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.
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.