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Marty Gingras
11-10-2005, 01:57 PM
Hello all,

In late-winter or spring we are going to hold some public meetings on the status of white sturgeon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin system and request feedback from stakeholders - predominantly anglers - on potential changes to regulations on sport fishing for sturgeon.

We haven't done this in many years and I'd like to 'front-load' the presentation so that the meetings are as useful as possible. *

To that end, please post lots of questions and constructive comments on the following presentation and meeting outline. *I'll do my best to address them here and in the final outline.

Thanks

Marty Gingras
Senior Biologist Supervisor (Fisheries)
California Department of Fish and Game
Central Valley Bay Delta Branch
4001 North Wilson Way
Stockton, California *95205

Phone (209) 948-3702
email * mgingras@delta.dfg.ca.gov

----------------------
OUTLINE FOR PUBLIC MEETINGS ON CENTRAL VALLEY ANADROMOUS WHITE STURGEON STATUS AND REGULATIONS

Purpose of meeting is to provide an update on status of white sturgeon and then receive public feedback on potential sturgeon regulations.

Final products are (1) a report to the DFG Fishery Management Committee, DFG Managers, and interested public and (2) recommendation(s) to the California Fish and Game Commission.

Reports due by [date within two weeks of final meeting].

Management objectives have been to provide fishing opportunity, equal access, reduce harvest rate to ½ that during 1980’s, protect older females, and avoid ESA status. *To that end, current sturgeon regulations include primarily:
(1) 46” – 72” slot limit,
(2) one fish per day per angler,
(3) no snagging, and
(4) seasonal and area closures.

White sturgeon are:
(1) anadromous,
(2) long lived (to 100) and slow growing after first year,
(3) slow to reach maturity and first spawning (around 15 years),
(4) produce around 3000 eggs per pound of body weight,
(5) individual females spawn every 2-4 years, and
(6) their numbers are driven by periodic strong year-classes.

White sturgeon abundance history and projection is:
(1) severe decline by the late 1800’s,
(2) rebound after total closure,
(3) increase of legal-sized fish from around 100,000 in 1979 to about 144,000 in 1998,
(4) decline in 2001-2002 to about 80,000, and
(5) further decline expected based on poor production of young and low Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) during tagging in 2005.

White sturgeon harvest and survival rate history and projection is:
(1) unsustainable harvest rate of just over 10% in the 1980’s, and
(2) establishment of slot limit in early 1990’s reduced harvest rate to about 5%, but survival rate also declined from about 85% to about 75%.

Risks to white sturgeon population and fishing quality with current regulations include:
(1) Fish subject to legal harvest for approximately 12 years.
(2) With sufficient harvest rate, few may outgrow the slot limit. *This notion is supported by the fact that we saw just 2 super-legal sturgeon during tagging in 2005, and they were just barely out of the slot limit.
(3) Females may be harvested on spawning grounds.

Unquantified but substantial risks to white sturgeon include poaching and illegal commercialization. *The availability of large fish caught legally and the high price of caviar provide strong incentive for illegal commercialization of sturgeon roe.

Mechanisms to protect and improve sturgeon population using other than harvest reduction include:
(1) Migration improvements.
(2) Screening of water diversions.
(3) Water quality improvements.
(4) Substrate improvements.

Oregon-Washington white sturgeon population and fishery is robust. *Oregon fishery and regulations include:
(1) Commercial and sport fisheries.
(2) Annual quota (about 10% of abundance).
(3) Report card (5 fish/angler a year).
(4) Harvest closure on some spawning grounds.
(5) Night closure.
(6) Narrower slot limit (42" and 45" to 60").
(7) Single barbless hook.

What are your comments on and feasibility of alternative regulations:
(1) *Narrower slot limit year-round or seasonally.
(2) *Reduce annual bag limit via report card.
(3) *Annual quota.
(4) *Seasonal harvest prohibition on spawning grounds.
(5) *Year-round harvest prohibition on spawning grounds.
(6) *Gear restrictions.
(7) *Combinations.

sunracer1957
11-10-2005, 02:18 PM
Marty

I think you'll find that the majority of the folks who frequent the boards play by the rules. I think the biggest problem to date is poaching and this happens mostly at night, I love night fishing and would hate to see it go away but maybe there could be some kind of middle ground as far as a cut off time for river fishing.

