Notice to Californiaís Anglers: OUR GAME FISH NEED YOU TUESDAY APRIL 13th
April 9, 2010 -- Assemblymember Fuller has introduced AB 2336 to terminate the management and protection of the publicís striped bass fishery that inhabits the Bay-Delta estuary. The bill mandates the elimination of all regulations that govern the legal harvest of the fishery thereby eliminating its sport fishing protective status. Even though this would virtually destroy the fishery, the author alleges this is necessary to reduce striped bass predation on salmon and Delta smelt protected by the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.
This bill is similar to the one the Fuller introduced last year that was defeated by a coalition of anglers who care about the fishery and that acted in concert with sportfishing and environmental groups lead by CSPA. That bill was killed in its first committee hearing because the false arguments used by the author significantly overstated the impact of striped bass predation. Scientific testimony provided during the hearing made it clear that striped bass rarely, if ever, eat Delta smelt and that predation on listed salmon is so low that it does not impact the population level of the listed salmon.
This bill is different in that it calls for the elimination of ďthe program enhancement, expansion or improvement of the fisheryĒ. Ironically, such programs do not exist! It also requires that the Delta Stewardship Council to establish programs to discourage the promotion of the Bay-Delta striped bass as a sport fishery. It further requires the Stewardship Council to evaluate predator suppression options and make recommendations to remedy these problems.
CSPA finds it absolutely arrogant that Fuller and her billís supporters would advocate the destruction of this valuable public resource again! Why should they be allowed to usurp the professional management and legal authority the government has given the Department of Fish & Game and the federal fishery agencies to protect listed species? The fishery agencies and their scientists know a great deal more about the striped bass fishery and the impacts it has on species of concern. They also understand and what it means for fisheries to co-exist in a dynamic estuarine ecosystem.
So, why are the billís proponents focused on destroying the striped bass fishery instead of dealing with the huge problems caused to all the fisheries dependent on the estuary for survival? Why arenít they fixing the problems cause by the state and federal water projects that have destroyed the estuaryís natural hydrology and the resiliency of its ecosystem? Why arenít they immediately reducing the significant over allocation of the publicís water exported out of the Delta?
The billís supporters all seem to be dependent on water exported from the Delta and this attack is simply another way to misdirect the government away from the real impacts associated with the development of the publicís Delta water supplies.
CSPA is calling on anglers and the public to help us make another legislative stand by raising your voice in opposition to this bill.
Please join us at the state Capitol building on Tuesday April 13th at 8:30 AM at Room 437 on the Assembly side of the State Capitol. There will most likely be (as before with AB1253) no time for anyone to speak other than to line up at the microphone and state that one does not support the bill. If we get a large turn out with many live bodies, we have a fair chance of stopping this Bill at the hearing. We need as many people as we can possibly get to show the legislators the fishing community will not stand for these continual attacks on our fisheries by those that are responsible for their decimation.
PLEASE BE THERE IF YOU CAN! OUR FISHERIES NEED YOU NOW!