Senate Bill called “threat” to California hatcheries

A threat to California fish hatcheries now reportedly brews in the State Legislature. Former Mono County Assemblyman Dave Cogdill has gone to battle against Senate Bill 1148. He says it would shift Fish and Game’s mission from hatcheries to wild and native trout programs. That could mean more problems for the Eastern Sierra’s summer fishing economy.

In a letter to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Cogdill says that the organization CalTrout has tried to undermine his own Assembly Bill 7 which was passed seven years ago to help keep hatcheries funded. He says Fish and Game never gave the law a real effort.

AB7, according to Cogdill, says that programs designed to manage, maintain and improve California’s fish hatcheries are eligible to be funded from sport fishing license fees. The new bill, SB1148, he said, will shift the mission of the Department of Fish and Game to wild and native trout programs over hatchery operations.

In his letter, Cogdill says, “Fishing license owners pay for their licenses and deserve positive fishing experiences. These positive experiences,” he said, “cannot be insured only for the wealthy engaging in fly fishing of the state’s native trout. Hatcheries provide fish to California’s lakes and streams so everyone can enjoy that experience.”

Cogdill also says that Fish and Game never wanted to implement AB7. He says in the seven years since the passage of that law, Fish and Game has “not met the goals of AB7.” Cogdill said AB7 was never given a proper chance and it should be before wholesale changes in the system. He points to the fact that since AB7, license fees have gone to what he calls “exceptional service to sports fishermen and the economies that rely on them and had done so for over 130 years.” He says the new law would create an “unaccountable bureaucracy with a questionable funding source and seemingly no legislative oversight.”

Cogdill asks the Assembly Committee to oppose Senate Bill 1148. This new bill would apparently deprive Eastern Sierra hatcheries of funding. Local officials are just beginning to hear of this legislative and bureaucratic move. Inyo County Supervisor Chair Marty Fortney signed a letter on Friday to the State Assembly Committee strongly urging opposition to SB1148.

Fortney said the new law would limit fishing in California to “specialized fishing techniques for only catch and release native trout.” Fortney’s letter also says that as the State population grows, demand for general fishing will too and could deplete remaining trout populations if hatchery enhanced waters are eliminated and/ or diminished further.

Chairman Fortney said fewer planted fish will ultimately “seriously impact the smaller rural communities, like Inyo County, that depend, in large part, on fishing tourism for their economic stability.”



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30 Responses to Senate Bill called “threat” to California hatcheries

  1. Big AL July 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Seems legit … so there you go … special interests in the form of elitists groups getting their way under the guise of environmental protection. Aside from the loss of revenue .. it is loss of the experience of everyone, that experience will suffer at the hands of organizations that seek to further their interests.

    • Trouble July 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      BIG AL- Even thou I vote Democrat most of the time, I agree with you 100% on this issue. I also can’t stand my own parties views on gun control either. Just being honest.

      • Big AL July 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

        I hear ya Trouble, I used to be a democrat, but I gave up on both parties years ago .. really don’t side with any of them .. because of all of the bullsh*t like what we’re seeing now, as you say .. the division is soo deep.

        As President Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself can not stand”.

        There is no sense of polarity either, it seems, in it all … it is all so obscured by all of the derogating and disparagement going on .. the real true issues get lost in the dust, and what really matters soon is overshadowed by pettiness of the quarrels.

      • upthecreek July 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm #


        BOTH PARTIES are to blame.

        no matter WHO is in charge it is more of the same .


  2. Trouble July 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    damn- this country is so freaking divided it comes close to making me sick. I can’t stand the thought of either one of these bull crap options happening. How about working together and making this work out for all of us. POLITICS SUCK!

    • Benett Kessler July 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      So true. Quoting President Obama in a 60 Minutes Interview when asked about his greatest disappointment: “I underestimated the degree to which in this town politics trumps problem solving.”
      Benett Kessler

    • Jeremiah July 31, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      Politics does blow, especailly when you realize right and wrong is sold out to industry’s and corporations best interest.
      Environmental Protection is a joke as long as we keep consuming so much so fast.

