A new feature of this site will be a reprint of the "Frugal Fisherman" from the North Coast Sport Fishing News, a monthly publication. NCSF News has excellent information on all aspects of the fishing scene for the North Coast of California.
-By Al Gee
Last month's monumental decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the silver salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act may have you wondering, "what's going to happen to sport fishing on the northcoast?" Well, that's a good question! Now that these fish are protected by this federal ruling it surely will have an impact on local fishing, but it might not be as drastic as it seems. Fishing for other fish will continue.
Most likely, we can expect that any silver salmon(coho) caught will have to be released. This is something that ocean anglers have been doing for several years already. River anglers, on the other hand, will now be required to do the same. Up until now, there has been no special rules on catching silvers in freshwater.
How the California Department of Fish & Game responds to this listing remains to be seen. The coho salmon has been listed since October in central California and the DFG has yet to implement any change in fishing regulations for that area. In my opinion the first thing that should be done to the fishing rules is to require single barbless hooks on all coho bearing rivers. Next, a major campaign will be needed in order to educate anglers on how to differentiate between coho salmon and other species, at all of their life stages.
But any success at restoring these fish will depend on everyone working together, not just the reduction of sport fishing. The key lies in enforcement of other activities related to the decline in these waters. Certain water rights will have to be extended to fish and extractive industries must be forced to comply with even stricter guidelines in order to reduce their impact on our waterways and fish habitat. And actually every si9ngle one of us can do something to help by reducing our impact on water quality. Everything from a leaky engine to cleaning your paint brush in the sink to using lawn herbicides increases the toxic elements introduced in our rivers. Silver salmon and all other fish need clean water to survive.
I would encourage all anglers to welcome this ruling. In the long run, it could be the only way to save one of the most elite sport fish on the northcoast- the silver salmon. And with this "wake-up call" hopefully we'll be able to avoid having other species of the north coast sport fish listed as well.
|The upcoming year will surely be a great one for fishing. At the NCSFNews we will provide you with interesting and informative monthly reports of fishing opportunities, local derbies, events, stories, and much more!
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