Ultimately, we sort of have an ecologically illiterate society, and issues like climate change, it’s kind of dangerous that our average citizens don’t know how the world functions and how we connect to it. We’re more connected than we think. We need each other more than we think.”
—Paul Rogers, director of Utah State University’s Western Aspen Alliance, on the lessons aspens can teach us | The Gazette
CalTrout: From ‘fishing for fun’ to ‘catch and release’
Trout Unlimited: “The biggest threat to our world is the disconnection between people”
From the contest organizers:
Public green and blue spaces can hold varying levels of importance and interest for people, but they all have one thing in common: endless opportunity for exploration.
For folks living in cities, public spaces such as neighborhood parks and greenways; woods and gardens; or ponds and lakesides are a respite from summer heat and provide space for physical activity. For those who live close to public lands such as U.S. Forest Service land or a national park, public lands can offer camping, hiking and biking trails. Plus, public lands and urban green spaces provide ample opportunity to wet a line.
Trout Unlimited is teaming up with Orvis to make our annual TU Teens Essay Contest the best ever. We want to hear from any young person between the ages of 12 and 18 why public spaces and lands are important to them. Judges will choose winners from two categories: eighth grade to 10th grade, and 11th and 12th grade. The deadline is Oct. 1.
When teens enter our TU Teen Essay contest, they get the chance to win a new Orvis Helios 3 outfit plus have their winning essay published in TROUT magazine. Second place teen essayists can choose between an Orvis Recon outfit or Orvis Bug Out backpack; third place will choose between an Orvis Clearwater outfit or Orvis Guide Sling/Tote combo.
|From Trout Unlimited California and CalTrout|
Dear fellow advocates for California’s trout and salmon,
On March 1st, 2021 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) implemented new Inland Trout Sportfishing regulations that will change the angling season(s) and experience on many waters. CDFW will also, as directed by the California Fish and Wildlife Commission, changed the general statewide fishing regulations on March 1.The final regulation packet can be found here.
Regulations for your favorite trout streams may have changed so please review this packet before your next visit to the river.As many of you are aware, Trout Unlimited California and California Trout have followed the state’s regulatory change process closely, and engaged in multiple ways with CDFW and the Commission to make sure that our wild trout populations are conserved and that our best special regulations waters retain their unique character and fishing experience.
Since the initial proposal for simplifying the Inland Trout Regulations was released in early 2019, TU and CalTrout worked collaboratively to deliver our members’ values and priorities to both CDFW staff and to the Fish and Wildlife Commission, throughout the public comment period.
Our principal goals were:to protect and enhance populations and habitat of native and wild trout;to support the Department’s goals with respect to establishment and management of designated Wild Trout waters;to support the Department’s goals with respect to the R3 program (which aims to recruit and retain more purchasers of California fishing and hunting licenses, in part through improving angling opportunities statewide);to honor long-established angling traditions and practices for specific waters, where these are consistent with broader resource management goals;To improve access for angling where appropriate or critically needed.Some of our priorities are reflected in the new regulations. In particular, the new general statewide regulations now require catch-and-release only, no-bait practices for the winter and early spring, in all streams.
Such measures are appropriate during that season, when most trout species are vulnerable as they congregate and spawn. Previously, the statewide regulations allowed a 5 fish take, 10 fish bag limit year-round with no gear restrictions.However, the final simplified regulations do not go far enough to protect our wild trout waters, especially given the impacts on coldwater fisheries of the hotter and drier conditions we are projected to experience in California.
We must manage our trout resources more flexibly, with better monitoring of wild and native trout population trends, if we want future generations of anglers to have the same opportunities we do today.Moreover, the State’s focus on “simplifying” freshwater angling regulations limited their willingness to keep some of the special regulations that have helped define the fishing experience on many iconic streams. CDFW and the Commission should re-visit and revise the new regulations for the following to better conserve native and wild trout populations or to enable better access throughout the year (there are likely other waters that also merit adjustments to their regulations).
