Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator
On Wednesday, August 7, the California Fish and Game Commission will consider the repeal of a Striped Bass Policy and draft of the California Delta Fisheries Management Plan. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a letter to the Commission opposing the repeal of the 1996 Striped Bass Policy.
The Commission sets regulations for hunting and fishing activities in California. It is then the responsibility of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to implement and enforce the regulations.
The 1996 Striped Bass Policy requires the CDFW to emphasize programs that enhance sport fishing opportunities by working toward stabilizing and restoring the striped bass fishery of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary.
The repeal of this policy in conjunction with the draft Delta Fisheries Management Policy would have a detrimental effect on striped bass fishing in California because the policy places management priority on native and listed species as well as species of concern. Repeal of the 1996 Striped Bass Policy and the proposed Delta Fisheries Management Policy would unjustifiably misdirect the blame for listed species and species of concern population declines to the Delta’s non-native and popular sport fisheries.
Non-native striped and black bass have co-existed in the Delta since their introduction in 1879. Like the listed species and species of concern, striped bass populations fluctuate due to changes in environmental and hydrological conditions such as water flows, temperature variations and aquatic habitat degradation. When these conditions are ideal, both the listed species and species of concern have enjoyed high population numbers – like the striped bass population – demonstrating that predation is not a significant factor in driving population abundance.
ACTION: The Commission meeting will be held at the Natural Resources Building Auditorium, First Floor, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation urges anglers to attend this meeting and voice the sportsmen’s community’s collective opposition to the repeal of the 1996 Striped Bass Policy.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?