To all TVFF members: CDFW proposing impactful new trout regulations!
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing a new set of California Inland Fishing regulations and is looking for comments from the public prior to any further discussion and voting on the new regulations.
The DFW is attempting to simplify the current regulations (which are complex to say the least) with many of the current “exception rivers and lakes” now under consideration to revert to the standard inland fishing regulation which is generally a five fish limit with no restrictions. This is not a black or white situation since some rivers will also take on new restrictions such as becoming barbless with artificial lures only, so the state has set up a comments area where you can submit your thoughts on the overall regulations as well as individual rivers and lakes.
Call to Action for Members:
This appears to be mostly, but not entirely, a step backwards for fly fishers who generally subscribe to the most stringent of regulations requiring catch & release, artificial flies only, and barbless hooks. Without editorializing, you should take a look at these changes in details. The best comparison has been done by the TU Redwood Empire chapter, but it is not all-inclusive to some streams and lakes that we commonly fish as a club. Other resources on the CFW website provide both the current regulations as well as the proposed ones, but you must wade through both, and do your own comparisons. We have done a quick short comparison to give you a flavor for the issues, but please take a look at any of the available tools in this document to determine any impacts on those waters that you personally fish and care about.
Please take the time to explore how these changes will impact your personal fishing enjoyment and submit your comments, both good and bad to the State website (link at the end of this document) or through either CalTrout and/or Trout Unlimited sites that also have comment submission areas.
TVFF Quick Comparison on Common Club Waters
Suggested overall regs section 7.0; 5 trout fish take (10 in possession) with no gear restrictions (except listed rivers and lakes in Section 7.50). All other rivers and lakes to conform to section 7.0 (5 fish take per day with 10 in possession and no gear restrictions) with specific exceptions (section 7.5), such as those below:
Regulation exceptions to current overall regulations
Trout Unlimited, Redwood Empire Chapter Perspective
“Inland Trout Angling Regulation Simplification” proposal would open up several hundred fisheries to year-round angling and to remove restrictions on gear and harvest (5-fish daily limit) or extend the season for all-gear and harvest for some of these waters. The popular East Side Sierra fishery of Crowley Lake, for example, would now have an extended bait season and be opened for winter fishing (but would be artificials only and no harvest during the winter).
Other waters where the proposed changes have sparked concern among anglers are the small streams of the Golden Trout Wilderness in the southern Sierra—the native range of the rare and beautiful golden trout. This area would now be open for winter fishing and a five-fish limit and no gear restrictions. Sections of the Pit River—a blue ribbon trout stream—and some other waters which traditionally have been artificials only would now be open to bait fishing.
Initial feedback from anglers to CDFW also has questioned the proposed delay of the traditional opener (currently last weekend in April for most general season waters) to the Saturday preceding Memorial Day and to end the general season on September 30 (currently the season ends on November 15 for most general season waters).”
Trout Unlimited provides a terrific detailed comparative analysis of impacted waters:
There is also a terrific blog with detailed information available on the TU National site (link below) that can be accessed if you are a Trout Unlimited member. Much more detailed in both scope and personal input from anglers across the country.
CalTrout Perspective and Early Position
Open for Public Comment: CDFW Proposed Changes to Statewide Trout Fishing Regulations
“The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) acknowledges that existing trout fishing regulations are too complex, with too many special regulations and exceptions to be easily understood. Many existing regulations are not adequately monitored for effectiveness or biologically-based. To address these issues, CDFW has begun a public hearing process to help revise and simplify trout fishing regulations statewide, and they are seeking public input on the proposed menu of regulation changes.
Our Plan of Action
California Trout is a science-based organization committed to ensuring wild trout thrive in healthy waters. We will always be supportive of fisheries management based on sound science that protects our native species and wild fisheries for future generations. As such, we will be submitting formal comments to the Department to ensure that any new regulations balance the needs of wild fish and people.
Our comments will address whether or not the proposed menu of regulation changes are sufficient to achieve the goals of:
Check back in the coming weeks for our formal comment letter, and thank you for raising your voices.”
CalTrout website link: https://mailchi.mp/caltrout/trout-clout-cdfw-regulations?e=edb64cc6ea
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Site
There is a wealth of information on the site including the existing inland fishing regulations which can be viewed here, and the new proposed regulations which can be viewed here.