[env-trinity] Santa Rosa Press Democrat Editorial 4 6 10

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Wed Apr 7 10:14:01 PDT 2010

Just for sport: Salmon fishing returns, but caution needed before next step

Santa Rosa Press Democrat-4/6/10



Workers and visitors to Porto Bodega Marina have witnessed something in
recent days they haven't seen in two years - people carting salmon off of
recreational fishing boats.


After a two-year ban due to declines in salmon populations, salmon fishing
returned to the coast as of Saturday with some promising results despite
less-than-ideal conditions.


The resumption of salmon fishing is a hopeful sign for operators of sport
fishing boats throughout the region. More important, it's indicative of a
salmon run that's on the rebound.


But what's uncertain is whether fishing regulators will allow commercial
salmon fishing for the first time in three years. We encourage officials
Pacific Fishery Management Council to move with caution before taking this
next step.


The fishery management council lifted the sportfishing ban this year after
federal biologists predicted a salmon run of 245,483 salmon. That certainly
would be a vast improvement over last year's actual run of 39,800 and 66,000
the year before that. But whether it's enough to trigger reopening the
commercial fishing operations is debatable.


The predicted salmon run is just that - a prediction. And predictions can be
wrong. Last year, biologists projected a run of Sacramento River Fall Run
Chinooks of 122,100 salmon. But the actually count, as noted above, was far
short of that.


In addition, while salmon fishing has been prohibited for two years, salmon
populations have been in sharp decline much longer than that and will need
more than one good year to rebound.


The number of wild chinook returning to the Sacramento River and its
tributaries numbered in excess of 800,000 are recently as 2002. That was
also the year of the massive salmon die-off in the Klamath River due to
water diversions in Oregon for agriculture.


Rick Powers, the captain of the New Sea Angler in Bodega Bay, said it best
when he told Staff Writer Jeremy Hay that fishery regulators should be
cautious about lifting tight regulations on salmon.


"What we want to see is the runs returned for future generations," he said.


Not for just one year.



Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax (call first to fax)

415 519 4810 mobile

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 




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