Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3815 July 5-19 2019 - Page 28

26 July 5 - 19, 2019 VOL.38 • ISS. 15 Anglers Show In Force to Oppose Proposed Striped Bass Policy A 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 time. 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 species. 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 If repealed and adopted it will allow the commission to direct the department towards INCREASED bag limits and REDUCED size restrictions!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 the change. “I am a Fisheries Research Scientist, founder & former director of the Patho- biology, Conservation & Population Biology Laboratory at UC Davis,” he testified. “I have reviewed the proposal to repeal the 1996 Striped Bass Management *Trolling Policy and adopt Motors the new Delta *Fishfinders Fisheries Manage- *GPS ment Policy,” he *VHF stated. “These Radios fisheries manage- *Radar ment policy changes would *Batteries adversely affect and striped bass and Chargers black bass and the estuaries fragile Largest Service ecosystem. There is Center absolutely no new in the West! credible scientific evidence that Marine Electronics Sales • Service • Installation Sunny’s Electric Marine ONE DAY SERVICE on Installations with appointment (916) 487-3868 The KFBK OUTDOOR SHOW 3507 1 Rated with your Outdoor Radio Show host for 26 years! # Bob Simms Fishing • Hunting • Destinations Conservation • History Dedicated to the Northern California Outdoorsman Listen Every Saturday Morning from 5 am to 8am on By Dan Bacher 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 emphasized Reimers. 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- our industry.” 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 candidate species. 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 abundance consistent with the Endangered We carry Lead Free Pistol ammo for Species Act,” and said the hunter who wants to carry his the commission had no plan to “eradicate handgun in Lead Free Hunting Zones. striped bass.” Available in a variety of calibers... “I see no words in the revised policy CALL FOR DETAILS! where the Commis- THE LARGEST SELECTION OF AIR GUN PELLETS sion is making a ON THE WEST COAST – GUARANTEED!! statement about 10% voiding this policy,” OFF! he said. 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