DFG is at it again. You may not have heard, but they're trying to "simplify" things by opening fishing in Mono County year round. Thankfully, they're letting us know about it before they just do it, unlike other bad decisions on their part (opening the Upper Owens to year round fishing, for one). There was a meeting in Bishop on Wed. last, I went, there were a lot of locals in attendance, the general concensus was..."we don't like it". DFG says "it's not a done deal", they're asking for public input, by means of an online survey. Please, find this survey online ( Google "DFG proposed regulation changes in Mono County", you'll find something). This really isn't a good idea, for numerous reasons, we need to let DFG know what we think. If you'd like my personal input, let me know.
Fishing year around would assure a reduction in fish caught per trip.
Year around fishing would also have massive ecological impacts because of constant foot-traffic, trail damage, litter increases, etc.
CDFW needs to consider these issue carefully because if an area loses its trout productivity or is reduced to looking like a mud hole, then nobody will go there and the economoic damage to local sporting goods stores would be unrecoverable.
This new proposal is akin to opening Pandora's Box.
There are a couple of articles in the local papers this weekend. If you're interested in reading more about the meeting I attended, Google "The Sheet" (that's all you need to do, it'll show up). or the Mammoth Times. They both give input from other attendees of the meeting, and bring up people's concerns.
Post by LittleHardrock on Mar 23, 2019 13:57:07 GMT -8
and for those that don't like to google.. here is the article from The Sheet:)
Locals fume about proposed fishing regulations
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hosted a public forum Wednesday at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop to solicit comment on proposed changes to fishing rules and regulations which would significantly impact the Eastside.
Reaction amongst the 100 or so attendees at Tallman Pavillion ranged from neutral to hostile.
The changes, according to CDFW Inland Fisheries Program Manager Roger Bloom, are meant to streamline and simplify.
For example, he said CDFW currently has 212 bodies of water subject to special regulations, 88 seasons, 8 size limits and 10 gear restrictions in its 88-page freshwater sport fishing manual for 2019-2020.
The proposed rules would reduce the number of different seasons from 88 to 6, for example, and would transition several of the aforementioned 212 bodies of water to a general statewide regulation which = “open year-round, five bag limit, ten possession limit, no gear restrictions.” Crowley Lake? That would be open year-round. Same with the Walker River, the Owens, the Lakes Basin and many others.
But here’s the catch. Say goodbye to Fishmas, the traditional fishing opener which takes place the last weekend in April.
The new “season” at Crowley Lake for example (where you can actually keep fish and fish without gear restriction versus catch-and-release) would be from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend until September 30.
The rest of the year at Crowley would be catch-and-release using artificial lures and barbless hooks.
Why, when Reagan Slee of Reagan’s Sporting Goods asked if anyone in the room was happy with the proposed changes, did no one raise their hand? And why do fishermen of all stripes, from fly fishermen to bait fishermen, all seem to be on the same page?
“I’ve never been in a room where bait and fly people are in complete agreement on something,” remarked Slee Thursday morning. Slee says year-round fishing will decimate fish populations by putting them under constant stress.
Michelle Layne of Tom’s Place Resort said delaying the fishing opener by a month will do serious financial harm to her business and to her 32 employees.
And postponing opening to Memorial Day weekend does nothing for Bishop, since hotels and campgrounds are already booked solid for Mule Days.
And why Memorial Day weekend anyway, questioned many. As 37-year Bishop resident Steve Kneip said, “We already have a holiday. It’s called Fishmas.”
Carol Webb of Virginia Lakes Resort said opening backcountry lakes to year-round fishing is simply inviting disaster, because you’re putting inexperienced people on the ground in places without cellphone service.
In essence, the new rules would have the effect of “unleashing the yahoos.” (My words, not hers).
As longtime local fishing guide Fred Rowe said Thursday with a chuckle, most folks think that four-wheel drive cloaks them with invincibility when it comes to accessing rugged terrain in all seasons.
Rowe predicted that local tow truck drivers should see a definite uptick in business.
But back to the fish …
Curtis Milliron questioned how Fish and Wildlife plans to monitor the effects its policy changes will have and how they will affect fish populations.
Roger Bloom suggested that any monitoring will likely be limited and insufficient. “We’re not going to get a magic pot of money [to do it],” he replied.
As Reagan Slee observed, “If the state stocked more [fish], it [new regulations] wouldn’t matter as much. if the state did its job, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Slee said he sells $500,000 worth of fishing licenses annually out of his store. “And I don’t think we see $500,000 in fish for Inyo and Mono Counties combined,” he added.
This is his prediction: That for the next two years, he’ll quite honestly make pretty good money. But then, the fishery will be destroyed, and he’ll be contemplating whether or not he should start carrying rock climbing equipment.
80% of Reagan’s business is currently fishing-related.
The Tao of Fred
Fred Rowe casts himself as fairly neutral in regard to the proposed changes.
Yes, there would no longer be the big bang of the season opener, which Reagan Slee says encompasses both the single biggest day of business and the biggest single week of business he does all year. But perhaps, said Rowe lodging establishments and fly shops and the like will make up the difference throughout the year.