I also think its a good idea to narrow down the slot limit.
A report card is a good idea with a yearly total set.
I don't like the idea of gear restrictions, if other measures are taken to help the population, and we can take only so many per year then don't make it to hard to catch them.

striper_assasin
11-10-2005, 02:47 PM
please dont stop people from night fishing,thats the only time some people can go fishing.
narrowing the size limit would be good 42" to 60".
and maybe between certain months catch and release or close to sturgeon fishing.....say like between may and november.
but i myself love night fishing.i work 11 hours a day 6 days a week.so going out all saturday night is very common for me,its my get away and piece of mind :(

striper_assasin
11-10-2005, 02:50 PM
how about more wardens to catch the poachers :)

jon_may
11-10-2005, 02:51 PM
ya, i say lower the slot 48-60" would be good... also a seasonal limit on keepers (punch card?). i'd rather have that than someone saying when/where to fish.

STURGEONSTOMPER
11-10-2005, 06:41 PM
Theres so much here to be said, Post up Gentalmen 8)

STURGEONSTOMPER
11-10-2005, 06:42 PM
how about more wardens to catch the poachers :)


Ditto, Ditto, Ditto :)

STURGEONSTOMPER
11-10-2005, 06:46 PM
Part 1.2 and 1.3 need some attention. Without water, we have no fish ;) Seen it happend all over Caly :-/

deltalover
11-10-2005, 07:11 PM
I am just now taking up the sport of sturgeon fishing. Sure would hate to see it go away! I would think that a slot limit and more enforcement for poachers would be a good idea. I also toataly agree about the water problem that threatens the entire delta fishery. I know I dont catch as many fish as I did ten years ago and hope I am not saying this ten years from now :(

SturgeonVirgin
11-10-2005, 10:20 PM
Oregon-Washington white sturgeon population and fishery is robust. Oregon fishery and regulations include:
(1) Commercial and sport fisheries.
(2) Annual quota (about 10% of abundance).
(3) Report card (5 fish/angler a year).
(4) Harvest closure on some spawning grounds.
(5) Night closure.
(6) Narrower slot limit (42" and 45" to 60").
(7) Single barbless hook.

What are your comments on and feasibility of alternative regulations:
(1) Narrower slot limit year-round or seasonally.
(2) Reduce annual bag limit via report card.
(3) Annual quota.
(4) Seasonal harvest prohibition on spawning grounds.
(5) Year-round harvest prohibition on spawning grounds.
(6) Gear restrictions.
(7) Combinations

Compare the states and draw your own conclusions. The fact that few if any superlegal fish are taken here compared to Oregon/Washington seems to have a strong correlation to the methods of take and restrictions on times and quotas. Lets face it folks, if we want a healthy fishery the fish have to have good water conditions, and better protection. My personal feeling here is close the fishery for 10-15 years, assure minimum flows during that time, and see if it rebounds. If it does, then impose OR/WA style restrictions to insure it stays healthy. If it doesn't rebound, well, by then the fishery will be prety much dead anyway, and at that stage, whats the point? That said, if water keeps getting sold down south for swimmin pools and all the new houses in the central valley, this argument is pointless. No WATER< NO FISH>

Marty thanks for the chance to input.

OK you guys can fire on me at will now.

dandeuce
11-11-2005, 02:48 AM
I think a punch card and a yearly limit would be a good start , way too much sturgeon is given away to friends , relatives , etc . We should keep only what our immediate family will consume .
Also like to see night fishing closed upriver of Saccramento , I've seen way too many oversize sturgeon caught and kept and hauled away quickly under the cover of darkness . Fish & Game cannot get there fast enough after recieving a Caltip call. NEVER saw one kept when it was light out !

