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sunracer1957
01-29-2008, 02:02 PM
http://cbs13.com/local/salmon.population.collapse.2.640632.html

Hold onto your hats guys

markbc
01-29-2008, 06:48 PM
It gets worse than that.

The purpose of this email is to give you an early alert to what at this point appears to be an unprecedented collapse in the abundance of adult California Central Valley (primarily Sacramento River) fall Chinook salmon stocks in 2008. The magnitude of the low abundance, should it be confirmed in verification efforts now underway, is such that the opening of all marine and freshwater fisheries impacting this important salmon stock will be questioned in the upcoming Council process to set 2008 ocean salmon seasons. This is particularly disconcerting in that this stock has consistently been the healthy “work horse” target stock for salmon fisheries off California and most of Oregon.

The Salmon Technical Team (STT) met last week at the Council office to tabulate total counts of West Coast salmon stocks, including spawning escapements and catches. Two areas of bad news emerged relative to the 2008 abundance level for this important stock.
• The count of jacks in the Central Valley fall Chinook return this past fall, which are used to predict adult abundance in 2008, was--by far--a record low: an order of magnitude less than average and less than a fourth of the previous record low.
• The adult spawning escapement for this stock in 2007 failed to meet the goal for the first time in 15 years and only five times in the past 35 years. Three of those occasions were in fact consecutive (1990, 1991, 1992), which led to an overfishing review for the stock (PFMC 1994). This unexpected result indicates the carry-over of older fish in the ocean that might contribute to 2008 abundance will probably also be weak.

The return of Central Valley fall Chinook jacks in 2007 was about 2,000 compared to a long term average of about 40,000 and the previous record low of 10,000.
What is not clear at this time is the reason for the apparent collapse, although it is notable that both hatchery and naturally produced fish have been negatively affected.

It is also noteworthy that this low jack return is outside the range of the current tool used to predict abundance for a given year, calling into question the reliability of its utility for use in 2008. Obviously, two consecutive jack returns at the lowest (2007) and second lowest (2006) levels on record represent a severe situation. There were informed discussions last week about whether a reasonable forecast of abundance in 2008 could rise to the point of achieving the spawning escapement goal in the absence of any commercial or recreational salmon fishing anywhere on the West Coast that Central Valley fall Chinook are typically found in significant abundance.

The 2008 salmon season setting process involves:
1. The STT met January 21-25 to tally salmon 2007 abundance.
2. The STT meets Feb 19-22 to collate coastwide salmon stock abundance forecasts.
3. The PFMC publishes the Review of 2007 Ocean Salmon Fisheries and Preseason Report I: Stock Abundance Analysis for 2008 Ocean Salmon Fisheries, which contain the details of past year abundance information and 2008 stock abundance forecasts. These documents will be available to the public no later than February 24, 2008
4. The PFMC meets in Sacramento, CA March 7-14, 2008 to select three options for 2008 salmon seasons.
5. Public hearings on salmon season options will be convened March 31 in Westport, Washington and Coos Bay, Oregon, and April 1 in Eureka, California.
6. The PFMC meets in Seattle, WA April 6-12, 2008 to reach a final decision on 2008 salmon seasons.
7. Federal and State government authorities formally establish marine and freshwater salmon seasons subsequent to final Council action.
It is important to note that the current information needs to be verified and validated, and that it is three or four weeks before the documents are finalized that the Council will use in its deliberations."

