The City of Oakley was represented yesterday at the California Fish and Game Commission as Councilman Jim Frazier was the first of many to speak out against the proposed Striped Bass Legislation in which the Commission voted unanimously against a staff recommendation on the rules change.
“We should be approving measures to protect fish in the Delta, not extinguish them,” said Frazier. “In addition to upsetting the ecosystem in the Delta, these proposed new regulations will negatively impact fishing tourism, which is important to the economy in our Delta communities,”
By rejecting the proposed changes, it protects Oakley and the surrounding Delta communities as this was an investment worth fighting for which protects Oakley business and tourism while assisting the city remain viable.
Had the changes been approved, it would have affected our marina, gas stations, hotels, bait shops and other businesses as the sale tax from these purchases are used to help fund our police and city staff.
The basic proposed changes would have been the following actions:
- 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 will be 20 fish, the possession limit will be 40 fish and there will be no size limit. Anglers fishing at the hot spot would be required to fill out a report card and deposit it in an iron ranger or similar receptacle.
- Changes to the sport fishing regulations for the Carmel, Pajaro and Salinas Rivers to allow harvest of striped bass when the fishery would otherwise be closed.
This has been an ongoing issue for Oakley at the City Council and City staff as resident Roger Mannon has been keeping the city in the loop of what was transpiring with the Striped Bass and Delta issues.
At the January 12 City Council Meeting, Mr. Roger Mammon expressed the importance of sending a letter to the California Fish & Game prior to January 22, 2012 and provided a brief report of the proposed regulations. He urged the City to take the lead and involved other communities.
Former Councilman Bruce Connelly also expressed concerns on January 12 urging the council to submit a letter and become involved at the local level. He discussed how the Striped Bass would have been the first of many types of fish to be affected.
Ultimately the city council approved a resolution that authorized Mayor Kevin Romick to sign a Letter to the Fish & Game Commission expressing concern over the proposed regulations.
What is important here is that it was a duel effort of citizens, non-profits, and local governments working together to stop change that would have effected the region as we know it. Yes a letter being sent was nice, but what likely made the difference was the amount of people showing up to the meeting and speaking out against the rule changes. Letters are thrown in the trash, showing up and speaking is where those no a commission are forced to listen.
Kudos to all who helped stop this nonsense regulation change.
Photo courtesy of Mary Mazzei, Executive Director, Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce