Adverse decision in California Association for Recreational Fishing v. Department of Fish and Game

September 19, 2012 | By JONATHAN WOOD

As previously discussed on this blog, Pacific Legal Foundation represents the California Association for Recreational Fishing (CARF) in challenging significant restrictions on fish stocking companies – including hatcheries and private fishing lakes and ponds – that threaten their ability to stay in business.

Today we received an adverse decision in which the Superior Court decided in favor of the Department of Fish and Game on each of the issues that we raised. We are disappointed with this outcome, particularly for some of the reasoning which could have far reaching implications for the accountability of the Department to the general public. The court held that the Department was not required to comply with the California Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) when imposing these burdensome regulations.

“We are extremely disappointed with the Court’s ruling,” said Craig Elliott, Board Member of the California Association for Recreational Fishing. “The Court’s decision, if upheld on Appeal, will have a devastating economic impact on recreational fishing, aquaculture, jobs and tourism. Today’s decision sends a message to Californians that unelected bureaucrats, and not the State Legislature, can develop regulations with no public oversight. That’s not going to sit well with a public that seems to be losing its freedoms and liberties on a daily basis. There are times in life when you must fight, and this is one of those times; fishing is as American as apple pie.”

We are discussing our options regarding this ruling with our clients and will provide updates as the case progresses.