The California fishing spots that have made the state into a popular area for anglers may need to be temporarily closed because of emergency drought conditions.
According to FOX 40 in Sacramento, there has been a formal declaration of a drought state of emergency, requiring California residents to reduce their water use in some areas by as much as 20 percent. The declaration also included a measure that will require the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to evaluate and manage how the drought may be affecting threatened and endangered species, which could lead to the closure of several California fishing spots.
Reports from Fish and Wildlife officials say Lake Folsom is at only 18 percent capacity, which is already preventing anglers from fishing that spot.
Stafford Lehr, Chief of Fisheries of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, spoke with FOX 40, and was quoted as saying:
“We have a lot of people on the ground right now. Over 100 people looking at our rivers and streams to determine whether those rivers warrant closure.”
The low water and potential closures are leading to a drop in visits to local bait and tackle shops as well.
Read about special free fishing days this weekend.
Perhaps the worst part of the situation involves the fishermen who do still attempt to fish in such drought-affected conditions, that they unintentionally step on spawning fish. Anglers should take precautions, and keep their eyes open for possible spawning areas. Avoiding them could mean the difference between a plentiful spring fishing season or a significant decrease as yet another threat to the fish populations presents itself.
“The drought is putting our fish and wildlife species through a lot of stress,” Lehr said.