Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

By Donna Westfall – March 6, 2017 –

When it comes to food sources like growing your own fruits, vegetables, herbs or tossing a fishing pole in the ocean, why should any government agency be involved?  Why should they be able to tax it, regulate it or charge for licenses?

After all, free fishing looks to be guaranteed by the California Constitution (1879) in Article 1, Section 25. So let’s see what the State has to say about that:

Statement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, March 3, 2017:

  • “This is untrue. The California Constitution establishes the right for the public to fish from State owned waters, but it also authorizes the Legislature to establish conditions under which the public can fish. One of the conditions is that you must have a fishing license. This condition is established by the Legislature in Fish and Game Code, Section 7145.”

The Supreme Court had ruled in the following manner regarding the States Attempts to License your Rights:

  • Murdock v. Pennsylvania 319 U.S. 105 (1943) “No State may convert a secured liberty into a privilege and then issue a license and charge a fee and require you to have it or you have committed a crime”. and if they do…
  • Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham 399 U.S. 147 (1969) says…”If the State does convert your right into a privilege and charge a license and a fee you can ignore the license and engage in the right with impunity”.

If you want to chance it and fish without a license, it is recommended that you laminate the above card and have it on you in the event they try to ticket you.  Hand it to the Fish and Wildlife employee and see what they say.  Odds are…. they may or may not issue you a ticket.

Should you decide you’d like to purchase a fishing license, you can go on the internet to this website: Now, if you want to find out how much a fishing license costs, that’s a little more involved.  The site wants your billing information BEFORE getting to the fishing license fees. This is bass-ackward.  First, I want to know how much a fishing license costs BEFORE paying for anything.

In the past year, I’ve asked several Supervisor’s to inquire about how to turn two free fishing days a year into more free fishing days to include all national holidays WITHOUT having to purchase a fishing license. Supervisor Gitlin has picked up and run with that ball. Stay tuned. More later.

4 thoughts on “FREE Fishing?”
  1. The most ridiculous piece of mail I have EVER received was during the Covid pandemic. I missed 2 child support payments due to lack of work and the letter I received said my fishing license was hereby suspended due to not paying child support. Mind you before deeming me deadbeat, I have been paying child support punctually for the past 5 years and had only missed 2 payments before I was no longer allowed to catch a trout. They suspended my driver’s license too so I couldn’t drive to the river anyways but that’s a different discussion. I just thought I’d share how unbelievably pathetic parts of our system are.

  2. ABUSED POWERS? What year did fishing become a permitted privilege? Are we so ignorant we pay for the use of our rights through permits, fees and penalties? What year did the taxes of a permit become a public decision either voted upon legally or illegally, by we the people or by some paid group with or without the consent of the governed? How has “public safety” been used as a reason for paid legislatures to expand their profit margins and spending? No wonder those who will not move out of Commiefornia are hoping the citizens for fair representation (I.e. State of Jefferson) win a lawsuit to overturn the 1964 Simms v.s. Phillips case? Over regulated brain dead Americans need to wake up and ask “show me the law?”. Instead, isn’t it time we punish the perverts of the law, including those who have no lawful authority enforcing fake law! Thank god so many people now understand and expose Agenda 21 and agenda 2030. Now is the time to set aside some differences (politics, religion etc.), demand the Del Norte and coastal Americans wake up their Judges, Grand Jury, Supervisors, city council and Sheriff and then DEMAND THEY STOP THE ABUSE of Unconstitutional and illegal abuse of citizens?

  3. “Odds are…. they may or may not issue you a ticket.”

    Well actually I would take those odds. It’s a 100% guarantee that they will or won’t issue you a ticket.

    Also I think its very disrespectful that you wear your hat when you address the Board of Supervisors. It doesn’t show any respect to Supervisor Gitlin and Supervisor Berkowitz. I feel that these two men deserve more respect from you for all of the hard work they put in on your behalf. There are 1000’s of other constituents but they only want to listen to you.

  4. I believe that no fishing license is required when one fishes from a pier, wharf, jetty or other man-made facility. So anyone can fish for free off of the B Street Pier.

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