“Everyone’s scared because no one knows the answer,” he said.
“And do we need to be harassing fish populations year-round?” he asks rhetorically. “It’s fine to change the regulations if you have a biological basis,” says Rowe. “But can they monitor [impacts]? Will they?”
And year-round fishing doesn’t just affect fish. As Fishing Guide and Duck Hunting enthusiast Chris Leonard explained Thursday, when Hot Creek and the Upper Owens were opened to year-round fishing in 2007, the ducks literally disappeared overnight. “I don’t duck hunt in those areas anymore,” he said, “But I’d sure like to.”
The potential impact to other wildlife from increased pressure on fisheries is undetermined and unlikely to be studied, added Leonard.
Rowe said that in some respects, the new regulations will help his business. As an example, he cited two clients in their 70s who wished to fish the Upper Owens this weekend, but Rowe turned them down because water flows have tripled over the past three weeks.
Given the new regulations, he could’ve taken them three weeks ago.
Fish and Wildlife says it is soliciting input and vows to listen – that the proposal is not yet a “done deal.”
And Fishing Guide Kevin Peterson told fellow attendees at Wednesday’s meeting not to “turn this into a lynch mob situation.” “It’s not a done deal,” he reiterated. “We can have our say.”
This is in contrast to 2007, when CDFW changed regulations on the Upper Owens, Hot Creek and the East Walker to year-round fishing without soliciting public input.
The meeting in Bishop was the first of six CDFW plans to hold statewide over the next month. Its informational tour is schedule to conclude in Truckee on April 23.
Just my nickel's worth of opinion, but DFG's proposal is a bad idea, on many fronts. Attendees at the meeting raised some very valid negatives to this proposal. Overuse of trails, increased pressure on the flora and fauna not only in the eastern Sierra, but statewide, will most certainly have an effect. The DFG says it will monitor the effects - yet how will they accomplish this? In a time when personnel and funding is down, do they really expect us to believe they can do an adequate job, with the increased pressure? They can't and don't do an adequate job now. This is not a slam on the field agents, but on the administration and its priorities. It seems that the problem lies with those making these decisions - ones that have a degree, but have done little to no field time, and spent the majority of their careers behind a desk. This coming first hand from someone who currently works for the DFG. I'd have to agree, having worked my entire career for a state LE agency.
Will there be funds available to adequately address the additional pressure put on hatchery facilitities? Things like maintenance, production of fish stocks, equipment and personnel to transport and supply those lakes and rivers with fish? How does the DFG propose to accomplish this within the current budget? Or will they take the existing stocks and infrastructure, and reduce it to accomplish their year-long proposal? Valid questions deserving of answers. Maybe this was addressed at the meeting, however, the article mentioned nothing of it. It would be foolish to prematurely toss out a proposal to the public, without first establishing how to fully fund it and support the infrastructure required to implement it.
I won't address the increased pressure on trails, campgrounds and facilities, as many in the article had already done that. While I currently spend very limited time in the eastern Sierra, it does hold a special place in my heart. I still enjoy what time I spend there, but it is disappointing to see the changes that are occurring, unfortunately not for the better.
Just my opinion, but I think this year around proposal is a bad one. Implementation would only further reduce the quality of this special place. I will do my part and express my opinions to the DFG. If I am completely off base, I am open to education. Scout, have I missed something?
Post by claremontdude on Apr 9, 2019 14:37:20 GMT -8
I attended the DFW session regarding changes to the fishing regulations held at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga on April 6th. Unfortunately, I do not have very much to add to what Scout and others have posted. There were over 100 attendees, including many from Southern California Fly Clubs. The DFW had about eight employees attend the session. It was a very "one sided" meeting. After about a 45 minute presentation, with handouts, we were told that they would not take questions from us as a group. Instead, we could talk individually to any of the the DFW members and ask questions. Bottom line, we were told that our input should be officially given on line (or we could mail a form back to them that they handed out at the session).
Here is a link to the on-line comment form (the deadline to submit comments is May 3, 2019):
After reviewing all the input received the DFW will make their decisions then post a Final DRAFT on-line and will submit it to the Commission.
Maybe I'm a pessimist, but it appears that they may make minor changes to their original proposals, but they have been tasked with "simplifying" their administrative responsibilities and they have already decided to do just that - make it easier on themselves.
Pretty amazing, isn't it? At the meeting in Bishop, the guy in charge did take questions from the audience, but when he found that he couldn't answer most of those questions, he shut the meeting down...45 minutes early...not very good PR. Then I was told, by both the local Game Warden, and the Fisheries Biologist, that they were not allowed to give their input, in public or in private. These are the guys that have the most information about what this whole thing might do to the fishery(s) up here, and they can't convey it. Not very good PR... It's encouraging that they just didn't shove all this down our throats, with no public input, but I'm not sure I have a lot of confidence in these guys...like Claremont Dude said, they;re just trying to make it easier on themselves, not us.
The damage this is going to cause to places we love is going to be terrible, especially during dry years with out a ton of snow. I hate them all so much. How you could even work for such an organization is beyond me.