Oakley to Express Concern Over Proposed Striped Bass Regulations

In response to residence concerns stated at the December 13, 2011 council meeting, the City of Oakley will be drafting a letter to the California Fish & Game Commission regarding a change in regulation that will affect Striped Bass in the Delta.

The new regulations proposed by the Fish & Game Commission (attached) are intended to increase the fishing of the Striped Bass because it is non-native and is believed to be causing negative impacts on native species and habitat—essentially, it allows more and smaller striped bass to be caught if the proposal is adopted.

Broken down, the proposal states:

  • Raising the daily bag limit for striped bass from two to six fish.
  • Raising the possession limit for striped bass from two to 12 fish.
  • Lowering the minimum size for striped bass from 18 to 12 inches.
  • Establishing a “hot spot” for striped-bass fishing at Clifton Court Forebay and specified adjacent waterways at which the daily bag limit would be 20 fish, the possession limit would be 40 fish, and there will be no size limit. Clifton Court Forebay is the reservoir associated with the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant in in the south Delta, part of the State Water Project.

While I will not pretend to be an expert on this issue, I do have my own question about this proposed change as to its purpose. The ultimate goal of this change is not clearly defined while most importantly, there is no timeline on this proposal as to when it expires and defaults back to the current regulation.  It’s almost as if it’s a regulation change just for the heck of it.

With that being said, the rhetoric against the changes is straight forward with claims that it’s a threat to Striped Bass and the local economy as the fish have benefited the Delta communities, as well as the state—the accusation at the December City Council meeting is these proposal changes benefit private interests in Kern County.

If Oakley is serious about its concerns, I would hope it sends more than a letter. The City, which already has limited staff, would have to join this battle and support groups fighting this proposed changes—as well as join forces with other local communities on the Delta as a coalition.

Below is a copy of the Draft Letter that Oakley will be sending upon council approval. This is via the Staff report for the upcoming City Council Meeting. The Proposed Changes to Striped Bass Sport Fishing Regulations can be found in full on the Staff Report

January 11, 2012

Mr. Jim Kellogg, President
California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2980

Dear President Kellogg and Commissioners:

The Oakley City Council wishes to express its significant concern over the proposed regulations by the California Department of Fish and Game that threaten to eradicate the San Francisco Bay and Delta of the Striped Bass. It is our belief that such action will have a negative impact on the California economy and especially on communities within the Delta.

We encourage you and your fellow Commissioners to reject the proposed regulations and consider alternative proposals that are more consistent with your charter which calls for you to “protect, enhance and manage” the fisheries, not to destroy them.

Respectfully submitted,

Kevin Romick
Mayor

Section 27.85, Title 14, CCR. Striped Bass.

(a) Open season: All year.
(b) Limit: Two 6 per day.
(c) Possession limit: 12 in possession. Any person taking striped bass pursuant to both Section 27.85(b) and Section 5.75(e)(3) shall not exceed a cumulative possession limit of 52.
(c)
(d) Minimum size:
(1) North of Pt. Conception, 18 12 inches total length.
(2) South of Pt. Conception, no minimum size limit.
(c)
(d) Methods of take: No striped bass may be taken while using a sinker weighing over four pounds, or while using any power driven gurdy or winch. Striped bass may only be taken by angling as defined in Section 1.05, Title 14, CCR; snagging is an illegal method of take.

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About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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One Response to Oakley to Express Concern Over Proposed Striped Bass Regulations

  1. Bob says:

    Mike, it gets worse as you start to peel away the layers of the onion. I’ve had interaction directly with staff biologist Marty Gringas of DFG who is driving this proposal and some of what was said to me over the phone would make your hair stand on end.

    For how many years have various government agencies warned against consuming more than 1 striped bass per week over health concerns related to mercury? Now, they want to change the reg in the “hotspot” to where the take is 20. Oh by they way, you can come back tomorrow and take another 20. Breaking that down to even a family of 4 or 6, what are the health implications for the low information types out there?

    This proposal is reckless on many levels. It is all about a water grab, there is no question. Has nothing to do with preservation of threatened species because these same people pushing the suit which forced DFG’s hand are also pushing to have threatened species removed from the Endangered Species Act list because they are impeding exports.

    This is one where you can’t read just the headlines. If you did, you’d think the Coalition for Sustainable Delta is the good guys, when in fact those are the Big Ag interests trying to dupe the public.

    For those interested, this proposal is due to be taken up by the Fish and Game Commission next month in Sacramento. This only after heavy pressure was put upon them to move the discussion from a previously scheduled San Diego venue last month.

    Weighing a decision that most affects the Delta and doing it in San Diego? Can folks start to see just how this one is being played?

    DFG is to one degree or another engaging in duplicity on this and bowing to the water interests. They view this long running war as one they expect to lose as the money backing the Ag interests is massive against an agency facing seemingly unending budget cuts. If the public does not engage, this is going to end badly and a key battle in a log running war to preserve both sport fishing and the overall health of the Delta will have been lost.

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