      Catch and Release kills alot of fish, but if the wealthy can have a good time and enjoy themselves, that is what it is all about, Right? THE WEALTHY.

      • Big AL July 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

        Yeah .. that seems legit too Jeremiah.

  3. upthecreek July 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    “He says the new law would create an “unaccountable bureaucracy with a questionable funding source and seemingly no legislative oversight.”bureaucracy

    bureaucracy in calif…NO WAY


  4. salblaster July 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    arggggggggggh! this is exactly the reason so many people are fed up with conservation groups. don’t they care that their idealogy will directly effect tourism in the eastern sierra. without the fish hatcheries stocking creeks the happy day campers,who in my observations use the catch and eat method, will not be coming back if there’s no fish to be caught. why mess with a good thing, if it aint broke dont fix it. caltrout a san francisco based enviromental organization with deep pockets wants to force their veiws on the eastern sierra community and were just supposed to take it, i dont think so. heres the name of caltrouts eastern sierra dept head mark drew at . I will be giving him my thoughts on this matter and hope you will to.

  5. Ex-Resident July 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Again they have figured out a way to rob licensing money. It never ceases to amaze me how we are being fleeced by our own government. It’s time to boot them ALL out and start all over.

    • Big AL July 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      No Ex, it is not the government, in as much as it is the special interests groups that are fleecing us, but yeah .. the government gives it away to them to implement these wild life and environmental agendas, that seem to not have any real sense in them. But so many are fooled by their rhetoric.

  6. Tim July 31, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    To View SB1148 click on the link below. Once there go down to section 7. It talks about where they are going to take money from or as they call it “upon appropriation” This is wrong.

    What really sucks about this is when I fish the Eastern Sierra waters which is about 6 times a year and yes I spend money in local Businesses, Not Vons or Kmart. I come there for the epic fishing, YES EPIC!. IF the DFG is going to make this kind of change it will change the economy in the Eastern Sierra and where I spend my money. I’d rather spend it there.
    Sorry as this kind of crap really upsets me.

    • Mark July 31, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      I think we need to know Friends of the Inyo’s position on SB1148.

      It will tell the community who’s friends FOI really are.

      • Davie Crockett July 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

        I’ll place a bet that FOI’s position is to return all waterways to their original form, ie. NO TROUT….as if they were here to know what was in that creek 20,000 years ago. They would be in favor of elimination of all hatcheries unless they raised Tui chub, Pupfish or frogs. When an organization sprouts up and is only funded by grants, produces nothing and is not dependent on the overall health of business and the economy, people who do produce things and rely on the tourism and overall economy are hurt by these outfits who come in and try to change the world without a clue as to how things work.

        I’m all for conservation organizations that realize humans have been and are part of the environment and that resources can be used wisely for generations to come with prudent management, not shutting everything down. That is the difference between preservation and conservation.

    • esfotoguy July 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      they stopped stocking reverse creek yrs ago….rush creek hardly gets stocked[it was better during pre Cogdil bill era]

    • Big AL July 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      I’m with you Tim on it being upsetting .. no need to apologze.

  7. salblaster July 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    caltrouts agenda is to eliminate competition from non native species of fish here in the eastern sierra and owens valley. heres a list of fish on their hit list. rainbow trout,brown trout,brookie trout,large mouth bass,small mouth bass,california perch,blue gills,cat fish, and bull frogs all were introduced to the owens valley in the late 1800’s by settlers who wanted a supply of game fish to supplement their diet. the only native species to the area were the owens river pup fish and chub ( a type of sucker fish not the carp we now have in the owens river). the golden trout is native to an area south of mt. whitney along the south fork of the kern river and a few streams on the kern plateau. the goldens that are now in the lakes and streams thruout the high sierra from lone pine to yosimite were all transplanted from the kern plateau. without the introduction of game fish there would be no great fishing in inyo and mono counties. instead of come fish the sierras it would be come look at the pup fish and chub, you think that will draw campers to are community.