Dan

striper_assasin
11-11-2005, 09:47 AM
thanks dan!
however..i have seen a few caught at merrits oversized and kept(during the day!)the russians used to sit out there waiting to TRY and buy 1 off people for the roe.and ive seen some asian americans take them also.if you cant fish at night then fishing for me would end up coming to a stop.there are many people that catch sturgeon all year long,and harvest sturgeon on a weekly basis.(if not more frequently)that puts a big dent in population,i would think. closing the river for fishing at night would suck!!! :(

FortheKids
11-11-2005, 09:29 PM
Unfornunately those who would keep, or sell, a supersize fish, day or night, would most likely continue the practice even if the fishery was closed, thats the nature of poaching. It would suk if nights were illegal, however it is much easier for poachers to go unnoticed in the dark. Enforcement is an obvious weak spot, what can be done to improve that? There have been several great ideas posted, and a willingness to suffer in order help the fishery, keep in mind that our government seldom does what we need or want, please use this opportunity to voice your ideas and thoughts. It is far more likely that the deep pockets for So Cal will get our water, a thought that is repulsive. This feedback idea is better than getting the regs next year and finding the closures, and restrictions that dfg has arbitrarily decided upon! Marty has a fantastic program going, and we all want more fish ! 8)

Bait_N_Wait
11-12-2005, 01:17 PM
Marty,

Thanks for soliciting feedback from the Fishsniffer board. Here is my 2 cents:

There are two ways to address a shortage problem: (1) increase available supply; and/or (2) decrease demand (e.g., imposing stricter harvest regulations).

My review of your draft proposals concludes that the emphasis on addressing the sturgeon shortage situation is entirely focused on the latter approach - decreasing demand. It seems to me that the slot limits and one-a-day bag limit already constitute pretty significant regulations limiting demand. Anectdotally, I have spent dozens of hours (and hundreds of dollars) fishing for sturgeon and still not had a bite....

What seems to be missing from the draft approach is any effort to increase supply. There is an avid sturgeon fishing population in California - most particularly right here in the greater San Francisco/Sacramento area. I believe the sturgeon fishermen would support a sturgeon stamp program aimed at funding sturgeon breeding programs. I am not aware that DFG currently does any sturgeon breeding programs similar to the extensive salmon programs. For instance, I believe a $10 or $15 sturgeon stamp would be embraced.

Personally, I have a hard time believing that poaching is a significant contributor to recent declines in sturgeon populations. It just seems like a poacher would have to put an exhorbinant amount of time/effort/money to have any significant impact on sturgeon harvest numbers. Again, I offer my pathetic fishing results as an example of the effort required to catch sturgeon. hehe.

If I am incorrect regarding DFG efforts to re-stock the sturgeon population, please let me know (I am aware of the counting efforts). Thanks again, Nick. :)

Diego916
11-12-2005, 05:37 PM
I think that DF&G wardens should find out from law abiding sturgeon anglers when and where the poaching is occuring, and I think most people would be eager to help them with this information. Once a "hot spot" is identified, I think wardens should set up a sting and hammer the offenders, day or night. I mean, really stick it to them! Confiscate gear, boats, etc., on top of fines and such ;D

I'm willing to bet just a handful of savy officials could make a huge difference with the support of honest fishermen who want to preserve the fishery.

And, just like T said, no water = no fish.

ghostfish_slayer
11-13-2005, 09:10 AM
this is the first time i have seen this happen in many years.a person dedicated to education and involvment with the people of the state with decisions regarding our future fishery.i thank you for your hard work.i hope they realize your value and keep you so you can continue to do your work/love.i also hope they get more people like you,as dedicated to the fishery involved in some of the decision making.

Marty Gingras
11-15-2005, 11:16 AM
Hello all,

Your feedback on the draft outline and on sturgeon has been very helpful. From your feedback and some other I've received, I'm going to improve the outline and presentation by:

(1) describing how we get sturgeon data and interpret its strengths and limitations,
(2) discussing the 'broad' costs and benefits for hatchery augmentation,
(3) elaborating on the implications of periodic strong year-classes, and
(4) adding a few potential regulations or complementary changes to regulations for other fishes.

Thanks much.

Marty Gingras
Senior Biologist Supervisor (Fisheries)
California Department of Fish and Game
Central Valley Bay Delta Branch
4001 North Wilson Way
Stockton, California 95205

Phone (209) 948-3702
email mgingras@delta.dfg.ca.gov

Marty Gingras
11-15-2005, 11:20 AM
...If I am incorrect regarding DFG efforts to re-stock the sturgeon population, please let me know (I am aware of the counting efforts). Thanks again, Nick. :)

Hello all,

CDFG does not presently stock sturgeon in anadromous waters. It has been a topic of discussion though.

From my reading, many years ago we may have required very limited stocking as mitigation for taking of broodstock by commercial hatcheries.

Thanks

Marty Gingras
Senior Biologist Supervisor (Fisheries)
California Department of Fish and Game
Central Valley Bay Delta Branch
4001 North Wilson Way
Stockton, California 95205

Phone (209) 948-3702
email mgingras@delta.dfg.ca.gov

fishrman4life
11-22-2005, 12:59 AM
Hi Marty:

There are 5 things I wish to be considered in the Draft Meeting Outline:

1. That maybe the numbers projected by DFG may be off the mark considering sturgeon ranges and numbers may be varied and the same model (San Pablo Bay) cant be fitted to every stretch of habitat. There may be more sturgeon than any of us realize, or there may be as many as DFG projects there to be. There are many factors and unknowns.

2. I would rather have a more narrow slot limit, 50-64 inches. A narrow slow limit allows large sized sturgeon to be let go for reproduction while allowing the trophy class fish to remain in the water. (We all know how much we love a fish story) The majority of sturgeon taken are smaller sized because they are more abundant. If we are trying to keep the numbers up, the abundant size needs to be the one affected by the limits. That is what I propose.

3. Most everyone now has picture phones or knows someone who does. There should be a reward system for photos, video, or other evidence of the illegal capture and retaining of illegal sturgeon. Photos captured that lead to the criminal prosecution of poachers should be rewarded somehow. A list of Must-Do's need to be put up regarding how to collect a reward, what constitutes a successful capture, etc. Boat numbers, descriptions of area of interest, time, activity, etc should be on the report form. Make it in .pdf format for ease of printing/downloading.

4. A sturgeon tag sounds like a great idea. In fact, I think there should be a combo striper/sturgeon/delta tag that goes for 12 bucks or so, replacing the delta stamp, the proceeds going to DFG patrols in major known poaching areas and also into further creel surveys. If the funds generated from that are substantial enough, a breeding program should be researched and funded.

5. Water, water, water. Ways of improving water quality should be a hugely researched route to take along with increasing or, as the case may be, restoring the flows in known sturgeon breeding areas. Ways to fund these improvements are unknown to me, but im sure it will be discussed.

I respect Oregon and Washington in the sheer amount of trophy fish caught there. If California can take their model for fishery protection and it works, then I say more power to that policy. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to fish for sturgeon as well as me. I also think certain respects need to be observed by fisherman as well. More catch and release needs to be done by us. Take only what you eat, etc. Eventually, if we all observe this respect, the sturgeon here will rival Oregon by and large in our trophies and protection policy.

Bait_N_Wait
11-22-2005, 11:36 PM
I would like to reiterate that, bang for your buck, a sturgeon stocking program will be the best possible means of boosting the population. I just don't see how reducing poaching or putting more fresh water in the Delta makes an appreciable boost to the species.

For instance, the notion of changing water releases to suit sturgeon needs is a concept that will cost several million dollars. You don't just casually suggest to the Metrolpolitan Water District of SoCal that they not divert 50,000 acre feet of water so sturgeon habitat in the Delta can improve.... Whether 50,000 acre feet results in any significant boosts to sturgeon populations is probably a topic that biologists can debate for hours. I doubt it.

I already posted about how I doubt that stricter poaching enforcement makes an appreciable improvement in the species population, so I won't bore you with that discussion again.

A sturgeon stocking program, on the other hand, could probably be established for around $500,000 and, I'm guessing, maintained for about that much annually. It could release hundreds of thousands of smolts (or whatever baby sturgies are called) into the rivers/Delta. Just like the salmon programs, I bet a sturgeon stocking program would be a huge success. Nick.

FortheKids
11-23-2005, 04:17 PM
I believe poaching hurts the delta Sturgeon population, maybe I am misunderstanding the data.
1- oversize females produce proportionally larger numbers of eggs, as opposed to smaller breeders.

2- very few oversize fish are being trapped by dfg programs, particularly the barely oversize fish.

3- many fish are being harvested before they get oversize, so what will we do to replace the oversize fish that die naturally, or are taken by poachers?

4- A stocking program would be great, but my concern is what can be done to get the lil-uns to supersize, comparing them salmon is unrealistic to me, the time frame is much different.

I am unsure of the eggs /per lb, so I dont know how many 72" females it would take to replace one 500 lb female, as far as egg production.

Besides the fact that every dude that poaches one, gets away with it, gets the message that nothing is being done about it, so poaching will continue to rise. Maybe we cant stop poaching, or even curtail it, but it only hurts law abiding anglers to do nothing at all.

I can remember reading articles in the bee about giant sturgies in the delta, remember a pic of one that was 10', or more, 492 lbs or something close, from cache slough. I wonder how many are left like that?

Tirade Off...

The good thing about this is hopefully some measures can be taken to re-establish a thriving Dino population. I would be bummed if I couldnt read about, and look at pics of the Hawgs you Dino masters supply. Heck if there were more maybe even I could catch a hawg, lol. Have a great Thanksgiving, and enjoy the weekend!

fishkiller
11-24-2005, 09:47 AM
8)As for the pumping of water not making a differance yo can go out and fish some of the east delta and parts of the west when the pumps are pumping at full capacity they actually stop tidal movement in much of the east delta. That is not a natural thing nor a healthy one for our delta ecosystem.. 8)

NorCal_Bangers
11-24-2005, 10:25 PM
ditto killer....i have heard that the TRACY pump house....if ran for 6 seconds or longer at full compacity will affect the tidal movement of water.....it is amazing that just 6 seconds is all it takes.

ncb

Diego916
11-27-2005, 07:17 PM
...every dude that poaches one, gets away with it, gets the message that nothing is being done about it, so poaching will continue to rise. Maybe we cant stop poaching, or even curtail it, but it only hurts law abiding anglers to do nothing at all.



Great point!

STURGEONSTOMPER
12-08-2005, 08:52 AM
Any dates on this meeting yet Marty?

Marty Gingras
12-08-2005, 12:54 PM
Any dates on this meeting yet Marty?

No dates yet, but it seems likely that they will be in January and/or February 2006. I'm doing the within Department coordination now.

More as I get it.

Thanks

Marty Gingras
Senior Biologist Supervisor (Fisheries)
California Department of Fish and Game
Central Valley Bay Delta Branch
4001 North Wilson Way
Stockton, California 95205

Phone (209) 948-3702
email mgingras@delta.dfg.ca.gov

fishrman4life
12-09-2005, 10:25 PM
So no real big changes to the regs this coming year?

sunracer1957
12-12-2005, 04:48 PM
As a group of conserned fisherman this can be where it all starts .. after looking at the photo album from last year there are some awsome fish being caught by sniffers.

I know we all want to take fish home for the freezer but how many fish do we really need? I have made a promiss to myself to put back any females I catch in hopes of putting a few more eggs into the system,, just think guys we have taught ourselfs to be great Sturgeon fisherman just read the post.. what if we all throw a few back every once and a while.. pics say it all

I'm not talking about everyone you catch, but you know em the breeders that are loaded with roe.. I know were not the only ones fishing for them but I bet if you add up all the fish taken last year by sniffers it's a tidy little sum. and a little can go a long way if we all toss one back in the drink every once and a while.. just a thought SR

*

fishrman4life
12-12-2005, 10:07 PM
Racer,

I agree with you completely. If we dont take the initiative to regulate the sheer amount of fish we take, our yearly take could be the next thing regulated for us. I personally feel bad that I took 3 during the 'Killer sturgeon derby, even though our fish to person ratio was still one to one. There were two females in that mix. One was my 64 incher...female. She was loaded with roe, and I felt like crap. Even though, slowly, I am eating all the meat, I still feel that more needs to be done by us as fishermen, to help the species. Just releasing one female or male you catch could be the next strong breeder that keeps sturgeon coming into the system. I know I feel good when I release trout and bass that I catch, I can only imagine what its like to watch that big 64 incher swim away, after a picture of course.

