California Moves Forward With Ending “Fishmas” In Several Areas

No fishing! That’s nuts!

California moves forward with fishing ban in some rural areas to stem coronavirus spread

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration was granted authority Wednesday to temporarily close the state’s fishing season in some rural counties following a disastrous telemeeting last week that erupted into chaos and slurs.

The California Fish and Game Commission’s unanimous vote over another teleconference will allow Charlton Bonham, director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, to postpone the spring trout season, which opens April 25, in a few eastern Sierra counties at the request of local officials.

Elected leaders in Mono, Inyo, Sierra and Alpine counties have been urging Newsom’s administration to close the fishing season in their lakes and rivers. They fear that the thousands of out-of-town anglers who normally travel to their regions to fish for mountain trout will bring the coronavirus with them.

The worry is that if the infection rates among local residents spike, it will overwhelm their small medical facilities, which have limited equipment and medical staff to treat critically ill patients even in the best of times.

Several local officials from those counties, including Mono County Supervisor Stacy Corless, urged the commission to give Bonham the authority to halt fishing locally. For some anglers, the opening weekend of the spring trout-fishing season is so momentous they call it “Fishmas.”

While it seems silly to stop Fishmas, this is one restriction that actually makes sense. Do you really want to put thousands of people into smaller communities and having them in close proximity to each other? You’ve seen photos of those big fishing days in rivers and streams, right, with them all packed together? Plus, yes, if someone is actually sick, this could cause problems, and there are, supposedly, many who are asymptomatic. It’s much like shore towns not wanting people to come now, even if they own a home, because they are not yet ramped up to support them, like they would be come mid-May or so.

There are solutions, though. It doesn’t have to be fully open or fully closed, like everything else. They could give out a limited amount of daily passes, working off a list. We do a thing at work where we all put our cards in a hat and pick the order of sales ups. It’s usually just 4, but, with the slowdown and such, we are picking everyone’s card, so everyone gets a chance. In this case, let everyone apply at once, then pick a number of them for a day, then more for the next day, and so forth, till all picked. When they come, they need to have their temperature measured, then they can go. Must stay apart when fishing. If a game warden sees people close, they get a ticket.

Several anglers called the board’s virtual meeting Wednesday, saying they were worried the commission was overstepping its authority, fearing a slippery slope that would give Bonham authority to stop all fishing, which is protected under California’s constitution.

“I do respect their small communities not wanting to be infected,” one caller said. “But I also believe in the Constitution.”

Others said they were worried about limiting the ability of anglers to catch fish to feed their families, arguing fishing is less dangerous than going to the grocery store.

“Standing on the bank of a river or an ocean is not any worse than standing in line at a food bank,” said another angler.

Others urged the commission to do nothing, saying local governments had already closed piers, boat ramps and marinas, cutting off fishing access.

“We are using fishing to de-stress down here, and a lot of our local lakes have been made unavailable,” said another caller who said he lived in San Diego.

If you are in a boat isolated from other people, what’s the problem? You are social distancing. This is the over-reach. It doesn’t have to be all closed or all opened. We can find a good middle ground.

*The photo is from the Kenai River in Alaska, but, you get the idea of what can happen.

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5 Responses to “California Moves Forward With Ending “Fishmas” In Several Areas”

  1. John says:

    I have never seen any crowds in CA like that on opening day
    And are you sure that is the Kenai River and not the Russian River when the sockeye run is on ? The Russian is on the Kenai peninsular
    Teach if increasing blame continues to fall on ” communist red China” will you continue to sell their products?

    • Kye says:

      “Teach if increasing blame continues to fall on ” communist red China” will you continue to sell their products?”

      As usual John, you completely miss the actual mark. your question should be:

      Will Nazi Peolusy, her husband and all the other pro-communist pro Red China sycophants making billions off of their inside trading using their positions in the House and Senate to ingratiate themselves stop buying & selling Chinese products?

      Take that tree out of your own eye befor seeing the spec in other’s.

      Trump 2020 Because we don’t need no Pelousy”s.

    • Joe says:

      This is what Salmon season looks like at a place called the Outlet Hole in Oroville CA.. It’s is sometimes referred to as combat fishing since fights break out between some of these assholes. I quit going there years ago before it got real bad. Gov. Screwsome closed the parking lots and launch ramps at the lakes and rivers. I paid $225 bux for a season pass to go out. I want my damn money back. Ultimate social distancing is fishing alone on a lake.

  2. KlemDadidlehopper says:

    OH god John. Your defending Communist Red china. I guess you signed up for the 50 cent Army huh?

    Do you not call out the USA when they do something wrong? Do you not demand accountability by the US government? Do you not demand our corporations look out for the health and well being of their workers and consumers? ARE YOU NOT BLAMING TRUMP FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING BAD that happens?

    YES YOU DO and yes you are.

    YET here you defend China and say stop blaming them by then using a bait and switch argument of not buying their products or selling them as a reason why we should NOT HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

    You are a 50 center John. Little doubt about it.

  3. Kye says:

    Jim Treacher notes: “[N]othing says “Woman of the People” quite like posing in front of two of your enormous gleaming stainless-steel luxury refrigerators (value around $25,000) with a sweater tied around your neck.”

    Especially when they are stocked with thousands of dollars worth of steak, lobster and “gelato”.

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