FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Dead Runs

The closure of the Sacramento and other Central Valley rivers to salmon fishing this year is now official.

The California Department of Fish and Game announced on July 2 that the 2008 recreational salmon fishing closures in the Central Valley would go into effect on Thursday, July 3, to protect the imperiled Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon.

The announcement was expected after the Fish and Game Commission voted to close all Central Valley rivers and streams to the retention of salmon with one exception on May 9. A federal regulatory body, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), in April closed all commercial and recreational salmon fishing on the California and Oregon coast for the first time in history. The ocean and river closures are the result of state and federal water policies that have resulted in the unprecedented collapse of Central Valley fall chinook salmon populations.

“No Chinook are allowed to be kept anywhere on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers or any of their tributaries, including the American and Feather rivers,” according to the Department. “The only exception is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 in the Sacramento River between the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and Knights Landing for a one-salmon bag and possession limit.”

The Central Valley fall chinook population, the driver of West Coast salmon fisheries, has collapsed from over 800,000 fish in 2002 to less than 60,000 fish this year. A number of factors are believed to be responsible for the collapse, but none is more significant than massive increases in water exports out of the California Delta to subsidized agribusiness and southern California in recent years.

Other factors behind the collapse include poor ocean conditions, declining water quality in the California Delta resulting from agricultural waste water and municipal sewage discharges, and the absence of acclimation pens for hatchery salmon released into San Pablo Bay in 2005 and 2006.

“While catch-and-release fishing for salmon is not prohibited, the salmon regulations were purposely structured as a zero-salmon bag limit to keep fishing open for other non-salmon species. The trout, steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass, black bass, sunfish and catfish fisheries are major recreational inland fisheries in the Central Valley,” said Rob Titus, DFG fishery biologist.

“The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) requests that the public use a very conservative approach toward salmon this year and refrain from any catch-and-release fishing that specifically targets salmon,” he warned. “If the self-regulating conservative approach fails and excessive SRFC catch-and-release mortality is observed, additional regulatory measures may be enacted. One of the possible measures could be closure of all recreational fisheries in the specific areas where SRFC inhabit.”

While the salmon season has been closed in the ocean and reduced in the Central Valley, the Smith, Klamath and Trinity rivers remain open to salmon fishing. “These temporary closures will help to ensure the future of ocean and inland salmon fishing for present and future generations,” said Titus.

More information on 2008 California salmon fisheries can be found at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/salmon.

As Central Valley and coastal communities are devastated by salmon closures resulting from absymal fishery and water management by the Bush and Schwarzenegger administrations, fishing and environmental organizations are campaigning for the passage of legislation, Assemblywoman’s Lois Wolk’s AB 1806, to stop future fishery failures like this year’s salmon disaster. This landmark legislation would provide full mitigation for the direct and indirect losses to the salmon, steelhead, striped, bass, delta smelt and other fish populations of the California Delta caused by the operation of the state and federal water projects.

The bill passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on Tuesday, June 24 on a vote of 5-3. The bill will now go to the Senate Committee on Appropriations. For more information on how you can support this badly needed legislation, go to the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance website, http://www.calsport.org.

DAN BACHER can be reached at: Danielbacher@fishsniffer.com

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher danielbacher@fishsniffer.com.

July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail