Petition Intended to Protect Yellow-Legged Frog; State could dramatically expand fish stocking ban
SACRAMENTO -- In a move that could expand a ban on fish stocking from much of the Sierra Nevada to many coastal and valley communities (see map), the Center for Biological Diversity has filed a petition to list the Foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boyii) as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
In a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission, California’s leading sportfishing organization, the California Sportfishing League (CSL), requested an analysis of which bodies of water where fishing may be restricted, and to what extent and for how long fish stocking and recreational fishing could be restricted in these areas.
“Expanding a prohibition on fish stocking will have a profound impact on California communities dependent on recreational fishing for outdoor tourism and jobs,” said Marko Mlikotin, CSL’s executive director. “The Fish and Game Commission should consider the negative impact fish stocking bans have on the cost and accessibility of recreational fishing, especially if they cannot prove fish pose a real threat.”
Today, fish stocking is prohibited in much of the Sierra Nevada, and past listings have been the subject of much controversy, especially when government agencies could not provide evidence of endangered species or that fish were
leading contributors to declining frog populations. Fish stocking bans can lead to campgrounds and marina operations being closed, harming local tourism and killing jobs.
“Making fishing less accessible will further harm fishing participation rates and communities dependent on outdoor recreation for jobs,” said Mlikotin.
Despite California’s vast coastline and over 4,000 lakes and rivers, California’s fishing participation rate in comparison to other states has fallen to dead last (per capita) in the United States, and according to a CSL study, annual fishing license sales have declined over 55 percent since 1980.
The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion annually to California’s economy, a major contributor to outdoor tourism and jobs. Over 1.6 million Californians, 16 and older, fish in California and approximately 100,000 visitors come to California to fish each year.
To learn more visit www.SportfishingConservation.org or @CASportfishing
Contact: Marko Mlikotin, 916.817.4444