Keep fishing open - make your voice heard

DOMPFA Ben

Active Member
#1
California has done a great job flattening the curve, but this move is redundant to the 6 foot social distancing and unwarranted. Whether you are a recreational, commercial, or subsistence angler , you have a voice in this. Standing shoulder to shoulder at a pier or on a cattle boat is one thing; but fishing by yourself or social distancing to catch food for your family is quite another. Call in. Take the time to do this... you don’t need a prepared statement, you only need to care and speak up.
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Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#3
For those of us who are computer illiterate, could someone post the steps on “how-to” in order to get in to the “meeting”. Thanks.
 

Rusty

Active Member
#6
California has done a great job flattening the curve, but this move is redundant to the 6 foot social distancing and unwarranted. Whether you are a recreational, commercial, or subsistence angler , you have a voice in this. Standing shoulder to shoulder at a pier or on a cattle boat is one thing; but fishing by yourself or social distancing to catch food for your family is quite another. Call in. Take the time to do this... you don’t need a prepared statement, you only need to care and speak up.
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Yes it is frustrating we cant go fishing, even if we are social distancing and fishing alone, pretty soon everybody will want to do the same, and we will have a million people in one place. Many people might argue unlawful, against my rights etc, but IMO i think in these times theres an unwritten exception and we should all stay inside for the benefit of everyone. Dont get me wrong, i want to go fishing as bad as everyone else, but all of us have to do our part.
 
#8
I heard it was a complete mess...people talking over each other and not letting the commission speak. anyone able to verify?
 

DOMPFA Ben

Active Member
#9
Ken, it was a complete cluster. The call was quickly filled, and three of the commissioners could not even get in to get a quorum. It quickly devolved to some real idiots refusing to mute their microphones for snotty one-liners, that then further unraveled into racial epithets and spouting polarized political nonsense and hate speech. Disgusting representation of humanity, and I weep for our species. Thus, the meeting was "postponed."

In brief response to Rusty, I agree that closing a place like a pier, despite the impact on subsistence anglers, may be necessary to maintain social distancing. I further agree with the notion that postponing the Eastern Sierra Trout opener, for example, is a prudent decision considering the number of people who travel from afar and could presumably bring disease with them, quickly over-burdening the limited health care facilities in the greater Owens Valley (Mammoth hospital, for example, only has four ventilators.)

However, closing all angling opportunities, even those that are implicitly self-distancing: kayak fishing, boat fishing, some surf fishing and rock hopping, quiet rural streams or lakes-- these are, in my opinion, matters of enforcement ease, not safety. Passing someone on a launch ramp for a few seconds does not align with current understanding of exposure risk (close proximity for a sustained period of time.)

Probably pointless for us to debate the matter, as the writing is on the wall. Don't mind me Rusty, I'm just cranky :) ... a middle school principal technically on Spring Break during Emergency Distance Learning. Concomitantly, there are, unfortunately, plenty of brave macho outdoorsmen who laugh in the face of this, use heading to the outdoords as an excuse to get drunk and run amok, and effectively ruin it for anyone with the synaptic ability to self-regulate his behavior. Oh well.

In any event, I encourage everyone to read through this document from the meeting: http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=178208&inline

It is a 73 page document, so let me give you some TL;DR highlights:

* (from the document... unfortunately, this is a government agency, so even something as basic as page numbering seems to have eluded them) The proposed regulations could result in a spectrum of potential fiscal impacts resulting from actions taken by the director, in consultation with the Commission president, to delay, suspend, or otherwise restrict inland and marine sport fisheries in response to the threat to public health posed by the COVID-19 virus. Given the multiple possible combinations of delays by location and duration of emergency actions that could be taken, the anticipated impacts are difficult to quantify. In order to illustrate the relative magnitude of the attendant impacts, three potential scenarios are presented:
A) Restrictions or suspended opportunities over limited areas resulting in an approximately 25 percent reduction in fishing opportunities;
B) More extensive restrictions or suspended opportunities over longer periods of time resulting in an approximately 50 percent reduction in fishing opportunities; and
C) Most restrictive scenario of statewide restrictions or suspended opportunities through the entire emergency period from April to May 31, 2020 or a 100 percent reduction in fishing opportunity.


