There is a war on bass brewing in California.
Water in the California Delta estuary is crucial to agriculture, residents and of course fish. At center stage here is a fight between politicians, farmers and others that depend on the water.
A recent Los Angeles Times article entitled “Let bass off the hook in Gov. Jerry Brown’s delta tunnel plan” explains more on the plan and how it will affect Californians.
It all comes down to control of water used for agriculture. California Gov. Jerry Brown is behind a proposal to dig two 40-foot-wide California Delta tunnels to increase water flow south. The $15.5 million proposal would divert water and change the look and flow of the Delta. Additionally the cost of the project is a problem. Those from Sacramento to Los Angeles could see increases on their water bill if the plan goes through.
Bass became involved because they are not native. They are also charged with eating young salmon and endangered smelt. The proposal would lower the size limit on striped bass from 18 inches down to 12 and increase the bag limit from two to six. The limits for largemouth and smallmouth would be upped from five to 10 and the size limit would be lowered from 12 inches to eight.
In addition to increased water southbound, the author of the Los Angeles Times article, George Skelton reports that the group behind the plan sees the changes to be positive for native fish. “The coalition calls it an important step toward restoring salmon and smelt, which would stabilize water deliveries for irrigation and cities,” he writes.
Not only farmers need the water. There are many people who depend on the water. The California Delta tunnels could have a big impact. The excellent fishing in this region have created economies based on fishing alone. The plan may have a far reaching effect if it affects the bass fishing.