I personally don't see much if any salmon season

danhood
01-29-2008, 09:28 PM
Even Yahoo news is talking about it.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080130/ap_on_re_us/disappearing_salmon;_ylt=AoFrFAMksbnNzreZR.EQSlvQO rgF
Wouldn't be surprised if they closed the season :(

KOKANEEKIDTC
02-01-2008, 01:36 AM
i now live at the hatchery end of the sac river and have been here in the redding area for 5 years or so and have seen later and lesser runs of salmon up here. it is sad to see our precious fish getting more and more sparse. we need to do somethng NOW or we won't have anything. prior to moving up here i fished for about 12 years commercially out of the monterey bay (moss landing) and even then saw a steady decline in our catches. if things are managed correctly, over a period of time, our stocks should return but we have to do something about it ASAP. closing the rivers and the oceans will not only p%#sssss off the fishermen and fisherwomen but just think of the impact on the commercial aspect.... licenses, tackle, the fish market itself, etc. this is gonna be a monster that will rear it's ugly head for sure! whew! tc

metalmouth
02-01-2008, 05:02 AM
This report isn't going to look good. I don't know that they will cancel the season but it could be shortened quite a bit. *:-/

Mickey_Thomas
02-01-2008, 06:44 AM
I can see them opening up a early season as planned, usually there aren't great numbers being caught that early anyway. But as the bigger numbers start showing up I don't put it past them to pull the plug and close for long periods. All we can do is wait for them to tell us what they are going to do. I'm sure it won't popular with us sport fishermen but if they can really do some good for our salmon populations then I wouldn't mine sitting out for a while. But it will kill the commercial guys, I feel bad about that, after all, it's the way they make a living :-/ If we have a opening week, make sure you get here MM and fish it, we might not get to fish later ;)

twoelk48
02-01-2008, 06:48 AM
Looks like we in California could learn something from our Washington brothers who had a similar problem but are making a geat recovery, Kent

GCinGV
02-01-2008, 07:41 AM
They are supposed to give you at least ten days notice to any changes in the regs so we should have at least most of April. Although I suspect and hope they just limit the season it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if it’s closed completely by the time the central district opens. Unfortunately for us with counts this low I think you can count on pretty drastic measures being taken.

Don,
Ever fished for Sand Dabs?
Gary

GCinGV
02-01-2008, 07:53 AM
Looks like we in California could learn something from our Washington brothers who had a similar problem but are making a geat recovery, Kent
Good point. I was doing trips to Juan Defuca (Spelling?) when they first started the restrictions and they were pretty dramatic. They reduced it to only a two-week season and the worse part was they didn’t announce the season until two weeks before the opener. It pretty much eliminated the possibility of planning a long distance trip in advance and stopped me from going.
GC

sunracer1957
02-01-2008, 08:55 AM
The part that gets my goat is this could have been somewhat avoided long ago. Last year was a good example. They reared Salmon smots then hauled them to the bay to release them and did it at the same place every time. Well it didn't take the Stripers long to figure out it was an easy meal.

The Striper were gorging themselfs with the smelts as soon as they hit the water and this happened on every release. The party boats were having a banner Striper catch fishing next to were the Salmon were released and all the fish caught were full on fingerlings.

The powers that be even fest up that they screwed up and should have done it a different way. Theres all kinds of reasons why the runs have gone down the toilet, but this one just rubs me the wrong way.

Just look at the American river flows its been a trickle of water for a long long time, how are the fish supposed to spawn with any success when all our water ends up down south all summer and nothings left when the Salmon are due in.

I could go on and on but its all water under the bridge at this point!

I just wish someone had the B@//s to put big business at the back of the line instead of the front and do something for the future of this state and the fishery, but its all about BIG MONEY and I don't think its gona change any time soon :'(

cptdarel
02-01-2008, 10:54 AM
Rodney your right, it don't make friggin sence.

It's been brought up before, is the Humbolt squid getting it's share?, has the escapment VS. returns dwindled? where is the problem?, if it is squid, good luck!.

metalmouth
02-01-2008, 11:08 AM
Don,
Ever fished for Sand Dabs?
Gary


Now that's just not fair. I don't mind chatchin Dabs I just don't want to have to eat them. :-/

sunracer1957
02-01-2008, 11:24 AM
MM

At the rate thing are going Dabs may be all thats left!!!

