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It's Every Fish For Himself!

Yet, the Department of Fish and Game has done nothing to reduce the striped bass population

Feb 25, 2011


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FEBRUARY 25 2011

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Denis Prosperi
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Jim Walls

It's Every Fish For Himself!

It's been well known for a long time that striped bass kill a lot more endangered fish than the pumps that divert water to the South.  Yet, cartier replica watches the Department of Fish and Game has done nothing to reduce the striped bass population.  In fact, their 2-fish, 18" limit has allowed the striper population to grow.  It took a lawsuit by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta against the Department of Fish and Game to get a settlement that will address the problem (first article below).  As usual, critics of the settlement say this is just another way of diverting attention away from the water diversions, which also kill endangered species.  The settlement will be heard by U. S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger on March 17. 

If you need further proof that the striped bass are a danger to endangered fish, just read the second article below (California Hopes To Fool Fishes).  You will read about the Georgiana Slough,omega replica watches described as a 'watery equivalent to the Bates Motel of horror movie (Psycho) fame - 65% of the young salmon that enter Georgiana Slough don't survive, eaten by striped bass.'  They're going to install a 'bubble curtain' to deter ocean-bound chinook salmon from leaving the main channel to take a risky detour through Georgiana Slough. Just more proof that everyone knows the striped bass are a big problem for the endangered fish.  Why does it take a lawsuit to make this change? 

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Sacramento Bee

Pending Settlement Would Ease State Rules On Catching Striped Bass

Matt Weiser

A legal settlement aims to let Central Valley anglers eat more striped bass, in hopes that stripers will then eat fewer endangered species.

The agreement, awaiting approval by a federal judge, requires the Department of Fish and Game to change the size and number of striped bass that fishermen can keep.

It results from a lawsuit filed in 2008 by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta.

The striped bass is a nonnative predator that eats endangered species, including endangered smelt and young salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

In the lawsuit, the coalition alleges that state officials have mismanaged the striper by allowing anglers to keep only two at any given time, and none smaller than 18 inches long.

As a result, the striper population has been allowed to grow, contributing to steep population declines in several species native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The settlement requires Fish and Game to change the limits on size and number governing striper fishing. It does not say how those limits must change. But the end result will likely be more lenient rules.

"All indications are that if you reduce predation (by striped bass) the endangered species should benefit substantially," said Michael Boccadoro, spokesman for the coalition. "We think it's a great settlement to begin to address the issue."

Fish and Game officials did not respond to a request for comment. The settlement is to be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger in Fresno on March 17.

The state does not admit fault in the settlement.

The lawsuit has been controversial because the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta consists of large San Joaquin Valley farm irrigation districts – primarily in Kern County – which depend on water diverted from the Delta to grow crops. Critics say those irrigators merely want to divert attention from the water diversions, which also kill endangered species.

The coalition, however, has maintained it wants to change other aspects of Delta management that have received relatively little attention from regulators.

The case has also divided anglers. The striper is a prized sportfish and supports a significant share of the region's recreational fishing industry, especially in recent years when salmon fishing was halted to protect the species.

Some fishermen note stripers have long existed in harmony with other species, and the population has waxed and waned with them as well.

Brandon Beachum, owner of Champion Sportfishing Outfitters, a West Sacramento guide service, does not support reducing the size limit on stripers, but said anglers should be allowed to take more of them.

"The stripers annihilate salmon," said Beachum. "But if we didn't have stripers during the salmon closure, I would have been absolutely out of business."

Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, warned that if stripers decline, other predators that may be worse for salmon and smelt will fill that gap.

Jennings' group is an intervenor in the lawsuit on behalf of Fish and Game and does not support the settlement.

The agreement sets a timetable for Fish and Game to submit new rules to the state Fish and Game Commission, which is ultimately responsible for changing the rules.

The department will also be required to set aside $1 million to research predation by invasive species. This research does not have to be completed before new fishing regulations are enacted.

Central Valley Business Times

California hopes to fool fishes

February 24, 2011 5:49am

•  To install Sacramento River bubble barrier

•  Georgiana Slough is the water equivalent of the Bates Motel

Would you swim through a curtain of air bubbles blasted with bright flashing lights and noise? The California Department of Water Resources hopes that salmon won’t.


It plans to install the equipment in the Sacramento River near Walnut Grove in an effort to deter ocean-bound Chinook salmon from leaving the main channel to take a risky detour into Georgiana Slough.


That route leads young salmon through “predator-infested waters” toward huge state and federal water export pumps near Tracy, the department says.


The slough is a watery equivalent to the Bates Motel of horror movie fame 65 percent of the young salmon that enter Georgiana Slough don’t survive, eaten by striped bass or other predators or lost to pumping operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project in the southern Delta.


DWR will begin installing the bubble curtain as early as this week at the head of Georgiana Slough. The barrier structure will be installed deep enough to allow at least 9 feet of clearance for boaters on average low tides.


The barrier will utilize “Bio-Acoustic Fish Fence” technology, combining acoustics and a strobe-lit sheet of bubbles to create an underwater wall of light and sound at frequencies that repel young salmon, DWR says.


This is the same technology DWR used at the head of Old River in the south Delta in 2009 and 2010 where it was proven effective in deterring salmon, the department says.


Effectiveness of the Georgiana Slough barrier will be evaluated over a 45-day period by DWR, with assistance from the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, and consultants. Approximately 1,500 juvenile salmon will be tagged and tracked using underwater sound receivers. The study will be completed by April 30, and the barrier removed by mid-May.

The bubble fence test is in response to a National Marine Fisheries Service requirement that DWR and the Bureau of Reclamation pursue engineering solutions to reduce the diversion of young, ocean-bound salmon into the central and southern delta.


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