NOAA Fisheries Requests Modifications to California Sport-Fishing Regulations

At the March 3, 2010 California Fish and Game Commission meeting in Ontario, California, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA") Fisheries, the federal agency charged with protecting marine and anadromous fish species such as the Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead, formally requested that the Commission revise sport-fishing regulations to increase the harvest of non-native predators that prey on species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.  (To access archived footage of the Commission meeting, click here and on the film icon next to item 8.)

While noting that such modifications were appropriate for a variety of non-native predatory fish species, including the largemouth bass and American shad, the representative from NOAA explained that striped bass is perhaps the "most important predator on young salmon and steelhead" in the Delta, both of which are listed under the ESA.  He went on to state that focusing "on striped bass in specific sections of certain rivers or streams would probably be a good place to start."

In response to this request, the Commission directed staff to draft a technical report analyzing the issue.  (To access archived footage, click here and on the film icon next to item 10.)  No deadline was provided for staff to complete the report. 

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