Just a thought, great post sun,

F4L

ZACK
12-23-2005, 12:26 PM
I fish catch & release for everything except for Halibut, and Salmon. I have worked on my friends for years to get them to only keep one fish per year and they now do that ( I mean how much of that stuff can you eat not to mention the health consumption guide lines).
I mean people have argued with me (civil of course) that their numbers are fine, best in years and I always say bull****. Let's face it guys these things aren't that elusive. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time and know how to read the bite their easy to catch. Too often I see people with fish that are large and guess what some how they all are exactly 72 inches! >:(

I am personally sick and tired of going out and getting skunked. I am a better fisherman than most so it's not me. Look at the charter boats. As much as they are on the water they usually only get 1 to 2 per trip if that for 15 to 20 anglers with as many baits setting up a road block for fish. Sure they hit the jack pot now and then but that's about it.

I would love to take out family from out of town, or better children interested in fishing and be able to catch at least one every outing. Right now that is not a reality. No fish stories please. I have spent enough time on the water for years and I know what every one around me is doing as well.

Below are a few of my opinions for improvements.

(1) Report card (5 fish/angler a year). I always thought those cards were a joke. They don’t prevent a thing and most wouldn’t bother to fill them out. Waste of paper. A better approach would be to use that paper by printing out a leaflet to accompany every bait sale by law. That would avoid ignorance to the law and save many fish in the process.
(2) Harvest closure on some spawning grounds. Closure on all spawning grounds. Duh, I mean we can’t fish the central bay due to herring spawn so it makes since to leave em be where they are trying to spawn.
(3) Night closure. Night fishing should be allowed I love it. Ain’t nothin like bringing up the creature from the black lagoon from the pitch black waters at night.
(4) Narrower slot limit (42" and 45" to 60"). Sounds good to me.
(5) Single barbless hook. Gear restrictions aren’t necessary.

We’ll never stop poaching and I know it goes on way too much. We have this slot limit so in theory we should be catching many over sized fish but we don’t cuz they are being killed.
What we can do is reduce the number of people who do decide to poach by increased penalties in the neighborhood of thousands for fines for possession of over sized fish.
Public piers are murder on fish also. We all start fishing from shore or public piers and there should be large signs there with sport fish size and bag limits and the exact figure of the fine just like they do for littering. How many times have you seen someone young with an ignorant parent, etc with a stringer of baby stripers, or small sturgeon, leopard sharks, etc. Quit blaming ethnic groups exclusively. People will think twice before poaching if they know the fine has BIG teeth. Increase the fine to a figure that hurts and do your best to educate those who don’t bother to do there homework before fishing. A good stocking program sounds great too. Working on the quality of water is always good as well.

I'm glad this is finally being addressed. Good work Marty, I am a huge lover of the Sturgeon and I am glad to see that you are too. ZACK!

TooLittleTime
12-23-2005, 07:25 PM
First of all this is not just a Surgeon issue, the Delta is in a decline accross the board-It really scares me when the effects of the water pumps is downplayed-those pumps are one of the Delta's biggest problems-no we should not just suggest to SoCal to back off on the pumping we should just tell them to kiss our @#% and they are going to have to make due with less water. In fact I read recently that LA is brokering a deal to sell water to Vegas where do you suppose that water will come from? It's time to put the kabosh on the water grabbers!!
The 3 biggest problems are poaching, pollution, pumps.

dimpala95
12-24-2005, 08:04 PM
Speaking from the standpoint of a sturgeon fisherman, not just a sturgeon angler, I would say that white sturgeon in the bay and delta are fairly abundant. That does not mean they are plentiful. Just that some fishermen who know their prey and their habits will know how to consistently catch fish. Those that are not in the know will spend many hours soaking bait with negative results.

Greens should be closed completely. Besides, they don't taste very good anyway.

