The state Fish & Game Commission last week voted down a proposal that would have allowed fishermen to catch three time more stripers each outing, and reduced the size of keepers from 18 inches to 12.
Pat Kittle, owner of Kittle's Outdoor & Sports, said had the regulations changed, his business would have benefited.
"In the short term, business would boon," Kittle said. "I would have made money."
However, like most of the sport fishermen who attended the Commission meeting, he opposed the changes because of the negative, long-term impact on the bass population.
But that was the idea.
The proposal was introduced by the stated Department of Fish and Game as part of a settlement agreement resulting from a 2008 lawsuit.
The state agreed, as part of the settlement, to introduce the new regul tions. The outcome was not tied to the settlement, a department spokeswoman said.
In that lawsuit, the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, a group of mostly San Joaquin water districts, claimed the non-native striped bass are harming native species, including endangered salmon and Delta smelt.
"There is growing scientific consensus that predation is as a major source of salmon and Delta smelt mortality, but state regulators have repeatedly failed to address the problem of striped bass predation on these species," the Coalition states on its website.
"Striped bass are an invasive species that were planted in California as a sportfish. The Department of Fish and Game has long been protecting the voracious predators at the expense of salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, and other endangered species through the imposition of size (18 inches minimum) and bag (2 per day) limits."
The regulations would have set the daily limit at six fish instead of two, and in some areas, such as the Clifton Court Forebay, 20 per day.
The Commission unanimously voted the proposal down.
Kittle said he attended the meeting because of his concern over the potential impact on striper fishery, but left believing the issue was more about water than fish.
His opinion changed when he realized it was large Central Valley water districts and other San Joaquin users who were behind the proposal.
"We all know water is the issue, and when you look back at the Owens Valley and all the tricks that were used then are coming back right before out eyes," Kittle said.
It is a similar concern Glenn County Supervisor Leigh McDaniel has about the Delta Stewardship Council plan, which he said would drain North State reservoirs and possibly even threaten groundwater supplies.
McDaniel said allowing flows of 75 percent or higher out of the Sacramento Valley, as proposed by the council, would essentially eliminate most water storage in this region, and said the concept of allowing natural flows in the Delta is an "extremely narrow vision."
He convinced the county to send a letter expressing the kind of negative impacts the plan would have on the North State water supply.
McDaniel said comments and concerns expressed by North State counties and water interests seem to have been ignored during the environmental impact process, and that the Stewardship Council seems "hard bent on going forward with the EIR on its (plan)."
The supervisors concluded that the plan does not consider the effect on areas upstream of the Delta and "the role these upstream environments play for a healthy and economically viable California."
The supervisors also said the "aggressive timeline" for implementing the plan by June 20, 2014, and June 2018, can only result in "additional depletion of regional groundwater resources and significantly reduce storage in the Shasta and Oroville reservoirs — in addition to causing negative economic and social impacts to the rural communities of the Northern Sacramento Valley."
Calls to the Stewardship Council were not returned.
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