Those of you who thought that the battle to kill all striped bass in California died when State Assembly Member Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) had her anti-striper legislation kicked to the curb for a second straight year last summer…think again! Water purveyors from the southern portion of the state, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service, are waging a war to get stripers eradicated from our waters.
The flawed logic goes like this: Get rid of the predatory stripers and salmon will come back. But it’s just a diversionary tactic to get us to ignore the fact that the Delta ecosystem is literally falling apart at the seams due to unprecedented water exports and poor water quality. And the funny thing about it all is getting rid of stripers may actually cause worse problems for native fishes in the Delta. Listen to what Dr. Peter Moyle, Professor of Fish Biology at UC Davis and William A. Bennett, UC Davis, Fish Ecologist have to say about it all:
“The key to restoring populations of desirable species is to return the Delta to a more variable, estuarine environment,” they say. “Reducing striped bass and other predator populations is unlikely to make a difference in saving endangered fishes, and will serve only to distract attention from the real problems. Any program to control striped bass should carefully consider the likely consequences. If initiated, it should involve an intensive study effort on the impacts of the program and an adaptive management plan (missing from all current proposals) to make sure the alleged cure is not worse than the supposed disease.” Read more reasons why removing our stripers is a bad idea on the California Water Blog
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