Rivers And Streams Of California Closed To Fishing As Drought Persists

Drought on Folsom Reservoir, American River, CA | © Jacob Dyste

With low flows in rivers and streams around California, reservoirs such as Folsom Reservoir on the American River, pictured here, are unlikely to be replenished soon | © Jacob Dyste

As extreme drought conditions continue to persist across California, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has banned fishing in over 30 streams and rivers across the state to protect imperiled salmon and steelhead. These fish rely on flowing rivers and streams to begin their annual inland, upstream migration. Lack of rain has exposed gravel bars that make it impossible for some fish to reach their native streams and has left redds, clusters of salmon eggs, exposed to the air as water levels continue to drop.

Rivers and streams closed to fishing include: the San Lorenzo River and all of its tributaries, the Carmel River, the Big Sur River, the Eel River, Aptos Creek and all coastal streams that contain migratory fish. The DFW also recommends fishing bans in parts of the American and Russian Rivers.

"We fully understand the impact these closures will have on California anglers and the businesses related to fishing in California, and we really feel for them,” said Charlton Bonham, the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "However the science is clear. Two-thirds of the wettest part of winter is now behind us, and conditions are looking increasingly grim. Under these extreme drought conditions, it is prudent to conserve and protect as many adult fish as possible to help ensure the future of fishing in California.”

This news comes on the heel of the state announcing that 17 rural communities are at risk for running out of water in the next four months. CAL FIRE also announced that it has hired 125 additional firefighters in anticipation of increased fire threat due to drought conditions.

For more information on stream and river closures and for the entire DFW statement, click here.

One Response to “Rivers And Streams Of California Closed To Fishing As Drought Persists”

Cliff Dweller

Will Solar-Powered Desalination Save California’s Agriculture? By Kent Harrington. February 7th, 2014 – “Too much salinity has made the irrigation water unusable, with some collected samples saltier than seawater.”
http://chenected.aiche.org/environment/will-solar-powered-desalination-save-californias-agriculture/ (American Institute of Chemical Engineers)