The presence of non-native striped bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – where native king salmon also migrate to and spawn in – has been a polarizing topic for anglers and conservation/environmentalist groups. The Nor Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association has now put forth a proposal to change regulations for anadromous waters stripers to a slot limit for anglers.
Here’s a California Department of Fish and Wildlife press release that is requesting public comments:
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is soliciting public input on a proposed regulation change that would restrict the harvest of striped bass to a “slot limit” between 20 and 30 inches for inland anadromous waters. Under the proposal, all striped bass caught below 20 inches in length and above 30 inches in length would have to be released.
The Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association has submitted the regulation change proposal to the California Fish and Game Commission. The stated goal is to protect the species by increasing the minimum length to allow more fish to mature and successfully spawn prior to harvest and to protect the larger fish that tend to be the most prolific spawners and are becoming increasingly rare in the fishery.
If approved, the slot limit would apply to any striped bass caught by recreational anglers in all anadromous inland waters of the state, which includes coastal and Central Valley rivers and streams and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Carquinez Bridge near Vallejo. This proposal would not include inland reservoirs or lakes or ocean waters, which include the San Francisco and San Pablo bays up to the Carquinez Bridge.
Under existing regulations, anglers fishing for striped bass in anadromous waters are limited to two striped bass per day, each with a minimum size of 18 inches in total length. There is no maximum size limit. The daily limit of two fish would not change under the proposal.
CDFW scientists are currently evaluating the available angler survey and monitoring data to help determine how this proposed change may affect the striped bass fishery, including harvest opportunities and biological processes. CDFW is requesting input from the public on the interest and support of the proposed regulation change before making recommendations to the California Fish and Game Commission.
CDFW and the Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association will also host a public meeting on the proposed regulation change on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Those interested can attend and participate either in person or remotely (online or by phone).
The meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. within CDFW’s Fisheries’ Branch headquarters, 1010 Riverside Parkway, West Sacramento, 95605, in the California Poppy Conference Room.
At the meeting, the public is invited to ask questions of both CDFW and the Nor Cal-Guides and Sportsmen’s Association. CDFW staff will provide updates on the current state of the striped bass fishery along with existing angler survey data.