California Fish & Game Commission

CRPA & The California Fish And Game Commission

The California Rifle & Pistol Association has long monitored and actively participated in Fish and Game Commission meeting for years. We actively fight for your ability to access the great outdoors as hunter conservationists and to secure those same opportunities for future generations. CRPA has representatives that serve on several Commission stakeholder groups and we attend meetings throughout the year to offer testimony and information on conservation efforts in California.

Historical Background Of The Fish And Game Commission:

The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. This is one of the many reasons the California Rifle and Pistol Association focuses on their activities as it not only impacts sportspeople here in California but across the nation as well.
In 1870 the Board of Fish Commissioners, the forerunner of the modern day Fish and Game Commission, was established to provide for the restoration and preservation of fish in California waters.

In 1909 the Board of Fish Commissioners’ name was changed to the Fish and Game Commission, which reflected the growing importance of game conservation. The complex fish and game regulations and administration of today date from these years when the Commission was given more authority to undertake new responsibilities in the areas of conservation.

In 1927 the administrative functions of the original Commission were assumed by the newly established Division of Fish and Game, set up within the Department of Natural Resources. In 1927 the first deer tag ($1.00) was issued.

In 1937 the Fish and Game Commission was increased from three to its current five members, and in 1940 a constitutional amendment provided for six-year staggered terms with Commissioners appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the Senate according to Government Code subsection 1774(c).

In 1945 the Fish and Game Commission received the responsibility for promulgating regulations to manage sport fishing and hunting. This act was done by the Legislature, through a constitutional amendment.

Finally, in 2012, the Governor approved a bill that changed the name of the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The name change did not affect the Commission and so its name remains unchanged.

There is often confusion about the distinction between the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Game Commission.

In the most basic terms, the Department of Fish and Wildlife is charged with implementing and enforcing the regulations set by the Fish and Game Commission, as well as providing biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision making process. The CRPA works at the meetings of the game commission to promote positive regulatory changes that benefit the hunting and conservation community at large.

Game Commission Responsibilities As They Apply To Hunting In California

The Fish and Game Commission has a wide range of responsibilities that continually expands and includes:

  • Formulation of general policies for the conduct of the Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Seasons, bag limits and methods of take for game animals
  • Controlling non-native species importation, possession, sale
  • Establishing protected lands/waters (wildlife areas and ecological reserves.)
  • Regulating uses of protected areas
  • Listing and delisting of threatened/endangered species under California Endangered Species Act
  • Accepting mitigation lands on behalf of the State
  • Authorizing terms and conditions for Private Lands Management Program
  • Assuming a quasi-judicial role in considering appeal hearings for revocation or suspension of licenses and permits
  • Prescribing terms and conditions for issuance, suspension, revocation of licenses/permits issued by the Department, including:
    • hunting
    • hunting/fishing guides
    • falconry
    • raptor capture
    • game bird club
    • trapping
    • fur agent/dealer
    • restricted species
    • game breeders
    • fallow deer farming
    • nuisance bird abatement
    • domesticated migratory game bird shooting area
    • wild animal care
    • wild animal exhibitor
  • Association of Zoos and Aquaria detrimental species