GCinGV
02-01-2008, 01:19 PM
MM

At the rate thing are going Dabs may be all thats left!!!
Sad but true.
GC

scfisher831
02-01-2008, 02:42 PM
That's just not fair. I don't mind chatchin Dabs I just don't want to have to eat them. *:-/

Have you every fresh dabs?They are sum good eating.They taste very sweet and moist.One of my favorites to eat besides fresh salmon.If you eat at any of the fish resturants at Montery Wharf, one of their best sellers is fresh Montery Bay dabs.

A many of times when salmon is slow down here in the bay,we have switched over to dabs to bring home to eat.Good eating baked,pan fried, or on the bbq also.

cptdarel
02-01-2008, 02:52 PM
That's just not fair. I don't mind chatchin Dabs I just don't want to have to eat them. *:-/

Have you every fresh dabs?They are sum good eating.They taste very sweet and moist.One of my favorites to eat besides fresh salmon.If you eat at any of the fish resturants at Montery Wharf, one of their best sellers is fresh Montery Bay dabs.

A many of times when salmon is slow down here in the bay,we have switched over to dabs to bring home to eat.Good eating baked,pan fried, or on the bbq also.


What are you doing!!, don't tell everyone!-------------- they are terrible nasty, taste like catfish bait ::)

scfisher831
02-01-2008, 03:10 PM
What are you doing!!, don't tell everyone!-------------- they are terrible nasty, taste like catfish bait ::)

Oh yes catfish bait taste is yummy ;)

metalmouth
02-01-2008, 03:35 PM
More like bony catfish bait. ;D

scfisher831
02-01-2008, 03:50 PM
The bones will come out when you pull the skelton off after being cooked and left with white sweet meat.Yummy ;)

metalmouth
02-01-2008, 04:10 PM
I'm sure they are great. I just want my limit of pink meat! ;) ;D 8-)

scfisher831
02-01-2008, 04:35 PM
I too want my pink meat also.I'll take it over any fish any day.I just hope we get a season.I'm ready to go.I hear from a little birdie down here,that there is bait schools out in the Montery Bay.Keeping my fingers crossed *;)

Captain_Morgan
02-02-2008, 08:21 PM
I wish they would wait till next year,when the economy is better. I don't think this year is a good time to shut down or restrict salmon fishing. Its bad enough new construction is shut down. What will it hurt to wait one more year? I think it will further do more damage to our economy.

cptdarel
02-03-2008, 08:39 AM
I wish they would wait till next year,when the economy is better. I don't think this year is a good time to shut down or restrict salmon fishing. Its bad enough new construction is shut down. What will it hurt to wait one more year? I think it will further do more damage to our economy.
At the rate it's going now, they are talking a major collapse of the fishery, another year is that much more eggs we don’t get back, if it is what it is, Shut it Down. I sure don’t want it either; I am still paying $300.00 a month in slip fees, and most likely sell my boat.
It’s getting like the Grizzly Bear in California, look at your State Flag a Grizzley bear, the Fact is THERE ARE NO more GRIZZLYS, in California.

Stcroix
02-03-2008, 05:28 PM
Think about it. The article in the paper said that the central valley river run in 2005 was 800,000. The survivors of those fish will be returning this year as 3 year olds. If thats the case, we should have plenty of fish in the ocean. If we don't, I think it makes a good case that the cause of declining returns is not caused by water diversions but something that is going on in the ocean.

KOKANEEKIDTC
02-04-2008, 02:14 AM
just be sure not to blame the poachers and furbags!!! one final thought... extinct is forever!!! *tc

fishguts
02-04-2008, 08:16 AM
A closure will also put an impact on the rock fishing season. Since there were no salmon to fish for, all the charters and pvt. boaters switched over to them earlier.

sunracer1957
02-04-2008, 02:34 PM
It makes me laugh that folks are thinking rock fish to replace the Salmon void, well if the MPLA's go into effect where ya gona rock fish at?

Folks better get involved if you want any future fishing grounds!

And for the areas that aren't MPLA protected you'll have a real battle grounds trying to find a spot to drift in with 10,000 other fisherman trying to do the same thing. :'(

sunracer1957
02-04-2008, 02:38 PM
I need to correct myself.

