample the diverse fishing in the state.

The program kicks off June 10 but won't be fully operational until early in 2007.

For more information, call (831) 649-7191 or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fishingpassport.