View Full Version : Prospect Island Fishing Access Mitigation Proposal

Dan Bacher
12-05-2007, 11:53 AM
Here's a plan for migitation of the Prospect Island Fish Kill that I am proposing:

Bank fishermen have been kicked off public waters in the North Delta since 2001 by the Solano and Yolo County sheriff's departments
and the district attorneys of Yolo and Solano counties, at the urging of the reclamation districts. As far as I know, I was the only outdoor writer that fought this at the time.

Everytime I see a sign saying "no trespassing or parking" along public roads, maintained by our tax dollars, on levees along the Sacramento River and delta sloughs, I get very angry. These closures, which constitute an overt trashing of the California Constitution and public trust law, are de facto no fishing zones that were imposed with no public comment process and no due process. To its credit, Sacramento County continues to allow public access to public waters along the
Sacramento River and Delta sloughs.

If the Bureau of Reclamation and the reclamation districts had allowed public shore fishing access to Prospect Island and other public waterways, as guaranteed by the California Constitution, this fish kill would have been exposed earlier. It was only because Bob McNaris, Jeff Nash, myself and others decided to trespass on the no fishing/no public access zone that this fish kill was ever exposed. This will be a major point I address in my testimony tomorrow at Lois Wolk's hearing in Rio Vista.

I will propose, that for mitigation to the loss to California's fisheries because of the fish kill, that the Bureau donate Prospect Island
to the state of California to be maintained as a public fishing access to Miner Slough and the Sacramento Deepwater Channel. I will propose that Lois Wolk author a bill to make the property into the "Prospect Island Public Fishing Access and Wildlife Area" modeled after the "Oroville Wildlife Area."

I also propose that the island itself be reflooded to provide fish and wildlife habitat, since this is some of the best habitat on the Delta
However, even if this is not done, I still maintain that Prospect Island be made into a fishing access as it has good roads to provide
great bank fishing access to Miner Slough and the Sacramento Deepwater Channel. Of course, this proposal will take at least several
years to come to fruition, but I wanted to put the proposal out there while the fish kill is still fresh in people's minds.

If the Bureau won't donate the land, then the state of California should be pressured to purchase the land as a public fishing

Any thoughts on my proposal?

Dan Bacher

12-05-2007, 02:17 PM
It sounds great. One thing I'm not clear on: Does the Bureau have to donate the land? Or, can they simply keep the land and allow access for fishing?

12-05-2007, 02:30 PM
Though not as well versed in these matters as others, as an outdoorsman I think that anything that can be done to increase access and hold accountable those who messed this up as a good thing.

Good luck and thanks for your efforts.

12-05-2007, 05:59 PM
Good luck it sounds like a worthy goal. Keep us informed and tell us what you need in the way of support.

12-05-2007, 11:03 PM
Dan, your propsal is a great way to start a discussion on this topic of increased fishing access and reflooding this prime fish and wildlife habitat. I am wondering about the liability issues that I hear the USBR is concerned about. What are these issues and is there a way to reduce or eliminate liability if the island is reflooded? Will whatever entity takes ownership of the island have the same liability concerns as the Bureau does?

12-06-2007, 07:48 AM

First of all, thanks for all of your hard work and time adressing these vital issues. *I have followed your writings for quite a while, and you have been a strong voice expressing some key points concerning our fisheries not many others seem to want to address. Especially on abusive water exports, which is a pet peave of mine...

I too, am not well versed on the background and history of the Prospect Island situation, but I do have one question/thought that I feel would greatly benefit wildlife and our fishery.

Why can't the BuREC just widen the levee opening (re-open it now), and leave it as a marshland/wildlife area? *This would prevent the "rapids" that were the primary reason for closing the break, thus providing a sanctuary for fish & wildlife? *Whether boats were allowed in or not, it seems it would be a great habitat (based on the fish populations when pumped out). *If boating was not allowed, pillars could be constructed such as exist at other marshlands to keep boats out.

Is this still an option, or is any proposal such as this possible?

Thanks again, Dan.