Salmon season approaches on Sacramento system: time to write letters about the state’s “no fillet” rule

1.45. FILLETING OF SALMONIDS IN INLAND WATERS.
Except as otherwise required, all salmon and steelhead taken in inland waters where a sport fishing license is required, must be kept in such a condition that species and size can be determined until placed at the anglers permanent residence, a commercial preservation facility or being prepared for immediate consumption. Also when required, the presence or absence of a healed adipose fin scar must be able to be determined until placed at the anglers permanent residence, a commercial preservation facility, or being prepared for immediate consumption. Personal residence means one’s principal or ordinary home or dwelling place, as distinguished from one’s temporary or transient place of residence or dwelling such as a cabin, tent, trailer house, recreational vehicle, or any hotel, motel or rooming house used during a fishing, pleasure or business trip.

Guide/blogger J.D. Richey with a piece of well-carved salmon flesh. Unfortunately, much of that beautiful red meat will likely be wasted as an after-affect of the state's new "no fillet" rule. (Photo courtesy FishWithJD.com)
Guide/blogger J.D. Richey with a piece of well-carved salmon flesh. Unfortunately, much of that beautiful red meat will likely be wasted as an after-affect of the state’s new “no fillet” rule. (Photo courtesy FishWithJD.com)

I wrote in an editorial a couple of months back that the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s new “no fillet” rule was “stinky,” or something to that onerous affect. But, I’m just a fish writer – I don’t make a day-to-day living handling fish, and dealing with clients who travel, and pay a good amount of money to fish with you.

Translation: I’m not a guide. But J.D. Richey is, and in typical J.D. style, he sums up the potential frustration of the state’s no-fillet rule in a recent blog in his site. www.FishWithJD.com. I’m pretty good with a fillet knife, but it’s safe to say that the vast majority of people who fish with J.D. and the other professional guides working the Sacramento, American and Feather are a little less skilled when it comes to caring for their catch.

“As a guy who takes pride in making sure people end up with a quality product, this disturbs me,” J.D. writes. “I’ve always been of the mind that if I’m going to kill it, the animal at least deserves the respect of having its flesh handled properly and consumed. Sadly, I feel this new regulation is going to turn some salmon clients off and guides will lose business.”

Hear hear!

Go check out J.D.’s “Write a letter in opposition of …” blog, and do exactly that, if this rule smells as bad to you as it does to me.

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