I agree that a smaller slot limit would be beneficial, 46"-60". I also think a yearly quota/punch card would also be beneficial. These are things that readily affect us and those of us that want the fishery to survive can and will deal with the reduced limits.

Speaking from a law enforcement officers standpoint, new laws will not do squat in helping to eliminate poaching. Similar to the assault rifle gun ban. Poachers are not law abiders anyway. So, if new more stringent laws are passed, who does it affect? You got it, the law abiding citizen. The only way to reduce poaching is to put more enforcement officers out in the field, no plea bargaining and up the fines and jail time. Property siezure also goes a long way. When you take someones home or car away, they tend to get the hint a little faster. *

Now water degradation through diversion is another story. The big dollars from SoCal are very strong. They could care less about our fish and our bay delta fishery/water system. I've seen bait fish species like mudsuckers, decline in the last 5-10 years. I can't say what's causing it but I believe it is more than one particular reason. The greatest of which I believe is water diversion. Something is going to have to happen in regards to getting fresh water to SoCal. If it's desalination plants, so be it. They have the dollars, so spend it building and maintaining the plants instead of taking our precious and needed water from Northern California. After all, who asked them to build in a desert? * *

Thanks Marty for keeping us abreast of the current issues.

ZACK
12-26-2005, 03:35 PM
"Those in the know"?
What is your percentage? How many fish do you "honestly" catch per 10 trips? Don't get it twisted I have caught many sturg but the fishery sucks! I personally find I am only successful 50% of the time. It has such room for improvement. When you have charter boats that are on the water more days than off per year that can barely inch out 1 to two per trip, and our good friend Marty who is telling you they are not catching nearly as many as they should with a fricken net we got problems. I'm not telling you we can't still get them cause we can it just could be soooo much better, and an effort / plan needs to be put in place to get us there.

We have all gotten used to sturgeon fishing as we know it and most except it as such but wouldn't it be a kick if we could go out and get disappointed by catching over sized after over sized fish with out one keeper! lol

Hearing a guy tell you "ah yeah man their out there you just got to fish through a lot of them over sized fish to get one" ;D

Question for Marty. Are Sturgeon being stocked at all at the moment? If they are what are the number being planted and what would it take to get that number doubled, even tripled? You mentioned to me via e-mail about the idea of creating a tag like they do for bear, and deer. I'm not a hunter so I am ignorant to what that means but do you mean like a striper tag. A lot more people go sturgeon fishing today than most realize. We should take that into account like they do for Salmon, etc and generate the specific funds for this fish. I know fishermen aren't the only reason for the decline of fish and this is like all complex problems that won't be fixed with one approach.
Improve habitat / water, adjust regs slot limit to 42-60, create a stamp like the striper stamp to fund planting sturgeon, posted signs by law at all public piers and bait shops with size restrictions and bag limits and state the fine for infractions. Closure of all spawning waters during their month in which they spawn. I know this wouldn’t fix the problem completely but it would be a hell of a start.

ZACK!

Photo attached was of a beautiful 64 inch fish caught & released at the Mare Island Rock Wall.

[http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/8580/mareislandsturg6mk.th.jpg (http://img524.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mareislandsturg6mk.jpg)][/img]

Peacekeeper
12-31-2005, 08:30 PM
What are your comments on and feasibility of alternative regulations:
(1) Narrower slot limit year-round or seasonally. (Year Round)
(2) Reduce annual bag limit via report card. Annual Bag limit, yes, but unsure about the report card: how about a tag system like for pigs or deer?
(3) Annual quota. ??????????????????
(4) Seasonal harvest prohibition on spawning grounds. Not necessary if the slot limit is tightened. (Overall against it, reduces a large portion of our fishery. Though I wouldnt be against a catch and release rule in those areas.)
(5) Year-round harvest prohibition on spawning grounds. same
(6) Gear restrictions. (Against)
(7) Combinations.

wildturkey
01-04-2006, 01:08 PM
I'm against any more stamps and fees due to the fact that the state throws everything into a "Gen Fund" and distributes it to bottomless pits instead of it's advertised intended departments. I too have witnessed multiple immigrants breaking the law ie: ten people and twenty poles on the bank, Dragging/snagging in the open on the American with big hooks dragging in Salmon and hiding them in the bushes and I might add, not too quiet about it either!! And this was just below the Region DFG office!!!
The average person doesn't have the time to spend on the river long enough to make that big of an impact on the population.

