California Waterfowl Legislative Affairs and Public Policy

A Clear and Powerful Voice for Waterfowl in California and Washington, D.C.

Legislative Affairs


State Legislature Wrapup

After an unusually light State Legislative Session in which significantly fewer bills were introduced than in previous years, results for hunting and conservation interests were mixed.  While both of CWA’s sponsored pieces of legislation on hunting opportunity and water issues failed to make it to the Governor’s desk, these measures were never voted down either and may still be considered again when the Legislature reconvenes in January.  In addition, the gun control bill (SB 347) that CWA most actively opposed was ultimately vetoed by the Governor.

CWA’s electronic grassroots action network generated thousands of emails to State Legislators and the Governor on bills of greatest concern to the sporting community.  CWA thanks all its members who contacted their representative and made our collective voice heard.

CWA–Sponsored Bills

AB 665 (Frazier) – Would keep cities, counties, park districts and other local governments from restricting or interfering with hunting, fishing and depredation control activities.  The bill also requires the F&G Commission to consider public safety in drafting annual regulations over the taking of fish and game, and reinforces the right to hunt on state-owned navigable waters.

Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee

SB 615 (Berryhill) – Would require that managed wetlands be presumed to not pose a significant threat to water quality and would require, with respect to managed wetlands, the state board and regional boards to waive reporting requirements, regional board prescribed waste discharge requirements, and monitoring requirements of the waiver program

Status: Senate Environmental Quality Committee


Other Legislation

AB 96 (Atkins) – Would ban the sale of products made from ivory prior to June 1, 1977, such as antique firearms and knives.

CWA Position: Oppose Status: Signed by Governor


AB 498 (Levine) - Would make it the policy of the state, with regard to a project proposed in an area identified as a wildlife corridor, to encourage the project proponent to consult with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and, wherever feasible, take steps to protect or restore the functioning of the wildlife corridor.

CWA Position: Support Status: Governor’s Desk


AB 499 (Cooley) - Would authorize a person engaged in archery deer hunting who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm to possess that firearm in the field.

CWA Position: Support Status: Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee


SB 345 (Berryhill) - Would make a number of changes to the fishing licensing system and gamefish possession laws that would facilitate greater public participation in fishing.

CWA Position: Support Status: Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee


SB 347 (Jackson) – Would confiscate someone’s firearms for a 10-year period for relatively minor (non-violent) violations of the law.

CWA Position: Oppose Status: Vetoed by Governor


Our Approach

Building strong relationships is central to CWA’s public policy work. Actions include monitoring and taking action on state and federal bills, influencing waterfowl regulations, coalition-building with our conservation partners, commenting on land management and public use plans, testifying at public hearings, coordinating grassroots action, working with legislators to help write bill language, and, on rare occasions, battling issues in court.


Local to National

Ensuring that public policies are supportive of waterfowl, conservation, and hunting sets the stage for accomplishing CWA’s program goals. We influence legislative and regulatory decisions that are made at the regional, state, and federal levels. Supportive public agencies, effective partnerships, and informed decision-makers are all vital for success.


Key Issues

CWA advocates programs that benefit waterfowl and wetlands and preserve our hunting traditions. Issues include wetland water supplies, waterfowl habitat programs and funding, public hunting programs, waterfowl conservation on private lands, science-based waterfowl regulations, protection of sporting firearms and munitions, the use of dogs in hunting and more. 


Get Involved!

CWA has partnered with VoterVoice to allow our members an easy, all-in-one option for monitoring and taking part in legislative issues. Sign up today! It's FREE and you will only receive notifications when we need your help contacting legislators and protecting our hunting and outdoor heritage.


Let Your Voice be Heard

CWA has two separate committees dedicated to waterfowl hunting.  Any current CWA members are encouraged to participate and provide input.  (Voting members of the committees must, however, first be approved by the CWA Board.)  Most meetings are held in the Sacramento area, but conference call opportunities are also typically provided.


CWA Regulations and Traditions Committee meets twice a year (usually in early August and mid-November) to develop waterfowl seasons and bag limits recommendations, which, after approval of the CWA Board, are then communicated to the California Fish and Game Commission by CWA staff.  For more information, please contact the Committee Chair, Frank Billeci, at


CWA Public Lands Hunters Committee meets 2-4 times per year to develop recommendations and other input  to the California Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on public hunt programs for waterfowl and other gamebirds.  The committee also helps draft hunter surveys and other outreach to better gauge hunter sentiment on public lands hunting issues.  For more information, please contact the Committee Chair, Steve Marvier, at


For other questions on waterfowl hunting regulatory issues, please contact Mark Hennelly at