Its not if the MPLA's will be implimented- its when

Mickey_Thomas
02-04-2008, 07:07 PM
It makes me laugh that folks are thinking rock fish to replace the Salmon void, well if the MPLA's go into effect where ya gona rock fish at?

Folks better get involved if you want any future fishing grounds!

And for the areas that aren't MPLA protected you'll have a real battle grounds trying to find a spot to drift in with 10,000 other fisherman trying to do the same thing. :'(Same report was going around and in the news last year exactly at this time. I guess they come back ;) Wouldn't you? ;)

sunracer1957
02-05-2008, 08:21 AM
Mickey

Last year was talk, this year will be different. I think theres only a few meetings left till the hammer falls. For those that haven't take a look at the areas that MPLA's are being set up in you'll be shocked. Its just the best rock fishing grounds all up and down the coast.

Yes there will still be places to fish I just hope you have a big boat and lots of gas to get there and back. :-[

abdiver12
02-05-2008, 08:46 AM
We're paying the price now for negligent fishing and environmental practices. *Its the same story all over the world where 60% of the world's seafood species are now in "collapse" (defined as a reduction in catch by 90% or more). *By the year 2050, it is predicted that 100% will have collapsed. *You can really hold on to your hats then (or at least your kids can).

metalmouth
02-05-2008, 10:45 AM
Looks like I better start making plans to Salmon fish in Washington. Mickey, when did you say you wanted to go? :-/

metalmouth
02-05-2008, 11:55 AM
I'm pretty bummed out. I've been reading reports from the guys who set the seasons and it's really looking like they will close it in April. I guess I'll be headed to the N. Coast looking for fish. I'm sure going to miss the fest. :'(

chicofishrmen
02-05-2008, 12:08 PM
#@!^% it! http://www.fishsniffer.com/forumsyabb2006/Templates/Forum/default/angry.gif When do they make the announcement?

sunracer1957
02-05-2008, 12:35 PM
Chico

I'm not sure when the details will be made public, I just put this post up so more folks would be aware of whats going on. I really wasen't trying to kill the fest plans.

Theres all kinds of things that are related to this topic and probley the most important is the new water projects Arni is trying to get under way. You think the Salmon are bleak now if the water bill flys you won't be catching a darn thing from here to the coast. Couple this with the new MPLA's and the whole fishing industry will go down the toilet.

Its SO important for folks to get involved it ain't even funny, send those letters if you care!!! RD

metalmouth
02-05-2008, 12:49 PM
I am reading the write ups with quotes from the guys that set the seasons. See the Issues Board for more info. Bleak would be an understatement.

Make sure you vote today and in every election. You're vote really counts.

The final word won't be until April, but we should be getting preliminary reports soon. :'(

MM

Mickey_Thomas
02-05-2008, 05:18 PM
Looks like I better start making plans to Salmon fish in Washington. Mickey, when did you say you wanted to go? Gee Don, I talked to my son who lives in Washington today, he's not sure if they will have a season either ::) It's looking pretty bleak for sure. Let's all do a Marlin fest in Hawaii, we'll rent a huge house and then pool our resources for a big boat too :D

metalmouth
02-05-2008, 05:33 PM
Mick, maybe we'll all have to go to Alaska and visit Doc! 8-)
I think Washington should be all right this year but they might shut down central to southern Oregon.

chicofishrmen
02-05-2008, 08:35 PM
Looks like I better start making plans to Salmon fish in Washington. Mickey, when did you say you wanted to go? Gee Don, I talked to my son who lives in Washington today, he's not sure if they will have a season either ::) It's looking pretty bleak for sure. Let's all do a Marlin fest in Hawaii, we'll rent a huge house and then pool our resources for a big boat too :D

Mickey,
I like your thinking, but I've been to Hawaii 5 times and Cabo once and by far the fishing is much better in Cabo. Plus it's far cheaper, so my vote is for Cabo!

Course, I'm kidding if there is no salmon season I'll attend the spring Pyramid fest! http://www.fishsniffer.com/forumsyabb2006/Templates/Forum/default/cry.gif But I really want the Bodega fest to be a go! Nothing better than a 25# king ripping your line out of the DR clip and diving for the bottom!

Mickey_Thomas
02-06-2008, 06:17 AM
Nothing better than a 25# king ripping your line out of the DR clip and diving for the bottom! That pretty much sums up why us Salmon fishermen are such fanatic's ;) Once you feel a big one on your line you're hooked for life :o

metalmouth
02-06-2008, 08:52 AM
Nothing better than a 25# king ripping your line out of the DR clip and diving for the bottom! That pretty much sums up why us Salmon fishermen are such fanatic's ;) Once you feel a big one on your line you're hooked for life :o
[smiley=yahoo.gif] [smiley=yikes.gif] [smiley=yahoo.gif] [smiley=yikes.gif] [smiley=yahoo.gif] [smiley=yikes.gif] [smiley=yahoo.gif] [smiley=yikes.gif] [smiley=yahoo.gif]

sunracer1957
02-06-2008, 08:56 AM
I'm just hoping they hold off for a final decision till I can get north after the opener.. I'll fish for em as much as I can till they shut it off.

Ben you up for some company??

GCinGV
02-06-2008, 09:16 AM
Since the feds are involved there is a chance all three states could be closed but hopefully not.
If they don’t close Washington, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Those big Tyees should be making their way along the top of the peninsula around the middle of June if I recall correctly. Haven’t fished there in 25 years though and really have no idea if the fishing is still any good but it is a cool place to fish.
Juan De Fuca gets some pretty gnarly tidal rip which is good to avoid as well as some strong wind but doesn’t generally get the big bone crushing waves like the open ocean and is a good place for smaller boats. The other thing is that the Kings hold close to shore along a drop off so you generally don’t have to go far. Launching can be a pain because of the tidal flats along the shore though. That’s the first place I saw a lot of the lower profile, river style sleds commonly used on the ocean. Use to use my buddy’s 14 ft aluminum out there, but we were much younger and even more stupid back then.

Hey Mickey,
Do you have the recent scoop on that area? A “Juan De Fuca Fest” sounds kinda catchy.
Gary

metalmouth
02-06-2008, 09:28 AM
A “Juan De Fuca Fest” sounds kinda catchy.

Gary,

I'm all in for that action!

Don

Fort_Bragger
02-06-2008, 11:07 AM
I'm just hoping they hold off for a final decision till I can get north after the opener.. I'll fish for em as much as I can till they shot it off.

Ben you up for some company??

You bet. *I'll be there under any conditions. *I made it out last year and the forecast then sucked. *It was lumpy but fishable. *I could use a lesson anyway Tom....

sunracer1957
02-06-2008, 12:05 PM
Ben

Way cool,, its looking like the first part of March for me, would that work?

I'm sending you a PM ;)

GCinGV
02-07-2008, 08:25 AM
A “Juan De Fuca Fest” sounds kinda catchy.

Gary,

I'm all in for that action!

Don
Don,
I’d love to go up there with you but being realistic, with a couple irons in the fire already it’s probably not in the cards for me this season but it sounds interesting for next year.
Let me know if you make the trip and I’ll fill you in on what little I know about fishing the area.
There are also some possibilities on the island. Haven’t tried it but I understand you can get pretty good rate to cross with your rig on the commercial ferries. The car ferries are pretty pricey. Once on the island you could drive all the way to Queen Charlotte Straight (Knight Inlet, Rivers Inlet, etc). Not sure what the license requirements are for boats from the US though. Food for thought.
Gary

metalmouth
02-07-2008, 04:08 PM
I think Doc is spending some time in that area and he's taking his boat all the way to Alaska this year. I'll see what he knows as he was almost a BC resident. ;)

Gary, we have to do some fishing together. I hope we get together when you come North this time.

