SACRAMENTO–The Fish and Game Commission granted the director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife( CDFW) authority to delay, suspend or restrict recreational fishing operations at certain regions of the state, if the action is necessary to “protect against the threat from COVID-1 9 based on state, federal, local and tribal public health the guidelines and public safety needs.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the temporary government during a teleconference join held on April 15. Commission staff stated the temporary award of authority to the CDFW director was necessary, “in order to prevent and mitigate public health risks that may arise when people travel or gather for trawl event.”
CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said the Fish and Game Commission’s action was never about a permanent statewide closure of sportfishing, but instead a temporary have responded to a public health emergency.
“I understand Californians desperately need the outdoors for solace, reinvigoration and spirituality, especially so right now, ” Bonham said. “The proposal was never about a statewide permanent shutdown. It is about being accept to regional needs in this public health emergency, where we must do all we can as Californians to help each other make it through this together. We intend to use this authority surgically and based on regional needs and knowledge.”
Fish and Game President Eric Sklar lent the threat of COVID-1 9 is expected to be significant until at least mid-May.
“Governor Newsom recently said we are looking forward a mid-May peak of COVID-1 9 and we must prepare for that spate, ” Sklar territory. “Today’s decision is a smart and responsible approach to be ready. It does not retard or curb specific fisheries or waters, but preferably plans us to expeditiously do so if needed to mitigate the spread of COVID-1 9. ”
Participating on the teleconference call were Sklar, Fish and Game Commission Vice President Samantha Murray and Commissioners Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, Russell Burns and Peter Silva.
The commission’s decision eventually leaves it up to California’s 52 counties to determine whether emergency measures should be implemented in response to the COVID-1 9 pandemic.
The authority to limit sportfishing activity would be in effect through May 31.
A region expected to be hard-hit by the commission’s decision: Eastern Sierra, which includes Alpine, Inyo and Mono provinces. This year’s Eastern Sierra fish opener was originally scheduled to start on April 25. Bonham said his department coordinated with officials in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties to delay the Eastern Sierra angling opener until at least May 31.
“After talking with the province representatives, we agreed this was a necessary step toward being responsive to local needs in this public health emergency, ” Bonham said in a exhausted testimony. “These counties asked for our help, and we responded.”
The Eastern Sierras opens its annual net season on the final Saturday of April. The trout opener is generally applauded as “Fishmas.”
Trout season in other provinces was not affected by the department’s decision, are consistent with CDFW staff.
Some books of The Log weren’t happy with the commission’s decision.
Gail Wisniewski, in response to The Log’s April 19 affixing of this news story on Facebook, said the state’s decision was unacceptable.
“California is in the twilight zone. Glad we don’t have a boat there anymore, ” she wrote. “How is this acceptable? ”
Paul Ferber, in his April 11 have responded to a Twitter share of The Log’s report about the impending committee elect, said the state should expect a massive request for fish license refunds.
“Over 1 million fishermen is likely to be demanding a pay on their 2020 fishing permission if it’s shut down, ” Ferber said in his reply. “That’s a lot of money.”
Questions about the commission’s April 15 vote can be directed to Fisheries Branch Acting Chief, Roger Bloom; his email is Roger.Bloom @wildlife. ca.gov.
Read more: fishrapnews.com.