* This seems largely focused on delaying/postponing Eastern Sierra trout fishing in small communities with limited health care resources

* CDFW recognizes the economic impact of this, including the complementary revenue streams like food, hotels, fuel, tourism, entertainment, etc.

* The proposals are grounded in Governor Newsom's emergency declaration; proposals to "close fishing" through May 31, 2020 (and cancel/postpone seasons such as salmon and groundfish) are designed to support #SaferAtHome.

* I found no mention of pier anglers: recreational, subsistence, or otherwise... proving again that one of the largest angler groups in California has ZERO representation in these proceedings. Their piers are already closed-- so they can go line up outside a food bank and breathe each other's vapors, but they are, per state, county, and local officials, incapable of social distancing on piers. Again, oh well, right?

Anyway, there you go.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#10
I still say there's a need for an organization like UPSAC to represent the pier/inshore anglers but it's up to a younger group like you, Rita, Robert and others to grab the baton. When I asked PFIC for people who might be willing to work on a renewed UPSAC, I received zero response. Sad.
 
#11
Thanks for the info Ben. Like you, I feel all of this could have been handled more efficiently in the local arena instead of a state wide hearing. A simple shut down/check point of access roads leading to/from high risk areas paid for by emergency funds would be much more effective. I understand the plight of smaller communities with great recreational resources but I don't think a state wide declaration/saber rattling was the right approach. It doesn't help that the DFW has a horrible tendency to rule against the very populous that they are supposed to support.

Best of luck to all of us.
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#12

I got email today:

April 2020

Beyond Lemonade

With Rights Come Responsibilities.

A few weeks ago you heard a little bit about making lemonade while we dealt with the deadly serious pandemic facing our nation. My suggestion was to A) follow all social distancing and personal hygiene criteria, but instead of sitting at home to B) get outside and take the opportunity to hike, bike, grab a rod and fish, but enjoy our great outdoors. In the intervening weeks, the enormity of the task ahead (and some of us not strictly following social distance guidelines) has quite unfortunately changed our playing field. Beaches, lakes, many parking lots and hiking trails are now closed. These closures are in response to the seriousness of our situation and the danger that even small crowds present.
On this coming Wednesday, like this past Wednesday, the California Fish and Game Commission will hold a special session devoted to a request that originated in the Eastern Sierra. Normally, the end of April brings warming weather and the opening of the trout season there. While the Highway 395 corridor normally handles a huge incursion of eager anglers, it is woefully unprepared for potential C-19 emergencies that might just hitch along. Despite this being their largest influx of anglers and tourist dollars, Inyo and Mono counties asked for a delay in opening up fishing. Chuck Bonham and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Fish and Game Commission stepped up and took this on. Thus the special Commission meeting. They put out the following fact sheet to clearly let us fishermen know what, how and why they are asking for the ability to temporarily, tightly control some of our fishing. Please carefully read the following. I believe it is in everyone’s best interest and I fully support their effort.

Fact Sheet
About Responding to County and Tribal Requests on Recreational Fishing During Public Health Emergency - April 11, 2020:
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)confirms the following facts:
•Neither CDFW nor the Fish and Game Commission has proposed a statewide closure of recreational fishing. Neither intends to do so.
•The proposal is based on formal requests from local counties to consider restrictions to address health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
•Given the dynamic nature of this public health emergency, CDFW and the Commission simply seek a faster, streamlined ability to be responsive to local counties and Tribes.
•The proposal is specific and narrowly tailored. For a short time (only until May 31, 2020), CDFW would have an improved ability with limited authority from the Commission to respond to local counties and Tribes. This emergency regulation would expire far sooner than emergency regulations are typically effective (which is 180 days).
• The CDFW Director could only act in consultation with the Commission President, and only after considering public health and safety guidance from local and Tribal governments.
•After all those criteria, CDFW could temporarily suspend, restrict or delay sport (recreational) fishing. That’s it. Temporarily.
•If CDFW used this limited ability, it is required to report back to the Commission and the public in the Commission’s April and May 2020 meetings.
•This proposal is based on specific requests from counties concerned about the April 25, 2020 trout season opener, which is an annual event that typically draws many thousands of people to Inyo, Mono and other counties in the Eastern Sierra. This situation raises a legitimate concern at the local level regarding potential transmission of COVID-19 from outside areas, especially considering the limited health infrastructure in the small towns hosting these openers. Please see letters from Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties.
•If the Commission approves the emergency regulation for this limited effort, the CDFW Director has been clear that the focus is on being responsive to these three counties.
•It would be irresponsible for the CDFW and Commission to NOT be responsive to local needs in this public health emergency, where we must do all we can as Californians to help each other make it through this emergency together.
•CDFW has taken NO steps to limit any current hunting seasons nor would this regulation allow that.
•CDFW would act to reopen any suspended or delayed fishing seasons promptly, based on the same commitment to local, county and Tribal public health and safety input.
•Similar emergency ability during droughts has been in place since 2015 that also allows CDFW, in consultation with the Commission, to close fisheries based on environmental and fish population-based criteria. Since then, CDFW has only invoked one closure (Merced River) as the use of that authority is taken very seriously and only used as a last resort.
•The angling community has risen together before to do the right thing. We know that we can count on them now too.

