The California Fish and Commission was scheduled to discuss a proposal that would increase bag and size limits for striped bass and black bass in the Delta, but the commission sent out this short press release on Tuesday:
Greetings fish and wildlife stakeholder,
The petition number 2016-011 (striped and black bass) has been withdrawn by the petitioners. As a result the Commission will not be taking action on this petition.
The Sacramento Bee has more:
The state Fish and Game Commission on Thursday will no longer consider a controversial proposal to allow anglers to catch and keep more nonnative Delta bass.
On Tuesday, backers pulled a petition that sought to increase the size and daily bag limits for nonnative striped and black bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Michael Boccadoro, a spokesman for the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, said supporters were frustrated that they would only be allowed 10 minutes at Thursday’s meeting to make their case to the commissioners.
Boccadoro’s group represents Kern County farming interests who for years have blamed the nonnative bass for eating endangered Delta smelt and Chinook salmon.
The report also says past suggestions that striped bass have been the blame for decreasing king salmon runs had been counter-argued by sportfishing advocates and cited “dregaded habitat” as the source of the problems.
It’s likely we haven’t seen the last of this story.
Here’s reaction from the Golden Gate Salmon Association executive director John McManus to the petition being withdrawn:
“The entire fishing community united in opposition to this anti-fish proposal. I guess some good fish scientists finally told the water users who were pushing this proposal that it lacked any scientific basis and could have unintended negative consequences for salmon.
“The bottom line is salmon need water in the Central Valley rivers where they’re born. With the massive water diversions which have becomes the norm, and the recent drought, salmon and every other fish suffer. Trying to blame the decline of salmon on other fish simply doesn’t square with what the science tells us are the real problems.”
“We’d welcome working together to address the real problems facing salmon. In addition to a lack of water, the loss of rearing habitat for baby salmon and inadvertent creation of predator hot spots by construction of bridges, levees, marinas, and the like have also hurt salmon. These might be areas all parties can come together to fix.”