Mayhem at CDFG Commission Teleconference Meeting on Postponing Fishing Season

To Be Rescheduled next week to give time to figure out how best to “moderate” the meeting and better handle the “call load” from those wishing to participate or just listen in. 

The California Fish and Game Commission had to cancel its emergency teleconference meeting scheduled this morning when the system being used was overwhelmed by the response from over 500 callers and they were forced to reschedule for next week as they couldn’t pull together a quorum to vote as some commission members could not get on the line. It was a hot mess out of the gate with people refusing to “mute” their phones and shouting that they would “be heard!”

While a number of rural areas are clearly for the postponement of the fishing season, it was clear from shouts in the background that there are some very angry opponents to the idea of postponing and limiting or banning sportfishing. In some areas of the state, fishing is an immensely popular sport. And no doubt, there were those whose only intent was to disrupt the meeting and create havoc. Sadly, they succeeded.

You can’t help but wonder how the Commission did not see this coming. First, there was the very short notice of the emergency meeting which gave the appearance that they were trying to push something through quickly over what they must have known would be controversial. And then Second, there are over a million licensed anglers in California, so there was considerable interest in this meeting, both from those “for bans and a postponement of the fishing season” in and around their communities, and those against it.

In response to accusations that he and state officials were planning to cancel the fishing season, California Governor Newson addressed the concern in his COVID-19 news conference today saying that the accusations are not true. He went on to say that he “loves fishing and that there has been no decision made.” He hinted at compromise.

The Commission was to consider authorizing a limited ban on sportfishing in some areas and delaying the opening date for the fishing season amid the coronavirus pandemic at the behest of several, rural counties, and communities, most notably Inyo and Mono counties, as well as Sierra and Alpine counties. They have asked that the fishing season be postponed in their areas to prevent thousands of out of town anglers from coming in and spreading the virus to residents, overwhelming their local rural communities’ resources and their ability to respond effectively to the crisis.

In a joint statement emailed to the news media after the meeting, CDFW Director Bonham and Commission President Eric Sklar said:

“We want to make it crystal clear that today’s proposed decision was not about banning fishing statewide or locally and we are not contemplating statewide closure. The decision is to help prepare us to work with counties and tribes to make those decisions based on their requests. We are working on a tailored and surgical approach based on local needs and knowledge.”

The state’s position appears to be that “it wants to do something different.”

Unfortunately, misinformation in comments shared on some Facebook postings have mischaracterized the issue, angering many readers on both sides of the issue.

But this is California and this is politics so, what else is new?

 

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Indygal
Indygal
2 years ago

As a fisherwoman, backpacker, and businesswoman, (with an RV that I cannot take anywhere right now,) I can say that many, if not most businesses in the Owens Valley are siding on the side of postponement. Yes, it sucks but not enough to put our communities in danger. We don’t… Read more »

Gary
Gary
2 years ago

Thank you to everyone who understands the TRUE necessity of postponing fishing season in Bishop and all of Inyo & Mono county to protect the lives of everyone here. It is hard enough for us locals to get the food we need without the 20,000 + people coming up to… Read more »

trout junky
trout junky
2 years ago

should be open to locals… in the meantime the Highway patrol and hangout at the roadblock.
eventually this will end and Mammoth/ Bishop will be begging it’s visitors to come back up to the mountains because they will need MONEY. Lots of it….

Gene Thomas
Gene Thomas
2 years ago

Hansen has a point to be considered. Closure of the season would have devastating consequences to many local businesses. You would find that many of the local small cafes, tackle shops, motels and boat rental concessionaires would remain closed. No amount of printed currency spread around through federal programs could… Read more »

eric h.
eric h.
2 years ago
Reply to  Gene Thomas

They are talking about pushing the start of the season back, nobody is talking about closing fishing down for the year.

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago

T, HANSEN Now that you mention it,I don’t know a single small business owner,including two that run sporting goods and tackle stores,that want the Eastern Sierra Trout season opened while it’s not safe for our communities and residents,. Not the way we do things or the way most of us… Read more »

T. HANSEN
T. HANSEN
2 years ago

It amazing how quickly those in the eastern Sierras seem to turn on those that aren’t “locals”.
Who do you think supports your “local” economy?
I bet the negative Nancy doesn’t represent the small business owners in ” your” community

Dan
Dan
2 years ago

As an avid fly fishermen I don’t like the idea of postponing the trout season but i do understand the importance of doing so. As recently as last week I’ve cancelled two trips in the last two months to PVR and the Owens River. The risk of spreading the big… Read more »

dpblue
dpblue
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan- from a local fishermen I want to thankyou for cancelling your trips up here.
Please come back up when it’s safe and we’ll see you on the water.

Dan
Dan
2 years ago
Reply to  dpblue

I’ve got at least three more trips planned so there’s a good chance we’ll be on the water at some point this year.

Jeff Hoffman
Jeff Hoffman
2 years ago

Fishing is,has been,and alwayswill be my #1 passion.I lost count how many trout openers I have been to.However,LIFE is my top priority.You only live once.Postponing the trout opener is MANDATORY.LIFE is MORE IMPORTANT THAN FISHING.The lakes,rivers and streams are not going anywhere.At the present time,WE all best not go anywhere.Do… Read more »

duckhead
duckhead
2 years ago

If the fishing opener is not postponed and camping/lodging is closed I fear the wildfire danger from the self entitled idiots dispersed camping. Can we get a ban on campfires?

carole
carole
2 years ago

They need to stay home. Why do they think,we’r all home from work and other things? We are protecting our self, like their suppose to be doing.

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago

Diane Oh,they ARE going to postpone the Trout opener. What it will do is piss-off all those 20k plus people wanting to come up here,only thinking of themselves and THEIR fun,not a single concern of anyone living here or the fact they’d have no place to camp,eat,stay and have their… Read more »

Diane
Diane
2 years ago

I hope they do postpone fishing season, Because the Mountain can’t even open because of the covid19, A lot of businesses are closed as everyone knows…just saying