Proposal to Eradicate California’s Bass Population Withdrawn

Petition pulled just days before California Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing

Alexandria, VA – August 24, 2016 – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), along with a coalition of leaders in the recreational fishing and boating community, are pleased to announce that striped and black (largemouth and smallmouth) bass, important sportfish species in California, won’t be targeted for eradication as invasive species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its tributaries.

Petition number 2016-011, which called for changes to recreational fishing size and bag limits for these species, was withdrawn by the petitioners who championed the species eradication, before its scheduled review by the California Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The opposing coalition, composed of the American Sportfishing Association, B.A.S.S., California Sportfishing League, Coastal Conservation Association California, Coastside Fishing Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Fishing League Worldwide, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Water4Fish, sent a joint letter opposing the petition.

“Our coalition had science on our side and we were able to show the Fish and Wildlife Commission that all fish need water and this was simply a water grab that sought to make striped bass and largemouth and smallmouth bass the scapegoats for the status of salmon stocks,” said ASA Government Affairs Vice President Scott Gudes.

Representing millions of sportsmen and women nationwide, including tens of thousands in California, the coalition engaged their supporters who sent a clear message to the Commission that this was a water issue, not a fish issue.

“This is a real victory for anglers. But we need to be vigilant. No doubt the agricultural industry that pushed this proposal will be back. Anglers need to stay unified,” concluded Gudes.

The Coalition for Sustainable Delta, California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation, Kern County Water Agency, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Northern California Water Association, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors and Western Growers were the petitioners.

Ted Williams
About Ted Williams 665 Articles
Ted Williams is Fly Rod & Reel’s longtime Conservation Editor.

2 Comments on Proposal to Eradicate California’s Bass Population Withdrawn

  1. Despite what sportsmen keep telling themselves and others, they aren’t, by definition, “conservationists.” That’s more than evident from the grotesque selfishness of the American Sportfishing Association, B.A.S.S., California Sportfishing League, Coastal Conservation Association California, Coastside Fishing Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Fishing League Worldwide, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Water4Fish. No one was proposing to “eradicate” bass, but the ASA knows that buzz word clicks with redneck, me-firsters. Sad that these groups promote possible extinction of endangered species so they can catch a few more alien fish.
    –Ted Williams
    My friend Dr. Bill Bakke of the Native Fish Society offers this:
    “The states of Oregon and Washington have done away with limits on non-native p redacious fish to protect endangered salmonids in the Columbia River and tributaries. Smallmouth bass less than 12 inches consume 84% salmonids in the Yakima River, Washington. The effect of Non-native fish species on salmon exceed the adverse impacts caused by habitat loss, harvest, hatcheries and hydro dams. Removing non-native species is imperative for salmon recovery.”
    Supporting Evidence:
    Sanderson, Beth L., Katie A. Barnas, and A. Michelle Wargo Rub. 2009. Nonindigenous Species of the Pacific Northwest: An Over looked Risk to Endangered Salmon? The American Institute of Biological Sciences.
    “The results indicate that the effect of nonindigenous species on salmon could equal or exceed that of four commonly addressed causes of adverse impacts—habitat alteration, harvest, hatcheries, and the hydrosystem; we suggest that managing nonindigenous species may be imperative for salmon recovery.”
    FRITTS, ANTHONY L. AND TODD N. PEARSONS. 2006. Effects of Predation by Nonnative Smallmouth Bass on Native Salmonid Prey: the Role of Predator and Prey Size.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:853–860.
    “Overall, most of the salmonids were consumed by smallmouth bass smaller than 250 mm (69.6%), and the vast majority were consumed by smallmouth bass smaller than 300 mm or 11.7 inches (83.6%).”

  2. So why wasn’t Trout Unlimited not part of your coalition. Apparently these groups that made up the coalition, don’t fish the Sacramento River system for anything else but Bass. They say that they had Science on their side is that Science with a capital $? This is just anther example of California Fish and Wildlife managing people not wildlife.

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