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Frequently Asked Questions about the Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card

Why does CDFW require that Steelhead Report and Restoration Cards be returned?

Information submitted by anglers is important and directly influences the way your steelhead rivers are managed. The purpose of the Report Card program is to gather angler information which is used by the Department in making fisheries management and regulatory decisions, as well as to track angling trends over time. Because the majority of California's steelhead populations are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), angling information is even more critical, not only to ensure that angling does not cause further impacts to steelhead populations, but also to demonstrate that impacts due to angling are minimal.

What is the money used for?

The purchase of a Report Card is an investment into the future of California’s steelhead resource. Funds generated from Report Card sales are dedicated to supporting the program as well as funding habitat restoration projects that help conserve, monitor, and recover steelhead populations statewide. Because the funds are generated by steelhead anglers, funded restoration projects not only must benefit steelhead, but also must have a direct or indirect benefit to the angler. Between the years of 1994 and 2014, 155 projects were funded using Report Card Revenue totaling approximately $2,500,000.

I did not fish for steelhead this year. Do I still need to return the Report Card?

Yes, this information is still valuable as it increases the accuracy of our data. Please report online that you “Did Not Fish” or check the “Did Not Fish” box on the top or your Report Card and mail it to the Department at the address indicated on the Report Card.

I have lost my Report Card. What do I do?

Lost Report Cards must be reported online and a new Report Card must be purchased before fishing for steelhead again.

I did not catch any steelhead or I released all steelhead that I did catch. Do I still need to return my Report Card?

Yes, your Report Card still must be returned. If you went fishing, but were unsuccessful, please mark zeros within the appropriate “Kept” and Released” fields on the Report Card. The Report Card is designed for you to record fishing effort, regardless of whether or not you catch a steelhead.

I received a reminder email to report or return my Report Card, but I already reported during the reporting period. What do I do?

If you mailed your Report Card during the reporting period, it is possible that it had not arrived at the time reminder emails were sent. If you reported your Report Card online during the reporting period and still received a reminder email, please contact License and Revenue Branch at (916) 928-5805 for further assistance.

I did not purchase a Report Card. Why did I receive an email reminding me to report or return my Report Card?

If you received a reminder email, then our license system indicated that a Report Card was purchased in your name. It is also possible that you may be a Life Time License holder, and a Report Card may have been automatically generated in your name. Please contact License and Revenue Branch at (916) 928-5805 for further assistance.

My personal information on my Report Card is incorrect. What do I do?

All angler information, including name and address, are entered by License Agents when you purchase your Report Card. Please contact License and Revenue Branch at (916) 928-5805 for further assistance. 

What do I do once I have used all the lines on my Report Card?

If you would like to continue to fish for steelhead, an additional Report Card will need to be purchased once all lines are used. Please do not add additional lines to your Report Card. Our data entry system does not allow the entry of more than 30 lines per Report Card. Data written on additional lines will be lost.

I want to keep my Report Card for my collection. Can I?

Yes, reporting online is the easiest way to submit your angling information and keep your Report Card. An alternative is to clearly photocopy your Report Card and mail the copy to the address provided within the instructions.

How is the data collected by the Report Card used?

The purpose of the Report Card program is to gather angler information which is used by the Department in making fisheries management and regulatory decisions, as well as to track angling trends over time. The information submitted by steelhead anglers directly influences the way your steelhead rivers are managed.

Detailed information regarding the analysis of Report Card data can be found within both Administrative and legislative reports, found below.


Fisheries Branch
830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811 | (916) 327-8840


Painting of man holding steelhead trout


Steelhead Harvest Reporting

Reporting Period: January 1 - 31


Fisheries Restoration Grants


Contact

Email Program Staff: SHcard@wildlife.ca.gov