Don

GCinGV
02-07-2008, 07:24 PM
Don,
Last I heard Al and Booty are headed for Clark around the 5th of June and staying through about the 17th. I’ll be there on the 14th breaking in a new crew. Will have the big trailer with the porch at Armstead again. Have an October trip in the works as well so if by chance you’re not around in June maybe we can hook up then.
Gary

cptdarel
02-08-2008, 03:59 AM
Salmon Perfect Storm
Mike Aughney
USAfishing.com

Revised January 31st

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) came out with the 2007 Central Valley (CV) salmon return numbers and they are some of the lowest on record. For some reason many in the sportfishing community were surprised by the record low numbers. WERE NOT!

It should come as no surprise to sport salmon anglers or regular readers of this site that the numbers are this low and next year's return is expect to reset the (limbo) bar. This writer has been on the record as saying 2007 will come in as the lowest and 2008 looks to be far worse. The PFMC just validated what we have been saying for the past year.

The California Dept. of Fish and Game (DFG) said that only 90,000 adult Chinook salmon returned to all of the Central Valley rivers this past fall. This is half of the 180,000 escapement goal and the second worse return on record. Just five years ago in 2002, 800,000 plus adult salmon returned to the CV. This past season only 2000 jack (two year old juveniles) salmon returned which is just 5% of the average 40,000 that returned over the past 20 plus seasons. The jack returns are a good indicator of what to expect the following year and are used to estimate run strengths or in this case weaknesses of the following year's run.

In a nutshell don't expect to have a fresh California salmon steak on your plate this year, or next or in 2010. In fact I don't expect salmon numbers to start rebounding until 2011 and that is ONLY IF we take care of what is wrong now.

How did we get here?
Well, the water contractors will tell you it's due to "poor ocean conditions" and the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta says "it's those damn nonnative striped bass." NOT! It's not giant squid, sealions or global warming either. It's the collapse of the Delta food web and the poor release practices of hatchery salmon by the CDFG.

Water exports out of the Delta have increased by nearly 30% over the past five years. This, in turn, has wiped out the base of the Delta food web, tiny plankton that juvenile salmon and countless other fish such as striped bass, smelt, shad and other key species rely on for food when they are very young. Due to the over pumping of the Delta, plankton cannot reproduce fast enough to rebuild their microscopic empire. Basically it takes 4 to 5 days for plankton to reproduce and the bulk of the Delta water is pumped south or turned over (85% goes to farms) every three days. The result is that the very base of the Delta food chain is wiped out and with it our fisheries.

Revision
There has been a lot in the press from the water contractors side about "poor ocean conditions" being the reason for the salmon decline and I want to make a couple of points against that argument.

1: The 2007 three year old salmon fall Klamath run was very strong and came in well above what was expected. These fish feed and spend most of their life in the same ocean waters as the CV fall run. If it was ocean conditions why did we see so many fat and healthy 5 to 10 pound salmon return to the Klamath last season?


2: The Sacramento river 2007 spring run was one of the BEST returns in the past 3 DECADES. Not only do these fish share the same watershed but also spend their "ocean life" in the same waters as the Sacramento fall run. They do migrate out at different times of the year and this supports the argument that the blame lies in the Delta water diversion and the collapse of the food web. These numbers have been verified by John Beuttler of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.


3: We had some huge blow out storms in (New Years Day) 2005 that likely wiped out many of the "naturally produced Fall run salmon redds of the previous months which will always bring salmon numbers down. This could be part of the reason for the lack of jacks this past year.
When the snows melt, juvenile wild salmon (most just 3 to 5 inches long) are programmed to migrate through the delta to the ocean in the late spring and summer. The bulk of their diet during this migration through the Delta consists of plankton but plankton counts the past five years have plummeted by as much as 90%. Juvenile salmon can't make it from Sacramento to San Pablo Bay without fat reserves or eating so they and many other key species are literally starving to death.

