Home>Articles>State’s Fishing Season in Some Rural Counties to Close After California Fish and Game Commission Unanimous Vote

Wild and Heritage Trout Waters in California. (Photo: wildlife.ca.gov)

State’s Fishing Season in Some Rural Counties to Close After California Fish and Game Commission Unanimous Vote

Local governments have already closed piers, boat ramps and marinas, cutting off fishing access

By Katy Grimes, April 16, 2020 10:39 am

Last week California Globe reported “Charles Bonham, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife was proposing to postpone the sportfishing season through May in rural areas.”

“I myself want to go outdoors and recreate, but I’ve decided personally my duty is really to stay home, stay healthy and help save lives,” Bonham said, the Sacramento Bee reported. “On one hand, the outdoors is a place of solace and reinvigoration, for some folks, it’s very spiritual. We need those things in these desperate times. Conversely, if we’re not responsible and thoughtful of how we’re being outside, we can increase the risk in a moment of crisis.”

Almost immediately in the Bee’s follow up article, they named California Globe for reporting the proposed closure of the state’s sportfishing season, but did not link to our article:

Soon after Bonham spoke to The Bee, the conservative media site the “California Globe” posted a story lifting sections of The Bee’s reporting and leaving out Bonham’s remarks that he wasn’t closing the season outright.

“CA Department Of Fish And Wildlife Commissioner Wants To Close Sportfishing Season Due To COVID-19,” the Globe’s headline read.

The Los Angeles Times reported nearly the same, as did the Associated Press.

We reported: The Globe didn’t “lift” sections of the Bee’s reporting – we quoted the Bee’s reporting, with a link to the article. The Bee is now parsing words. Their original article reported this: “California is poised to close the spring sportfishing season in some counties in response to worries that anglers will spread COVID-19 to rural communities.”

Notably, sportfishing in California only takes place in “certain areas,” and in “some counties,” in mostly rural areas of the state.

Thursday, the Bee reports:

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.

Fishing enthusiast callers on Wednesday during the conference call with Fish and Wildlife expressed their concern that state officials were overstepping their authority, as well as preventing people from feeding their families. “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 nothingsaying local governments had already closed piers, boat ramps and marinas, cutting off fishing access, the Bee reported. “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.

The goal all along was to close some counties to sportfishing despite pleas from fishermen and women. California is doubling down on the lockdown, despite that COVIC-19 epidemiological models have already been dramatically disproven by actual data. Shelter-at-home orders are only lengthening the duration of the virus. The Covid-19 mortality curves show little difference between the governments that have ravaged their economies and those that haven’t, as Rep. Tom McClintock reported.

Below are screen captures 4/16/2020 of most recent updates of coronavirus cases in each of the counties named to close for fishing:

Mono County:

Mono County COVID-19 report. (Photo: screen capture, coronavirus.monocounty.ca.gov/ )


Inyo County:

Inyo County COVID-19 report. (Photo: screen capture, inyocounty.us/covid-19)

Sierra County:

Sierra County COVID-19 report. (Photo: screen capture, sierracounty.ca.gov/582/Coronavirus-COVID-19)

Alpine County:

Alpine County COVID-19 report. (Photo: screen capture, alpinecountyca.gov/Index.aspx?NID=516)





Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Spread the news:


5 thoughts on “State’s Fishing Season in Some Rural Counties to Close After California Fish and Game Commission Unanimous Vote

  1. the commission failed us intentionally in advising of the rescheduled meeting. I am disgusted with their handling of this, and will continue to work towards their removal. Further, this commission needs to be changed from appointed members to elected, as proven here that they are beholden to the executive branch, and take orders from the executives of counties and municipalities.
    As for anyone finding signs that piers and other fishing access was prohibited , this is the operative part of the california constitution:
    “The people shall have the right to fish upon and from the public lands of the State and in the waters thereof, excepting upon lands set aside for fish hatcheries, and no land owned by the State shall ever be sold or transferred without reserving in the people the absolute right to fish thereupon; and no law shall ever be passed making it a crime for the people to enter upon the public lands within this State for the purpose of fishing in any water containing fish that have been planted therein by the State; provided, that the legislature may by statute, provide for the season when and the conditions under which the different species of fish may be taken.”

  2. Reminds me of how the Democrats acted during Obama. When the Republicans tried to block wasteful spending and the Government was ‘shut down’, the Democrats and Obama went to great lengths to ‘shut down’ everything they could get their hands on to “Make it Hurt”, to make we the people suffer because they were not getting their way – even shut down access to Veteran memorials. Now the Democrats, as usual, are using a crisis to ‘Make it Hurt’ all to try to get at Trump (when it fact it is NOT “Trump” they want, it is the presidency, not matter what Republican might hold it, the Democrats just want ‘Power’)

  3. Just as a side note, this “tele-meeting” nonsense is tailor-made to shut down dissent.
    Having attended many meetings where a variety of methods were used to shut the public down from speaking, being heard by others in attendance, etc., I think this may be one of the best, from a bureaucrat’s perspective. I can well imagine they would be gleeful about it. Unseen, they can just hang up, or “lose” your call, or never get to your call, or say there are too many on the line, or play victim and cry abuse, and you’re done. And the meeting is over. And then the Sac Bee can write a negative article that implies the sportfishers were to blame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *