Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


Fishing Industry Launches Campaign to Restore San Francisco Bay Delta and Klamath River California Political Desk

The California Political Desk provides information, news releases, and announcements obtained from communication and public relations offices throughout the state.

California Chronicle February 15, 2007 

San Francisco, CA - Today a coalition of fishing businesses, organizations, boat, bait and tackle manufactures, as well as Native American Indian tribes announced plans for a grassroots campaign to restore California’s ailing fisheries. According to Dick Pool, campaign coordinator and owner of the Concord, Calif. based tackle company, Pro-Troll, “Dams, diversions and mismanagement are leading to a massive fisheries failure in California and we must take action now to save our fisheries.” The announcement was made during the Fred Hall Fishing Tackle, Boat and Travel Show held February 14 – 18 at the Cow Palace.

Fishing is big business in California. Overall, the sportfishing industry has a $4.9 billion impact on the state’s economy with 2.4 million anglers in the state. The activity supports 43,000 jobs, $1.2 million in salaries and wages and generates $456 million in state and federal taxes. Fishery closures and restrictions threaten to undermine this economic engine.

One of the coalition’s goals is to encourage anglers to send petitions and letters to state and federal elected officials asking them to stop projects which will further damage fisheries and to demand that fisheries conservation be a primary consideration when developing plans involving water use or development. Supporters can sign a petition or go to www.water4fish.org and to e-mail letters to state and federal officials. A copy of the petition is available on the web site.

The coalition includes over 60 companies and fishing organizations including the American Sportfishing Association, California Striped Bass Association, Coastside Fishing Club, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Federation of Fly Fishers, PCFFA, Pro-Troll and the Fish Sniffer.

John Beuttler is Conservation Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. He is one of the coordinators of the activities of the Allied Fishing Group, 30 fishery conservation organizations working to reverse the collapse of the fisheries in the Delta. He says, “I am pleased to say that the Allied Fishing Groups enthusiastically support the Water for Fish program. If enough anglers will join us by signing the petitions, we will have the political power to stop the continuing fishery decline in the Delta and begin its long overdue recovery.”

Bob Franko, founder of the Coastside Fishing Club, organized the 2006 campaign to reverse the government closure of the Pacific Ocean salmon season caused by the Klamath River fish kill. The Coastside website and emails alerted thousands of fishermen to action. In one month 30,000 petitions and 9,000 letters were sent to Congress, the Secretary of Commerce and the White House. Bob says, “Someone once said whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting over.

It's with that in mind that we at Coastside Fishing Club feel this fight is long overdue. Let us all together fire this first shot that can be heard throughout California, and Washington DC. I urge all fishermen to stand up and be counted.”

Gordon Robertson, Vice President of the American Sportfishing Association which represents the sport fishing industry adds, "Grassroots advocacy is an essential tool to impact public policy. The water issues in California are vitally important to the future of fisheries and sportfishing. Anglers need to let policy makers know that the fishery resource and sportfishing are important parts of California's heritage and economy. One way of speaking out is to use the tools that water4fish offers. I congratulate the programs organizers and supporters for another tool to influence the political process."

Although their relationship to the fishery is different, the Karuk Tribe who call the middle Klamath home has joined the fishermen’s call to action. According to Karuk traditional dip net fishermen Ron Reed, “We depend on salmon for our physical as well as our spiritual well being. Today, PacifiCorp’s dams are killing these runs and the effect is felt by not only Karuk People, but by salmon fishermen up and down the west coast.”

Last year, the collapse of the Klamath River salmon runs led federal regulators to severely limit commercial salmon fishing along 700 miles of California and Oregon coastline, costing the states hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues.

The fishermen’s petition calls for several specific actions such as

• Removal of four dams on the Klamath River and increased water flows

• A moratorium on any California Delta or Klamath water development project or water contract unless it can be proven it will have no negative impact on fisheries

• A moratorium on any increases in water exports from the Delta until the estuary’s fishery resources have been restored to self sustaining population levels including all species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

• Full funding and compliance with the provisions of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act which requires the doubling of salmon, steelhead and striped bass populations.

• A freeze on any Federal government funding which would divert, allocate or increase any water diversions or construction of facilities which would allow these activities until all impacted fish runs show increases for at least five years in a row.

According to Dan Bacher, editor of Fish Sniffer, “Fishing is as American as apple pie. There are 2.4 million sport fishermen in California. Anglers and others who depend on healthy fisheries can no longer sit back and allow mismanagement and disastrous water projects to rob future generations the opportunity to catch and eat wild fish. Join us and we will win the battle.”

For more information see http://www.water4fish.org/

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2007, All Rights Reserved