Incensed with that information, I checked what California's contiguous states charge for the same privileges. A citizen in Arizona only pays $29, in Oregon a license costs $19.75, and in Nevada a license is still $9.15 cheaper at $34. Wear that license with pride folks. You paid dearly for it.
But wait, that's not all! For the first time in history, when you buy your two-rod stamp this year, it will be valid on the waters of the Colorado River. Of course Arizona fishermen with a two-rod stamp have been able to fish with two rods on the Colorado for more than 10 years.
A warm and fuzzy feeling press release extols all the virtues of the two-rod stamp and how its horizons have been broadened to include the Colorado River.
They even mention it as a great stocking stuffer idea. Boy, why didn't I think of that? Our silver wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Now wouldn't that make the ideal gift for the little lady?
In addition, Arizona Game and Fish will honor the second-rod stamp on the shore of the Arizona state side of the Colorado River.
"Basically where the California fishing license with the Colorado River stamp has been honored before with a California license, river stamp and second pole stamp, it will be honored now," said Becky Wright, law enforcement project manager for Arizona Game and Fish's Yuma region. "That includes Mittry Lake near Yuma, Topoc Marsh north of Lake Havasu and the Colorado River."
"Anglers can double their opportunities with this stamp in an area that prior to Dec. 31 you were unable to do," said Mike McBride, a Southern California regional patrol chief for the DFG. "Now anywhere you can fish in the district you can use two poles. We hope to put a big smile on the faces of anglers with this opportunity to expand their fishing techniques. A lot of folks will enjoy being able to put out that second rod."
Hey, while I'm on a roll, let me tell you how you can get a reduced-fee California fishing license and wildlife area pass if you meet certain criterion. They will be available at the Wal-Mart store in El Centro from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Jan. 11 and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Jan. 12 The cost is only $4.75
If you are age 65 or older and receiving aid to the aged, you can qualify. If you are age 65 or older and your total monthly income from all sources does not exceed $712 per month or $1,265 per month for married persons, you can qualify. Be sure to bring your last year's reduced fee license or an income verification printout from your Social Security office to show you are eligible.
Also, if you are a honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces with a service connected disability of 50 percent or more, you can qualify with proof from the Veterans Administration.
Even better, you may qualify for a free 2002 California sport fishing license and wildlife area pass if you have a vision impairment, or if you are an American Indian with a low yearly income. Also if you are a ward of the state and live in a state hospital or are developmentally disabled and receiving services from the state, you may qualify. Finally, any resident who is severely physically disabled may qualify. There are many rules and regulations you must meet to qualify, so please call for more information.
The poster says to call the San Diego state Fish & Game office at (858) 467-4201 for more information. I called the number and the guy couldn't answer any of my questions. He finally said to call Warden Carol Sassie here in the Valley at 344-8139. She has the answers. Makes you wonder why they're paying the guy in San Diego.
>> Outdoor Tales writer Al Kalin can be reached on the Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org