By LEN ACKERMAN

The California Sportfishing League (CSA) is sponsoring two bills that were introduced in the State Legislature that aim to make hunting and fishing more affordable and accessible for honorably discharged veterans, especially those with service connected disabilities.

Senate Bill 1081, authored by State Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, would reduce sportfishing and hunting licences to a flat fee of $5 for honorably discharged California veterans.

In addition, disabled or recovering service members would be provided licenses at no cost. Assembly Bill 1844, authored by State Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Plumas Lake, would reduce sportfishing and hunting licences by 25 percent for honorably discharged California veterans, reducing the annual fishing license fee from $47.01 to $35.26.

Veterans with a 50 percent or greater service related disability would be entitled to additional savings, a 50 percent discount of licenses.

Veterans should contact their state representatives to express their support for these bills.

Water levels are rising and at Lake Don Pedro, all three launch ramps are open and bass fishing is the main show for now, with the trout and kokanee coming up in the near future.

Pardee Reservoir is expecting 8,000 pounds of Nebraska bred rainbows this weekend to add to the holdovers in the lake.

For more information, call (209) 772-1472.

New Hogan Reservoir is still affected by runoff from the Butte Fire which is creating stained water.

Lake Amador hosted a Nor-Cal Trout Challenge last week and many fish were caught. One angler thought he had a sure winner when he hooked a monster that turned out to be a 51-pound carp, which was released.

For more information, call (209) 274-4139.

No was no report this week from Camanche Reservoir.

At New Melones Reservoir, the water level rose another 7 feet last week.

Trout fishing is picking up, as well as catfish and crappie, but bass fishing is really going well as they begin the spawning mode.

Josh Parris, of San Andreas, recently caught several bass with the biggest at 11.24 pounds using a large swimbait lure.

Wild Turkey season opened last Saturday with one bearded bird allowed per day and three per season.

Bearded birds are usually males but occasionally a hen will sprout a beard, a hairlike protrusion from the chest area.

Such a bird is legal game, but before shooting be sure you see that beard.

The National Wild Turkey Federation, Sonora Chapter, will hold its 10th annual Conservation Banquet April 9 at the Sonora Elks Club. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 7.

For more information, call (209) 532-0842.

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