CA Fish and Game proposes regs to save sea bass species

Here's my story from the Santa-Barbara Independent. I thought the quote below was the memorable from the hearing, from one of the agency's commissioners at the hearing, about the dangers of fishing aggregations of spawning fish. Fishing massed groups of spawning fish can mislead anglers into unwittingly devastating a fish population in real trouble, a phenomenon scientists call "hyperstability": 

Michael Sutton, one of two California state Fish and Game Commissioners at the meeting, called for a consideration of a seasonal closure during spawning season to allow the two species to repopulate. “Fishing spawning aggregations is a really dangerous practice,” he said. “If a seasonal closure would alleviate that, we need to consider that. A seasonal closure would have a significant impact on the industry, but so would a ban of fishing these species for several years.”

No one else at the hearing backed Sutton's idea, as far as I could tell, though it appears to be the idea that most likely to allow the beloved barred sand bass to repopulate. Here's a Fish and Game chart of where the barred sand bass are caught off the SoCal coast: "hotspots" (spawning grounds) in red:

Barredsandbass (1)

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “CA Fish and Game proposes regs to save sea bass species

  1. Kit, I was at the meeting and know that a temporary spawning season closure was one of the options presented by DFG marine biologists. In fact, they specifically stated that spawning aggregations are vulnerable to harvest impacts.
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    A Change in the Wind: CA Fish and Game proposes regs to save sea bass species


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