by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Threat: Outdated water management
The San Joaquin is Central California’s largest river, supporting endangered fish and wildlife, communities, and one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. However, the river is so over-tapped that it runs completely dry in stretches, threatening water quality, endangering fish and wildlife, creating uncertainty for farmers, and leaving communities vulnerable in the face of more frequent and severe droughts. The California Water Resources Control Board must act this year to increase flows in the San Joaquin so that the watershed is healthy enough to support fish and wildlife, sustainable agriculture and resilient communities for generations to come.
by MARK MCGLOTHLIN on APRIL 12, 2016
in INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
Yesterday American Rivers released their list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers report with this opening salvo –
This report identifies the 10 most threatened waterways in the country and highlights the urgent need for conservation, greater efficiency, and better management of water resources to prevent further harm to river health, wildlife, fish and recreation. Fierce competition for water from rivers under ever greater strain from growing demand and the impacts of climate change is threatening the health of rivers across the country. As pressure on limited water resources grows, conflict must give way to cooperation if we are to satisfy the nations’ growing water needs and maintain clean and healthy rivers.
Read More at Chi Wulff
The Fishing Wire April 5, 2016
State's plan would postpone assessments of California Marine Protected Areas
(Sacramento, CA): After promising California anglers that Marine Protected Areas would be assessed after five years, on April 13th the California Fish and Game Commission will consider a controversial plan to extend the required assessments to every 10 years, leading anglers to believe that recreational fishing bans will remain in place for an indefinite period of time.
"There is no question that the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) has been the most controversial environmental issue California's angling community has ever faced," said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Sportfishing League. "It signaled the state's shift from a shared philosophy of conserving California's natural resources to outright protectionism, with little regard to the interests of outdoor recreation and tourism, and recreational fishing's economic benefits."
As the MLPA established the framework for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the state implicitly promised California anglers through the MLPA Master Plan that areas designated as off-limits to commercial and recreational fishing may one day be open to fishing. In fact, they were very specific in their promises. Scientific assessments would be conducted every 5 years, and as fishing populations were restored, so would recreational fishing. Over time, the state established many MPAs along California's coastline, totaling over 850 square miles or over 16% of state coastal waters.
"Deadlines to conduct assessments of MPAs have come and gone, and so apparently have assurances that the state will keep its promise. The same state that did not have the budget to determine where MPAs should be established in the first place, never budgeted for the anticipated costs of conducting the required assessments every five years," said Mlikotin.
On April 13th, in Santa Rosa, California, the California Fish and Game Commission will consider a new Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) Master Plan that will extend these assessments from every 5 years to every 10 years, and from a more-specific regional assessment to a statewide assessment. As in the past, the plan does not include any meaningful funding mechanism to conduct future assessments.
The plan has taken on the characteristics of a political ploy to simply kick the can down the road, inviting speculation that DFW's leadership has succumb either to political pressure to make recreational fishing bans permanent and DFW does not have the financial means to conduct the assessments, now or anytime in the foreseeable future. In the past, the state was dependent on private sector dollars to finance the framework for MPAs, and even today, DFW does not have the financial resources to adequately enforce MPAs. In addition, lack of funding is also being attributed to DFW's controversial decision to reduce trout stockings.
The plan could not come before the Fish and Game Commission at a worst time. It is functioning with only three commissioners and two vacancies after several longstanding commissioners resigned out of frustration. They say a relentless anti-hunting and fishing political agenda became tiresome. What's more, two recently appointed commissioners, who now represent a majority on the commission, have no institutional knowledge of critical fishery management policy issues or commitments made to California recreational anglers.
"We can only hope that the current commission feels obligated to restore faith with those they regulate, and hold DFW accountable for not conducting timely assessments. Absent any evidence that MPAs should be extended, they should at the very least change the proposed Master Plan to restore recreational fishing to hundreds of square miles of California's coast as the first step to honoring a promise made. If not, California anglers will have no reason to believe future commitments, further fueling an antagonistic relationship that was once a strong partnership," said Mlikotin.
California anglers are invited to sign a petition, found on CSL's website, that calls for the California Fish and Game Commission to keep their promise to California anglers.
The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion annually to California's economy, a major source of outdoor tourism and jobs.
For more information about California's leading recreational fishing organization and issues facing California anglers, visit www.sportfishingconservation.org ,
www.facebook.com/CASportfishingLeague and @CASportfishing
Contact: Marko Mlikotin
See more at: The Fishing Wire
Moldy Chum April 6,2016
A map of the dams that are part of the Klamath River Hydroelectric Project made by Friends of the River
With recent news that the Klamath River restoration project is back on track, you may be wondering: is this the world’s biggest dam removal project?