The PFMC will be making their recommendations for our ocean sport and commercial salmon seasons this coming March and April. More than likely politics will trump good science and their final three recommendations will run from no sport or commercial salmon season at all to maybe a three or four month sport season and though unlikely, a very limited commercial season on the North coast. After all the CDFG will want to collect those commercial salmon permit moneys and sell sportfishing licenses. They do a great job of collecting license fees but have done nothing to stop the decline of our fisheries much less manage them despite having a huge biologic team telling them otherwise.

What needs to be done to fix the problem?
If I had a voice on the council I would vote for a full 2008 ocean sport and commercial salmon season similar to 2007. We have been down this road before in the early 80s (due to the drought of 78 and 79) and the early 90s due to the prolonged drought of 1986 through 1992. The salmon numbers were down then but recovered quickly once we saw a couple of average to above average water years.

I know I will be pounded by my advertisers and other anglers for this opinion. But I feel that the CV rivers should remain open to fishing but only for salmon under 20" can be retained. We need to protect the spawning stocks to seed future runs and should remain so until the returns hit a floor of at least 120K. Fish and Game knew what that this year's return was gong to be well in the red but did nothing and they should have announced an emergency closure by November 1st of 2007. Instead they had a biologist come out a say that "the fish just must be late."

Salmon really don't need us to intervene during these lean years for their recovery but we sure like to think so. They do just fine once river flows return opening up both good spawning habitat and a healthy food chain from their native rivers to the ocean. All they need is water and healthy habitats and they will survive in lean times and thrive in good water years.

The difference this time is that it's not a drought that brought the returns down, it's the 30% increase in water exports out of the Delta. We did get a favorable ruling this past December that decreased water exports out of the Delta next spring and summer by up to 30%. The only objection I have to the ruling is that this only brought water exports (which have been increased by 30% since 2003) down by 30% so there is no net gain.

Subsidized cotton growers receive in the neighborhood of 2 million acre feet of subsidized water annually. This is enough to supply as many 10 million California residents. Cotton growers cannot make a profit without getting both cheap (subsidized) water and federal subsides checks for their crop which are as high as $500,000 per farm. Imagine if we just stopped growing cotton in California? We could keep 2 million acre feet of water to support the Delta and have some to spare to cities that rely on the Delta for their residential water supply.

Closing the ocean sport or commercial salmon season will do NOTHING to help CV salmon recover. A healthy sustainable Delta is key to the recovery of our salmon runs. When there are few salmon to be caught (as we saw in 2007) fishing effort and harvest is minimal. Catches will be best during the spring months (as we have seen the past three years) when favorable ocean conditions attract migrating salmon into the Central and Northern California waters. Once these fish start to migrate back to their native rivers up north (think Klamath, Eel and Oregon and the Columbia River) catches will drop dramatically and so will the fishing pressure.

There is already a lot of talk in the threads and chat rooms around the web about "fighting for the season." As we have said before, fighting for a season when there will be few fish (other than migratory) to catch is a dead end. We need to fight for healthy river flows and a sustainable Delta. Without this our salmon runs will NEVER recover.

The CDFG also needs to treat each and every salmon in their hatcheries now like gold. These fish are one of the best investments we have "in the bank" now to nurse our salmon runs back to health and the past release practices have to be stopped. We need to have not only acclimation pens but multiple release sites supported by both CDFG biologists and volunteers. The wholesale dumping of fish off a boat ramp to 10s of thousands of waiting birds and striped bass must stop. Hatchery fish need to be acclimated in pens and then released in either deep water or at night to stop the wholesale predation.

On a final note sport anglers must get involved both politically and finically. If every California sport angler donated the equivalent of what they spent on their annual fishing license to fishery groups over $100 MILLION dollars could be raised. There are over two million sport anglers in California and sportfishing pumps over $3 billion dollars into the California economy. It's time for all different fishery groups to start working together on key issues or this train is going to run us all over.
Mike Aughney

sunracer1957
02-08-2008, 08:36 AM
cpdarel

YOU NAILED IT..Thanks for the post...RD