fishrman4life
01-04-2006, 06:50 PM
I say copy Oregon's rules and restrictions. They have a trophy fishery that most Californians have to pay guides to get them in on. So, if they already have a system that works, why not stretch it across the board? I know Oregon does not have as much of an immigration problem as we do here, but that is still no excuse. We have a responsibility as human beings to defend species that are in danger or threatened. Let's not wait until the Endangered and Threatened Species Act comes in to play to get ourselves a wakeup call.

Sturgeon_Addict
01-09-2006, 08:46 PM
If you doubt the poachers take, go out to lisbon slough after the bypass floods. they goo in there when the water goes out tapping sturgeon and start hauling them in by the boat loads. You always hear that DFG went out and snagged a guy or two but they go out like 1-2 days while the poachers are hauling in for 1-2 weeks. When you call DFG says they will look into it but that they do not have the man power due to Budget Cuts. That doesn't even count all the bank poachers in Lisbon that haul 3-4 out a night. So I'm all for fines, loss or gear (boats & trucks) and jail time. I would agree on a yearly limit of fish kept. Or a Tag. (Ca is working on getting rid of fishing slowly). Fishing is alot like Deer hunting I spend like $100 to hunt for one season beacuse Ca pays it's self before the programs our funds goto. I say tighten the limits, track, bind, and torture poachers, and do not get rid of night fishing. Im like striper_assasin, most of the time I can only fish due to work between 5pm-12pm.

neptune1939
01-16-2006, 08:45 AM
RE: Poachers – DFG needs help badly. Many of us already have DFG's hot line on their cell phones. The last time I called, due to the size of their territory, an officer arrived 3-hours after the call. Fortunately, the greedy poacher continued fishing after placing a 43” Sturgeon in his trunk. He was subsequently tagged; but, on most occasions poachers quickly leave the area. I’ve even heard people giving poachers advice on how to evade being caught. How about a volunteer DFG assistance being initiated?

Many cities have volunteers to assist law enforcement in “preventing” crime. The mere presence of a uniform keeps most people on track for obeying the law. Give some thought to a "Volunteer DFG Reserve" force. I was instrumental is starting a volunteer “crime prevention group” with the Richmond Police Department in the 1960’s that is still in existence and would be willing to help set up such a group to assist DFG nailing poachers. “Volunteer groups” work well and can do wonders to quash illegal activities. I imagine there are a bunch of us sports fishermen that would gladly volunteer. Training would be easy and a simple DFG “Volunteer Windbreaker” or similar type of apparel would do wonders in "preventing" illegal activities. Can you imagine fishing next to a fish and game volunteer? Would you break the law? Give it some thought.

Armed with zoom type cameras and cell phones, a lot can be accomplished in slowing poaching activities. If you would like to discuss it, I can be reached at muskak9@hotmail.com. Regards, Earl

retired
01-22-2006, 07:31 PM
First if you close the fishing for strugeon.It will be very hard to get open again.Also the money we spend on fishing and hunting has a tax on it and should go to the F&G. But it all goes into the general budget.Then are great elected officals decide how much F&G gets.So before we think about a special sturgeon stamp.You need to make sure were the money will go.Remenber back when we had a striper stamp.They quit raising the stripers, but still charge us for a stamp for a few years.Then when people started to complain .They change the name to a delta stamp.That money was to help inprove the delta waters.Which would help the sturgeon and the stripers. I have not seen or heard of anything F&G has used the money for yet.Just my thought on the matter. I will attend the meetings. Retired.

O_Sea_D
02-13-2006, 08:12 PM
I would also like to add, something that I have failed to see mentioned, that may or may not, also aid in helping the sturgeon numbers.
We fish anually in Oregon with guides. I believe that last year was the first year that they incorporated it, but they added the new regulation that in some areas fish may only be kept on Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. The rest of the week is catch and release only. Someone may have mentioned it already, and I apologize if I missed it.