A man was spotted wadding Los Angeles River while fly fishing near Bette Davis Park in L.A. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

A man was spotted wadding Los Angeles River while fly fishing near Bette Davis Park in L.A. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (Times Community News / August 14, 2012)

Kayakers and environmental groups would have better access to sections of the Los Angeles River under legislation approved Monday by the state Assembly.

The measure requires the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to provide access to navigable sections of the river where it is suitable for educational and recreational purposes and doesn’t interfere with flood control and water conservation.

"It’s a major step toward governing the river as a river rather than a flood control channel," said Lewis MacAdams, president of Friends of the Los Angeles River.

The flood control district would still have to develop specific policies for improving access under SB 1201, which was written by Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles).

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-- Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times