Friday December 1, 2023

Daily Kos

Environmental and fishing groups are petitioning for yet another Delta fish to be listed under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts as salmon, Delta smelt and other fish populations crash.

On Nov. 29, San Francisco Baykeeper, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the Bay Institute, and Restore the Delta petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to list the California white sturgeon as “threatened” under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

These groups also separately petitioned Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and NOAA Fisheries to list the San Francisco Bay population of white sturgeon as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.  

The white sturgeon is a species that I have spent many hours fishing for in Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Suisun Bay and San Pablo Bay over the years. The population reached its largest estimated modern population level in 1997 when the harvestable population rose to approximately 200,000 harvestable fish. Since then the population has declined to around 33,000 (recent five-year average), according to CDFW data. 

The sturgeon population at that time was undergoing a dramatic recovery, due to several years of ideal spawning flows on the Sacramento River spurred by the 1982 and 1983 El Nino and the creation of a “slot limit” that prohibited the take of white sturgeon over 72 inches long and under 40 inches. That slot limit changed over the years to become more and more restrictive.

Read more >

Link copied successfully