Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3815 July 5-19 2019 - Page 28
July 5 - 19, 2019
VOL.38 • ISS. 15
Anglers Show In Force to Oppose
Proposed Striped Bass Policy
t its June meeting in Redding, the
California Fish and Game Commis-
sion voted to move the proposed policy on
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fisheries
management from the Wildlife Resources
Committee to the full Commission at their
August 7 meeting in Sacramento for further
review and potential changes.
Scores of anglers throughout the state
attended this meeting to oppose the
proposed repeal of 1996 Striped Bass
Policy and adoption of the new Delta
Fisheries Management Policy . The water
contractors and their Astroturf groups,
including the Coalition for a Sustainable
Delta, the Astroturf group created by
Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoons Lynda
and Stewart Resnick, have for years tried
to increase bag limits and decrease the size
limits for striped bass, even though both
species thrived together for over 130 years
and both species are victims of massive
water exports out of the Delta. The anglers
and their allies have defeated these attempts
to reduced numbers of striped bass every
Anglers fear that the repeal of the striped
bass policy and adoption of the new policy
would result in weakening protections
for striped bass and other introduced fish
By decreasing striped bass populations,
the state would increase populations of
predatory Sacramento pike minnows and
introduced silversides that the striped bass
feed upon, disrupting the current predator
prey relationships and likely causing
even more harm to salmon, Delta smelt
and other fish populations.
“The new Delta Fisheries Policy calls
for strict protections for salmonids
and listed fish only,” according to the
action alert from the NorCal Guide and
Sportsman’s Association, the group that
organized buses and carpools throughout
Northern California to go the meeting.
“This is the first step for removal and
destruction of our delta bass fisheries
and more! If repealed and adopted it
will allow the commission to direct the
department towards INCREASED bag
limits and REDUCED size restrictions!
After one angler after another spoke,
the Commission voted to move the
policy recommendation forward to a full
Commission discussion on August 7.
During the meeting, people from all
over Northern California, the Delta
region and the Central Valley to speak
against the policy.
Dr. David Ostrach, Science Advisor
for the Allied Fishing Groups & Nor-Cal
Guides & Sportsmen’s Association,
representing collectively over forty
thousand fishers and recreational fishing
related businesses, gave a well-received
scientific presentation strongly opposing
“I am a Fisheries Research Scientist,
founder & former director of the Patho-
biology, Conservation & Population
Biology Laboratory at UC Davis,” he
“I have reviewed
the proposal to
repeal the 1996
Policy and adopt
the new Delta
ment Policy,” he
striped bass and
black bass and the
ecosystem. There is
absolutely no new
in the West!
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should alter the last Fish and Game Commis- of people, both representing agribusiness
sion’s ruling on this subject.”
groups, spoke on behalf of the policy.
“In fact, the striped bass population has
“We are very happy with the number of
continued to decline dramatically since
people who showed up at the meeting,”
the last time this issue was brought before
said James Stone, President of the NorCal
the Commission,” he stated. “The striped
Guides and Sportsmen’s Association.
bass population is in severe decline and is
“However, we can’t stress the importance of
not being managed at a sustainable level.
showing up and voicing your opinion to the
Changing the management policy would not
Commission at their meeting on August 7.”
only further the decline of the striped bass
The Commission meeting will take place
population; it would also be extremely detri-
on August 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the Natural
mental to salmon and delta smelt.”
Resources Building Auditorium, First
“Striped bass feed on several other delta
Floor, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA
species including non-native inland silver-
95814. Everybody who care about the
sides and native pike minnow. Reducing
future of Central Valley and San Francisco
striped bass numbers would for example
Bay Delta fish populations should be there!
increase the population of inland silversides
The Commission also took action on a
and pike minnows. The inland silverside is
number of other issues impacting Cali-
a highly invasive introduced species that
fornia’s fish and other natural resources.
has supplanted the ecological niche of the
Commission President Eric Sklar and
delta smelt, it feeds on delta smelt eggs and
Commissioners Russell Burns, Samantha
larvae and it competes for the same food
Murray and Peter Silva were present.
sources as juvenile salmon. The pike minnow Commission Vice President Jacque
is one of the most voracious predators on
Hostler-Carmesin was absent.
juvenile salmon and other small native fish.
The Commission voted 3-1 to accept a
An increase of its population would have a
petition to list four species of bumble bees
deleterious effect on listed species and the
for protection under the California Endan-
ecosystem,” he said.
gered Species Act (CESA), according to
Agreeing with Dr. Ostrach’s assess-
a press release from the California Fish
ment on predation, Rob Reimers of Rustic
and Game Commission. The action begins
Rob’s Guide Service told the Commission,
a one-year status review of the species
“Sacramento pike minnows are the problem
and following that review, the Commis-
regarding predation of juvenile salmon.”
sion will make a final decision at a future
“The striped bass are not the enemy.
meeting. During the status review, the bee
Striped bass are the stewards of the river,”
species have protections under CESA as
a candidate species. Commissioner Burns
Chris Smith, captain of the Pacific Queen
was the dissenting vote.
in Berkeley, said, “I’m a second generation
The Commission voted 4-0 to accept a
charter boat skipper and my son, Jonathan,
petition to list summer steelhead under
follows in my footsteps. The change in
CESA. This commences a one-year status
policy would have an enormous impact on
review of the species and the Commis-
sion will make a final decision at a future
Noelle Kremers, Senior Policy Advocate
meeting. During the status review, summer
for the California Farm Bureau, said she
steelhead have protections under CESA as a
supports the new policy. “We see the need to
improve management of the Delta and see
The Commission and California Depart-
this as one of the ways to do this.,” she said.
ment of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Deputy
After the public comment period, Commis- Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement
sioner Samantha Murray told the crowd as
Division David Bess announced Jessica
she thanked them for coming to the meeting,
Brown as 2018 Wildlife Prosecutor of the
“We hear you. We see you,”
Year. Brown is Supervising City Attorney
The Commissioners explained that in their
in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
review of that policy, they would consider
The Commission consented to the U.S.
the anglers’ concerns about lost striped bass
Fish and Wildlife Service’s additional
fishing opportunity on the Delta.
acquisition of 487 acres to expand the San
Commission President Eric Sklar empha-
Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
sized that the 1996
striped bass policy
had four provi-
sions, including to
“increase striped bass
with the Endangered
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