By now you've probably heard that on Tuesday, January 29, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) closed certain coastal waters to fishing in order to protect native salmon and steelhead from low water flows in California streams and rivers that have been significantly impacted by drought. CDFW is also recommending that the Fish and Game Commission adopt emergency regulations on other rivers. The lower American River downstream of Nimbus Dam is one of these other rivers currently under severe angling pressure. Chinook salmon redds built in the last few months have been dewatered; the eggs and fry from those redds will surely die. Additional deaths will result from inattentive wading on redds that are now exposed to shallow water. Endangered Central Valley Steelhead are moving into the river and will suffer, as well.
BRIDGEPORT, Calif. - California Lahontan cutthroat trout, squeezed out of their native Sierra habitat by illegally planted brook trout, will be reestablished and nurtured by a consortium of local fly-fishing clubs and the Southwest Council-International Federation of Fly Fishers (SWC-IFFF) in cooperation with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW).
Target area is Silver Creek in the West Walker River watershed near Bridgeport.
A base camp will be established at the headwaters of Silver Creek and a team of 4-5 people will assist the CDFW with electro-fishing. The goal of this multi-year event is to eradicate the non-native brook trout so the stream can sustain a currently imperiled population of Lahontan cutthroat trout. Upon competition, Silver Creek will be opened to angling.
When did it become open season on our open spaces? First, Congress slashed conservation and environmental programs. Then we saw a backroom deal that stopped the BLM’s new Wildlands policy in its tracks. Now, to add insult to injury, we’re facing a new bill that could end efforts to protect approximately 60 million acres.
This new House leadership bill, The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, introduced by House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.), would roll back existing protections and place at risk tens of millions more acres of wilderness-quality but unprotected National Forest and BLM public lands. It also prevents Congress or future administrations from using a national policy like the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Ruleto protect these lands in the future.