New freshwater sport fishing regulations which took effect on March 1, 2021, aim to simplify and streamline the laws regulating inland fishing while maintaining and protecting California’s fisheries. The package of updated regulations was adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission in October 2020. It was the largest regulatory inland sport fishing package in the Commission’s history.
“The underlying goals were to reduce the complexity of inland sport fishing regulations, increase regulatory consistency and remove regulations that are no longer biologically justifiable,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Inland Fisheries Program Manager Roger Bloom.
Major changes include:
Separate regulations for inland trout (non-anadromous waters) from those for steelhead and salmon (anadromous waters) to make it easier to understand the bag and possession limits,
Replacement of district regulations with statewide regulations separated for trout, and
Standardize and consolidate “special fishing” regulations.
CDFW held a series of community meetings in 2018 and 2019 at locations across the state to publicly introduce and discuss proposed changes to simplify statewide inland sport fishing regulations. CDFW proposals and recommendations from the public were then vetted at the January and March 2020 Wildlife Resources Committee meetings.
Anglers should review the changes as they affect most of the inland trout waters in California. Updates to the regulations can be found both at wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Inland and wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations.