California Considers White Sturgeon for Endangered Species List

California Considers White Sturgeon for Endangered Species List

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The California Fish and Game Commission has approved white sturgeon as a candidate for listing under the California Endangered Species Act, potentially impacting recreational fishing in the state.

On June 19, the Commission found sufficient scientific evidence to warrant consideration of the species for protection. The decision, expected to be published July 12, would halt white sturgeon fishing as the review process unfolds.

Recreational fishing remains open until July 11 under existing emergency regulations. However, recognizing the economic impact of a closure, the Commission has asked the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to explore options for continued recreational fishing during the review.

"We're looking at ways to balance conservation with the interests of anglers," said CDFW spokesperson Maria Chen. "It's a delicate situation that requires careful consideration."

The CDFW will present potential regulations at the Commission's August meeting in Fortuna. These regulations could allow hook-and-line fishing for white sturgeon while ensuring species protection.

A final decision on the endangered species listing could come as early as late 2025. In the meantime, the CDFW advises anglers to hold onto their 2024 Sturgeon Fishing Report Cards and wait for further guidance before purchasing new ones.

Local fishing guide Tom Baker expressed concern about the potential impact. "Sturgeon fishing is a big draw for tourists. We're hoping for a solution that protects the fish without completely shutting down the industry."

The Commission's decision reflects growing concerns about white sturgeon populations, which have faced challenges from overfishing, habitat loss, and water quality issues in recent years.

Stay informed about the latest developments in the world of fishing by visiting Baitium's Fishing News page.



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