"If the management goal is to increase these populations, what are the best tools?" Perry said. "Such tools could include a reduction in the bag limit or maybe an increase in minimum size. If we're looking at providing additional protection during spawning season, we could look at a seasonal closure or a reduction in bag limitsinseason."
Erisman is encouraged by these discussions and says fish populations can rebound fromacollapse.
The agency nonetheless promised to reach out to conservation and angler groups and bring several options to its Marine Resources Committee when presenting its findings Jan.18 in SantaBarbara.
Two of the most important species of bass in the ocean off Southern California have been overfished to the point of collapse, falling in numbers by more than 90percent, according to a recent study led by a researcher at the Scripps Institute ofOceanography.
"There are a number of reasons why these populations increase and decrease," said Katie Perry, marine resources manager. "What the indices show is that during warm water periods, the fish tend to increase in abundance, and during cold water periods, they tendtodecrease."
"In our estimation, sand bass and kelp bass populations started declining in the 1980s and 1990s, due in part to warmer waters," Erisman said. "Despite this, the catch numbers kept increasing, with a peak in 2002 of over 2.2million sand bass. After about 2004, the catch Nike Air Max Thea In Beige
"It really makes me angry," he said. "This is the kind of fish you want to be able to catch with your grandkids. They're called grumpies, but now the Nike Air Max Thea University Red
"I think this season, I caught maybe one sand bass," said Jerry Stussman, who retired in Ventura County partly so he could fish in the ocean two or three timesaweek.
Recreational catches of the barred sand bass in Nike Air Max Tavas Green Glow
Southern California fell by 97percent from 2000 to 2008, according to the "Illusion of Plenty" study published in September.
It's not the first time these two species of bass, which the study says were the most important recreational marine fisheries in Southern California in recent decades, have been threatened by overfishing. It is the first time, however, that they have been threatened by recreational anglers. The California Department of Fish and Game barred commercial fishing of the speciesin1953.
Raftican's group has petitioned the Department of Fish and Game, which has primary responsibility for regulating ocean fishing, for tighter limits on sport fishing of sand and kelp bass. The group suggested a daily limit of five bass instead of the current limit of 10, plus a "slot limit" to prevent the taking of small fish too young to be much good to fishermen and larger "breeder" fish that replenish thepopulation.
Bass fisheries collapsing
"Recreational fishermen tend to think their one line and one hook in the water don't make much difference, but when you look at millions of recreational fishermen and their impact on the fisheries, you realize we have a need to act," headded.
numbers just fell off a cliff, from 1.5million down to less than 100,000ayear."
Stussman is in no mood to wait. He throws back the bass he catches and would set the limit even lower, at three fishaday.
"Normally by now, I probably would have caught 50 to 100. I'm very angry about it," the Westlake Village man said. "Fishermen by nature want to conserve, for the sake of the lifestyle and for their kids. We're decimating these species, and there doesn't seem to be anything we can doaboutit."
"The sand bass spawn on the flats right outside Ventura Harbor," said Tom Raftican, president of The Sportfishing Conservancy. "Everyone knows where they are, and the concentrations of fish during spawning season in the spring and summer can mask the fact that there's an overall decline inthenumbers."
"A collapse means a fishery has declined 80 to 90percent, but it's not extinction," he said. "The population of white sea bass in the Southern California area has greatly increased since commercial fishermen were banned from using gill nets near the shore in the early1990s."
grumpies are gone. It's an easy Air Max Thea Platinum fish to catch, and any kid catching a grumpy isthrilled.
"Every three years, they review the limits. It's apparent to anglers on the water that these fisheries are declining, and I've made impassioned pleas to the Fish and Game Commission for action," Rafticansaid.
The study argues that sport fishermen have become so skilled at targeting the fish at the six spots off the California coast where they are known to spawn in the summer that they have outstripped regulators' ability to measure the overall declineaccurately.
Fish and Game analyzed the decline of the two bass species in 2010, and officials said cyclical ocean trends partly explainthedrop.
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