Conservation Conservation News
The Quality Striped Bass Fishery is in danger of elimination in California. That’s right, we could lose one of our most prized fisheries if we don’t act now. The Dept. of Fish and Game, as the result of a lawsuit settlement, has recommended to the Fish and Game Commission a drastic change to the regulations for Striper fishing. Under the proposal, limits are tripled (6), possession limits are tripled (12) and keep size is reduced (12”). Additionally, in special places close to the water diversion pumps, take limit will be 20 fish daily, 40 in possession, and no size limit. We already have fewer stripers today, and if this change gets through, we likely can kiss this quality fishery goodbye.
What you can do:
1. EASIEST WAY - Click and print out the Striped Bass Postcard, sign it and put on your address, and stick it in the mail.
2. Attend Fish and Game Commission meetings, beginning February 2nd in Sacramento, Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA.
3. Compose a letter, sign it with you address and mail to the California Fish and Game Commission, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 The Federation of Fly Fishers is leading the charge to stop this at the Commission meeting in February.
We MUST have everyone telling the Commission to say NO
to the regulation proposal. Take action TODAY.
If you want to order post cards to distribute to others you can simply call the printer and they will print and ship them to you. Here is the info:
• The Real Graphic Source - ask for Jean Hauser, 530 271-1731. Tell her you want to order Striped Bass post cards. You can tell her that Mark Rockwell is the contact.
As we all know, 2011 has an exceptional water year for our state. There is no doubt this will be good for the state’s fisheries everywhere. One would think that given all this water that the fisheries in the Delta are receiving they would be beyond any harm (various Smelt species, Striped Bass, Winter, Spring and Fall-run Chinook, Steelhead and Green Sturgeon). After all, the salmon/steelhead/green sturgeon Biological Opinion under the ESA is in full effect now, making sure that fish are not unduly harmed – Right? Well, not so fast. Though flows in the Delta are high, and Old and Middle rivers in the Delta are not in the highly negative flows category, fish are still dying at alarming rates!
Recent data from the Bureau of Reclamation and Dept. of Fish and Game shows that entrainment (the term used in place of killed) at the state and federal water pumps is dramatic. Delta pumps killed over 1.9 million splittail Smelt in just the three-day period from May 16 through 18. Over the five-day period including May 19 and 20, a horrifying 2,882,046 splittail were killed! Yes, that’s right, nearly 3 million! Over 15,000 ESA listed Chinook have been killed so far this year, with 4,368 Winter-run and 11,009 Spring-run. See (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/delta/data/salvage/) and http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo/ - Fish Report. Remember, Fall-run Chinook are not counted as they are not ESA listed.
NCCFFF Steelhead Committee Update
By Dougald Scott, Steelhead Committee Chair
New NCCFFF Steelhead Policy At its December 1st meeting, the NCCFFF Board adopted an official Steelhead Policy. “The goals are to preserve wild steelhead genetic diversity and restore wild California steelhead populations to levels approximating historical abundance through habitat restoration, restrictions of sports harvest until wild populations recover, modification of hatchery practices, and in some instances, discontinuation of hatchery supplementation.” The new policy is based on established FFF Steelhead Policy but is tailored to more closely meet the special needs of California steelhead.
NCCFFF weighs in on the future of the Smith River
Preliminary Strategic Plan Proposed
The NCCFFF has suggested a Preliminary Stratigic Plan for the Smith River to the State Fish and Game Commission. Read our document here
Tuesday night, January 25, 2011, an historic event happened. A coalition of 30 environmental, environmental justice and fishing groups delivered to a state agency, The Delta Stewardship Council, a consensus document designed to begin to heal our S.F. Bay-Delta watershed and its fisheries, and also provide a pathway for California to have water system reliability.
The NCCFFF has been a driving force in this process for more than a year through helping to write a foundational report,California Water Solutions Now,reaching out to the Delta Stewardship Council, beginning a small group of individuals to plan a process for input to the council, and finally the arduous work of creating a consensus document for submission. These are recommendations on the Environmental Impact Report for the Delta Plan. Our document can be viewed at: http://www.ewccalifornia.org/reports/DeltaPlanScopingDocs.pdf