Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3715 July 6-20 2018 - Page 7

July 6 - 20, 2018 VOL.37 • ISS. 15 Hey Dan! — Letters To The Editor COVER COVER STORY STORY 7 Established 1982 What’s on your mind? Do you have something you’d like to share with us and our readers? A picture... a story... a question to ask, or an answer to another? Let’s hear your compliments, or your gripes! Whatever it is, send it to: HEY, DAN!, c/o Fish Sniffer Publications, The Fish Sniffer - P.O. Box 776, Colfax, CA 95713, or you can now e-mail it at Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of pictures or text. Thanks! Independent Analysis Makes Case for Fishing License Reforms Hey Dan! On June 2, the California Sportfishing League released independent analysis that reveals that California’s costly fishing license is likely a major contributor to the state’s declining fishing participation rate and is economically unsustain- able for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In recent years, more and more states are re- sponding to the needs of anglers by transitioning from a calendar-based license to a 12-month li- cense and employing new marketing techniques to recruit, retain and re-activate (R3) anglers. Southwick Associates is the first marketing and economic research firm to examine whether calendar or 12-month fishing states have experi- enced greater growth in sales and revenue. This question is timely given the 12-month fishing license legislation pending in the California State Legislature. “Independent analysis reveals that Califor- nia’s costly fishing license is in a death-spiral,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Sportfishing League. “Despite California’s abundant natural resources and growth in population, it has lost over one million anglers over the last 30-years. Given this alarm- ing trend, it is time for California to abandon its costly and antiquated fishing license program for one that aims to increase fishing participation rates and boost outdoor tourism.” Given that calendar-based licenses expire on December 31st of each year, California anglers have long complained that there are few incen- tives for them to purchase an annual license during the spring and summer months when outdoor activity increases, especially one that costs 110% over the national average. States that have experienced greater growth in sales and revenue have developed license programs, such as 12-month licenses, to give short-term license holders (fair weather anglers) incentives to buy more-costly annual licenses that they perceive to have greater value. “Considering California’s declining license sales and revenue situation, current fisheries management efforts are not economically sustainable,” said Rob Southwick, principle of Southwick and Associates. “To maintain adequate conservation funding, some level of changes are needed to the State’s license struc- ture, pricing and/or marketing approaches.” Southwick Associates’ key findings and recommendations include: 1. Today, there are 1 million fewer anglers than there were in 1985. Yet, despite annual price increases, the DFW’s total license reve- nues have not kept up with inflation, with price hikes aggravating the decline in participation. The current revenue situation does not appear to be sustainable. Significant changes will be need- ed to enhance revenues, ranging from re-assess- ing current prices, working with consumers to identify new types of licenses customers would prefer and initiating marketing efforts to boost license sales and renewal rates. 2. The new 12-month license will not regain lost license customers and revenue but could help reverse the decline. Florida was the first state to switch to a 12-month license starting in 1991. Today, there are 14 states with a 12-month license. 3. It’s more than prices or term of licenses that determine if sales increase or decrease. Many factors combine to determine the direction of license sales such as weather, access issues, cultural interest in the outdoors, and more. However, states that have a 12-month license since 2006 have seen revenues grow faster than other states. 4. For states with a 12-month license, a greater percentage of license sales are of higher-priced annual licenses versus short-term licenses. This results from basic economics, and would be expected in California, too. 5. Several states now provide license au- to-renewal options that further boost revenues and reduce the revenue gap between a custom- er’s license expiration date and their next license purchase. 6. Many states are seeing significant success in boosting revenues through active efforts to recruit, retain and re-activate (R3) anglers. Sim- ple reminders aimed at current and prospective anglers to plan fishing trips, to renew licenses and to take a friend or family member fishing are just a few of the many marketing efforts that need to be engaged. 7. California is strongly cautioned against raising license prices without first assessing the impacts on participation and revenues. Licenses may already be over-priced and lower prices may actually boost revenues for some licenses. Eliminating the forced inflation-based price hikes in favor of a statistical assessment that determines optimal prices based on Califor- nia’s actual license sales drivers and consumer demand will help boost revenues. transition California from a calendar-based license to a 12-month license; Senate Bill 518 (formerly SB 187) authored by Senator Tom Berryhill and Assembly Bill 986, authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher. Both bills will be considered in the week of Monday, June 25th. They enjoyed broad based support from orga- nizations representing sportfishing, recreational boating, marina operators, small business, retail, and the tourism and hospitality industry. In addition, over 3,000 California anglers signed an online petition in favor of the bills. To review the Southwick and Associates analysis, “Considerations Regarding 365-Day Fishing Licenses,” visit news. The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of recreational anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. California’s 2.6 million recreational anglers contribute over $4.6 billion annually to California’s economy, a major contributor to outdoor tourism and jobs. To learn more visit or Twitter @CASportfishing. ~ Marko Mlikotin, California Sporfish- ing League TRAILER HITCHES • Professionally Installed • Custom Fit • Same Day Service Hey Marko! It’s crucial that Cal- ifornia finally respond to the needs of anglers by transitioning from a calendar-based license to a 12-month license and employing new marketing techniques to recruit, retain and re-activate (R3) an- glers. Thanks for all of your efforts on behalf of anglers in this state! ~Dan 11844 Atwood Rd • Auburn 6455 Pacific St • Rocklin 530-888-7825 916-773-7333 3624 CALIFORNIA-NEVADA EDITION “The No.1 Newspaper Dedicated Entirely To Northern California Sportsmen!” Published By NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ANGLER PUBLICATIONS, INC. The Fish Sniffer P.O. Box 776, Colfax, CA 95713 Toll-Free (833)-347-4661 CAL KELLOGG’S E-MAIL: EDITORIAL E-MAIL: FOUNDERS Harold A. (Hal) Bonslett (1937-2000) Winnie A. Bonslett Buzz Ramsey and his son Wade nailed this beautiful Columbia River king salmon while trolling a Mulkey Spinner teamed with a Big Al Fish Flash flash- er. As of press time, salmon fishing was hot throughout the northwest. Beyond the Golden Gate in California, limit style ocean salmon trolling is creating a lot of excitement. River season is slated to kick into gear for Golden State anglers on July 16. All in all, it’s looking like a strong year for salmon fishing on the West Coast! 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