Tight lines,
Tom


Learn More



The Sportfishing Conservancy 805 895 3000 info@sportfishingconservancy.org










 
#13
Thanks for the info Ben. Like you, I feel all of this could have been handled more efficiently in the local arena instead of a state wide hearing. A simple shut down/check point of access roads leading to/from high risk areas paid for by emergency funds would be much more effective. I understand the plight of smaller communities with great recreational resources but I don't think a state wide declaration/saber rattling was the right approach. It doesn't help that the DFW has a horrible tendency to rule against the very populous that they are supposed to support.

Best of luck to all of us.
I get it, and somewhat agree, but every resource is taxed to the limit right now. Checkpoints are out of the question, and there is little room for nuance right now. There is a reason they want everyone to stay the eff at home. I mean, I would fish right now if I could do so away from people and under the radar, but if you want to blame a gov't agency for shutting stuff down right now, it's kind of ridiculous. There is a broader picture here, and recreational fishermen are not exactly a big consideration at the moment. The percentage of the population that are sustenance fishermen with a recreational license is near zero, so I reject that argument. If you want to fish, then fish. Exercise your right of social disobedience, but be prepared to pay the fine. I would.
Just my $.02
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#14
My suggestion is to stay home and do stuff that is always put-off for other day.

God knows I am way behind on my serious work, but when I get depressed, I work on fishing stuff.

I will have a short report in a few days on "how I spend my summer" version of Covid 19.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#16
The problem is that there are al lot of knuckleheads out there. A crowded pier wouldn't be too smart but a solitary surf angler can have a whole beach to himself. That's two totally different situations and the latter should be safe. Unfortunately today even beaches and rocks can be crowded, especially if the fish start biting. Too many cell phones around and people just can't seem to keep quiet wheh they catch a fish. As soon as a fish is caught the person lets his friend's know and other anglers start to show up. I can go all day and not say a word to others no matter if I am catching fish or not and I think it's the same with Glen but too many have the old wartime disease — loose lips sink ships (only in this case it means losing rights to fish). I've always thought the opening of trout season was crazy anyway now it could be crazy and dangerous. Sure, people could social distance, but you know it would change as soon as a fish is caught and someone sees it. They think the rest of the fish must be in the same hole and they move in themselves. It used to be just dumb, now it's dumb and dangerous.
 
#17
The temporary powers were granted today and I believe trout season was moved to june 1. Hopefully that is where it ends. Not sure how the sportboat fleet is going to work if they keep some of these rules over the summer.
 
#19
The problem is that there are al lot of knuckleheads out there. A crowded pier wouldn't be too smart but a solitary surf angler can have a whole beach to himself. That's two totally different situations and the latter should be safe. Unfortunately today even beaches and rocks can be crowded, especially if the fish start biting. Too many cell phones around and people just can't seem to keep quiet wheh they catch a fish. As soon as a fish is caught the person lets his friend's know and other anglers start to show up. I can go all day and not say a word to others no matter if I am catching fish or not and I think it's the same with Glen but too many have the old wartime disease — loose lips sink ships (only in this case it means losing rights to fish). I've always thought the opening of trout season was crazy anyway now it could be crazy and dangerous. Sure, people could social distance, but you know it would change as soon as a fish is caught and someone sees it. They think the rest of the fish must be in the same hole and they move in themselves. It used to be just dumb, now it's dumb and dangerous.
The pier (s) in San Francisco are still occupied by anglers who do not practice social distancing. I stopped by to one particular one and it was packed.