It is time to write that letter to the California State Fish and Game Commission. Why is this important? If we don’t turn back this cynical and spiteful effort by San Joaquin Valley agribusiness, we stand to lose an outstanding striped bass fishery and its Delta protecting constituency. Furthermore, leading fisheries biologists believe that the proposed regulation changes will increase the threat to listed species in the Delta.
The California Department of Fish and Game is presenting a proposal to the Commission to dramatically increase the take of striped bass in order to reduce the striped bass population. This action is the result of a legal settlement between the Department of Fish and Game and a coalition of agricultural interests who sued with allegations that the striped bass were impacting the population of endangered species in the Delta, including salmon and delta smelt.
The settlement requires the Department to present the regulation change for the Commission to approve or reject. If the Commission rejects the recommendation, the striped bass regulations will remain unchanged. Please write a reasoned and considerate letter to the Fish and Game Commission and urge them to reject the proposed regulation changes.
The basic proposed changes are as follows:
- Raising the daily bag limit for striped bass from two to six fish.
- Raising the possession limit for striped bass from two to 12 fish.
- Lowering the minimum size for striped bass from 18 to 12 inches.
- Establishing a hot spot for striped bass fishing at Clifton Court Forebay and specified adjacent waterways at which the daily bag limit will be 20 fish, the possession limit will be 40 fish and there will be no size limit. Anglers fishing at the hot spot would be required to fill out a report card and deposit it in an iron ranger or similar receptacle.
- Changes to the sport fishing regulations for the Carmel, Pajaro and Salinas Rivers to allow harvest of striped bass when the fishery would otherwise be closed.
- DFG is also recommending an adaptive management plan that will help assess how the new regulations influence the fishery.
You may address the Commission as follows:
Mr. Jim Kellogg, President
California Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, California 94244-2090
Via fax to (916) 653-5040 / via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Proposed Striped Bass Sport Fishing Regulations” in the fax / e-mail or mail subject line.
Here are some suggested points to make in your letter. Your letter will have more impact if you re-phrase and make the points your own:
- Striped bass have coexisted with the listed species for over a century. It is clear that the same stressors that have decimated the striped bass population are to blame for listed species decline. Scapegoating the striped bass will not eliminate the impacts of water export, entrainment, habitat destruction, and poor water quality on listed species.
- Most of striped bass prey are other introduced species that compete with and/or prey upon listed species. Leading fisheries scientists warn that reducing striped bass numbers could have the unintended consequence of increasing overall predation on listed species.
- The proposed regulations conflict with provisions of the Cental Valley Project Improvement Act which requires the doubling of mid nineteen nineties populations of all anadromous fish species in the estuary, including striped bass.
- The proposed regulations encourage consumption of striped bass beyond levels considered safe by the State of California Office of Environmental Health.
- The proposed regulation changes apply to San Luis Reservoir and O’Neil Forebay. This does not follow the stated rationale for the changes – protecting endangered species in the Delta.
For more information and relevant links, go to
PLEASE WRITE YOUR LETTER TODAY! THE ISSUE WILL BE ADDRESSED AT THE FEBRUARY 2, 2012 MEETING OF THE CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME COMMISSION.