California Sportfish Issue Timeline

In June of 2016, a coalition of groups made a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission that appeared to be aimed at helping salmon in the Sacremento-San Joaquin Delta and its tributaries. In reality, it was smoke and mirrors.

To “save salmon,” the proposal called for changing the size and bag limits for black (smallmouth and largemouth) and striped bass. Their plan was to paint bass as “invasive species” and fish them out. In fact, they were trying to distract the Commission from the real problem – water.

Striped, largemouth, and smallmouth bass have coexisted with salmon in California for over a hundred years. Smallmouth were introduced in 1874, stripers in 1879, and largemouth in 1891. Clearly, these sportfish were being made scapegoats for water interests.

Faced with opposition from a coalition of pro-fishing groups and anglers across the country, the petition was withdrawn just days before the scheduled hearing.

Below is a timeline of the events that led to this big win for fish and fishermen.

Timeline of Events