California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Story Ideas

White seabass numbers still strong!
White seabass have been a favorite of California anglers and consumers for nearly a century. Thanks to conservation efforts, white seabass continue to thrive in California's ocean waters, and are one of the most popular of ocean species to catch.

Getting out on the water reduces stress, makes people feel good
Leisure Trends Happiness Index (www.leisuretrends.com) found that individuals who participate in outdoor activities such as fishing rate themselves as happier than folks who don't participate in outdoor activities.

Fly-fishing one of California's best spring creeks
California is home to some of the best fly-fishing destinations in the world. One unique example is Northern California's Fall River, which many avid fly-fishermen say is the state's best Blue Ribbon spring creek. Hatches (including the famous "Hex" hatch) are impressive even by western standards, and stretch throughout the entire summer. Heavy wild rainbows dominate the fish population, and are a mainstay with avid anglers. Catching fish in this spring creek can be a challenge requiring experienced fishing skills and presentation. The river is best floated, since aquatic weeds make wading difficult and much of the land bordering the river is private. Access is via numerous lodges or two public access points. Most fishermen practice catch and release, although regulations allow anglers to keep two fish measuring 14 inches or more. Fall River is 300 miles north of San Francisco (235 from Sacramento and 75 miles from Redding).

Teach your kids to fish
The best way to get a child hooked on fishing is to take them on a fun fishing adventure. When kids have fun fishing, they will likely put the outdoors on the top of their list of activities, which benefits them and the resources sport fishing depends on. Children are our future conservationists, but we need to instill in them early an appreciation of nature. A great way to do that is through outdoor recreation such as fishing. It is something that can be passed on from generation to generation. Here are some tips for a successful fishing trip with your kids: Keep it simple! Set up a simple hook with a worm tackle and a bobber, which can serve as a visual on the water and keep a child's attention. Fish for action, not size! Fishing for species that a child is most likely to catch will keep their attention and provide them with the incentive to continue fishing. Some of the easiest known species to catch are bluegills, sunfish and small bass. These fish live in shallow (desert lakes and urban lakes) most of the year and are easy to find. Also, Check out CDFW's fish stocking schedule at nrm.dfg.ca.gov/fishplants/ for better success fishing in an area just after stocking, great for fast action fishing. Keep it about the kids! It is best for adults to leave their fishing poles at home, especially for a child's first fishing trip. If a child decides to play on the shore or seek out bugs, let them: it's all about them having fun, at least for the first few trips. Teach them about conservation such as how to catch and release. If you bring a fish home, teach the child to only bring home what they can eat.

Fishing Trends
Although still popular with one in four Americans, fishing participation has not kept up with population growth. The fastest growing population group is Hispanic, but they, along with African Americans and women, are still under-represented participants when it comes to fishing and boating. Why and what is being done about it? Participation in certain groups - women, Hispanics and African Americans - is less than for male Caucasians. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, whose mission is to grow participation and stewardship of aquatic resources, is a known leader in fishing research. See the report "Minority Anglers and Boaters: Attitudes and Participation in Fishing and Boating and Resource Stewardship" at www.rbff.org/research, for findings as to why and how to reach underrepresented segments of the population, when it comes to fishing.

Get the family outdoors - away from television and computers
All family members can play at the same time; no limit as to how many on a team. Family and boating rank high in surveys assessing quality family time together. Fishing is a passport to adventure. And summer is a great time to get out for some fun destination fishing adventures. Fishing, angling, casting a line, catchin' fish, whatever you call it, it's fun for kids, adults, and the entire family. Regardless of age or ability, a family activity outdoors, with fresh air and sunshine and tons of beautiful scenery such as relaxing by a gurgling brook or whispering stream or placid lake - is what fishing in nature is all about. Best of all, taking the kids fishing need not be expensive or require a lot of time, or mean a long drive.

Get hooked on ocean fishing aboard a "partyboat"
California is known to have some of the best fishing in the world. The trick is to know where the fish are-and the best way to do this is with the pros. Fishing with the experts is a great way to learn about the ocean, its underwater inhabitants, and how to reel in such tasty critters as blue rockfish, gopher rockfish, halibut, and albacore. Partyboat trips are surprisingly affordable, starting at about $25 per person for a half-day trip and about $40 for a full day. Equipment rental runs an additional $10-$15. One-day fishing licenses (if you don't already have one) can be purchased on the spot. Full food and beverage service is available aboard most boats. Many charter services also offer specialty trips, such as moonlight excursions, overnight trips, and complete boat charters for groups. Prices vary accordingly. To find a partyboat near you, check the yellow pages under "fishing parties." For a list of all "partyboats" operators registered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, call the CDFW's License and Revenue Branch at (916) 225-2234.

Ocean Fishing: a great state pastime and good for the economy
Recreational ocean fishing is not only a popular California pastime- it generates about $5 billion in personal income and provides for more than 150,000 jobs, according to a 1994 University of California study. There are two Californians when it comes to recreational ocean fishing: those fisheries south of Point Conception, and those north of Point Conception to the California-Oregon border. California's nearshore ecosystem is known as one of the most productive ocean areas in the world, encompassing 2,550 square miles and generating more than $40 million in revenue. Nearshore fisheries have existed for decades. CDFW's overriding goal is to ensure the sustainable use and restoration of all living marine resources while recognizing the importance of recreational and commercial fishing industries to the people of California.

Aquatic wildlife research
CDFW aquatic biologists conduct scientific investigations to develop the necessary knowledge, techniques, and procedures to effectively manage California's aquatic wildlife.

CDFW's Fishing in the City program
The Urban Fishing Program, which was started in 1993, serves Californians living in the Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. The program's Fishing in the City Clinics gives city dwellers an opportunity to learn how to fish, and to fish close to home. Ponds are stocked with trout in winter and catfish the rest of the year. Anglers 16 years of age and older must possess a fishing license except on Free Fishing Day. For more information, log on to www.dfg.ca.gov/fishinginthecity.

CDFW's sport fishing stamps and report cards help manage the resource
The loss of aquatic habitat is one of the most significant causes of fish population declines in California. Recognizing the need to preserve California's aquatic ecosystems for future generations, CDFW utilizes seven sport fishing stamps and report cards to help manage specific resources and waterways. These stamps and cards range in price from $1.50 to $16.80 and are required with the purchase of a sport fishing license. All of the funds raised from the sales of these stamps are used to benefit aquatic resources and their underwater habitats. The stamps and report cards include:

  • An Ocean Enhancement Stamp if you are fishing in the ocean south of Point Arguello;
  • A Second-Rod Stamp if you want to fish with two rods in California's lakes and reservoirs;
  • An Arizona Colorado River Stamp if you are fishing from a boat or other floating device on the Colorado River or adjacent waters;
  • A Salmon Punch Card if you are fishing for salmon in the ocean north of Horse Mountain or in the Klamath River system;
  • A Steelhead Report Card if you are fishing for steelhead in inland waters;
  • A Bay-Delta Sport Fishing Enhancement Stamp if you are fishing in the San Francisco Bay/Delta or its tributaries, up to the most downstream dam;
  • An Abalone Permit/Report Card if you are taking abalone in coastal waters.