Upper Sacramento River: Rather than three different regulations for different stream segments for this famous, wild trout-dominated water, we recommend a unified regulation: year-round, 2 fish bag, barbless artificial lures only. This would maintain harvest opportunities while adequately protecting large spawning fish that migrate up from Shasta Lake. Such a regulation would better meet the primary management objective of the 2000 Fishery Management Plan for the Upper Sacramento River (“to develop a world-class wild trout fishery”).
East Walker River: This trophy wild trout water, by long tradition primarily a catch and release fishery, has had a year-round season—until now. The new regulations close the “EW” from November 15th through the last Saturday in April, and allow increased harvest (from 1 trout to 2 trout) for the full open season. For this iconic water we support catch-and-release angling year-round with barbless artificial lures.
Mokelumne River: The new, simplified regulations allow for harvest of wild trouton “The Moke.” Our proposal is for catch-and-release angling year-round with artificial, barbless lures from the Highway 49 Bridge downstream to Lake Pardee at Middle Bar Bridge. That would make The Moke the sole catch-and-release only stream in the Sierra foothills, while maintaining harvest off Middle Bar Bridge (provides angling opportunities for persons with disabilities).
East Fork Carson River: The new regulations allow harvest of wild trout in this river downstream of Hangman Bridge (traditionally catch-and-release only water). We support a return to catch-and-release regulations with artificial lures and barbless hooks from Hangman Bridge to the Nevada state line. This management approach would best meet two primary goals under the 1979 East Fork Carson River Wild Trout Management Plan.
Fall River Complex (includes Ahjumawi, Eastman Lake, Lava Springs, and Bear Creek): This famous fishery, one of California’s few true spring creeks, now allows harvest and use of bait. We support a year-round angling season here with single barbless, artificial lures only and zero take.Lastly, the new, simplified Inland Trout Regulations continue the State’s over-reliance on hatchery production and stocking to provide trout fishing opportunity in many waters. This model is outdated, costly, and inconsistent with other resource management and conservation goals and policies.TU and CalTrout will continue to work with CDFW and the Fish and Wildlife Commission to monitor the performance of the new simplified regulations and to revisit and revise them as needed to protect native and wild trout and the angling experience on certain waters.
We will hold CDFW accountable to do post-regulation change monitoring and creel surveys, provide support for monitoring through our staffs and memberships, and keep an open dialogue with CDFW staff. We will also lead efforts to submit petitions for changes to the new regulations, as needed or appropriate.We appreciate your continued support for our advocacy on behalf of California’s native and wild trout, and to preserve the unique character and angling experience of certain streams.
For more information, or to convey a concern, please contact TU’s Sam Sedillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or CalTrout’s Patrick Samuel (email@example.com).
Bristol Bay is safe.
I know you’ve heard that before, but this time, it’s for real, done in by the Clean Water Act. After watching the Trump Administration finalize plans last week “to open up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development, a move that overturns six decades of protections for the largest remaining stretch of wilderness in the United States,” according to the New York Times, I thought Bristol Bay would share a similar fate. Not so.
Check out the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers statement and be happy:
This administration supports the mining industry and acknowledges the benefits the industry has provided to the economy and productivity of this country, from job creation to the extraction of valuable resources, which are especially important as we recover from this pandemic. The Pebble Mine project has the potential to fulfill all of those needs; however, as currently proposed, the project could have substantial environmental impacts within the unique Bristol Bay watershed and lacks adequate compensatory mitigation.
Given these concerns, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finds under section 404 of the Clean Water Act that the project, as proposed, would likely result in significant degradation of the environment and would likely result in significant adverse effects on the aquatic system or human environment.
See you on the river, Jim Burns
Trout Unlimited is leading efforts to sign as many people on to this new petition as possible, shooting for 50,000 signers. This petition will be delivered by sportfishing representatives from Bristol Bay when they go back to Washington to lobby President Trump and members of Congress later this spring.
TU has rolled out their new petition calling on the president to stop Pebble altogether. As the permitting process nears completion in the next six months, the decision is going to come down to Trump and his administration. It is imperative that he hear from all of us (especially moderate and conservative sportsmen and women) that we need him to intervene to stop Pebble before it’s too late.