    • Big AL August 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      Yeah and pups and chubs are endangered if I remember right … I could be wrong .. and the strain of both that lived in the Owens river do no longer exist, I am sure. To re introducing that particular strain of both fishes is not going to happen. So why are we trying to get non native species out of the lakes and streams and the river, and worrying about what is in the river now?

      Because they are not native to the area, well there were no native species as people claim, in the lakes and streams.

      It is not possible to make a pristine environment as some people think we should? I think it mostly is just a Trojan horse in this case, to mask their real agenda, using earlier agendas of removing non native species from the area.

      As I said in an earlier post, it seems to be Caltrout’s agenda to create some sort of ideal sport fishing environment that is conducive to their idea of sport fishing.

      They have to have a cover story to throw out the wool blanket so people will believe them that it is all about the environment, some people will believe it to be true,, the special interest groups paint a very good picture to them, they have no idea that is not really the case. So they support it and believe it to be true.

      Most of these people living in cities and urban areas, and usually do not recreate in ares such as the eastern sierras, they may make a car trip and stay at motels or resorts, but not camping.

      So … unless this is stopped, you can pretty much say good bye to fishing here in the eastern sierras, and expect the same in other areas as well, the precedent will be set.

  8. Ken Warner August 1, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    First there’s complaints about Government tax’s and Government spending.

    Then there’s complaints about Government not spending.

    From what I gather, Government spending is bad if it’s for something that only provides essential services for somebody else and is good if it makes your life more fun.

    • John Barton August 1, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Ken- The gov’t should be accountable for all dollars spent. There is a tremendous amount of waste. When one looks at waste at the local level and multiplies that out over every city and state that amount is huge. Then add federal waste and your calculator won’t be able to handle that many digits.

    • Tourbillon August 1, 2012 at 11:41 am #

      Let me help you understand. Unlike government misusing everyone’s tax revenues to support a few of its failed cronies (see Solyndra, Ener1, A123…), here the state is seizing user fees willingly paid by fisherman for the special purpose of hatchery support and diverting those fees to its general fund to please a nuisance constituency (see Luddite environmentalists) and to compensate for stupidly spending itself into oblivion (see high speed rail).

      Clear now?

      • Ken Warner August 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

        …almost got it but need a little more information.

        How much does fishing license revenue contribute to the approximately $20,000,000 hatchery and inland fishing fund? And where does the rest of it come from?

        Also, how does a Federal Government small business loan guarantee that was given to a company with superior photo-voltaic technology that was forced into bankruptcy because it couldn’t compete with Chinese low cost solar cells force the addition of native and wild trout restoration to the California Fish and Game Dept. in the Eastern Sierra? I’m a little confused on that point.

        • Benett Kessler August 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm #


          The DFG website shows, as the latest figures, 2009 with a Total Sport Fishing revenue of $65,174,380.
          Assuming this is correct, one-third of that would go to the hatcheries and fishing. That would be the
          whole budget. I’ll keep checking.


          • Ken Warner August 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

            Yeah, I saw that also — from all forms of Sports Fishing Licenses:

            So that means that there is about 45 million dollars left from Sport Fishing Licenses that go somewhere else — like the general fund. So if some money was put toward fishery restoration and preservation like CalTrout says they work for, then maybe there would be a net gain for Eastern Sierra fisheries instead of the supposed net loss that some posters here anticipate.

            It’s really hard to tell what these bills do or don’t do just from reading the title and listening to what the supporters and opposition have to say about them.

            From observation, there is probably no small amount of empire building turf wars going on in the background that will be carefully disguised by presenting various strawmen as the supposed threats.

          • Ken Warner August 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

            —by the way, here’s the DFG’s budget summary for 2009. Who knows what it is now.


  9. Logbear August 2, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    This information is from the DFG website.

    The DFG budget for FY 2012-13 is $390,885,000 for state operations and local assistance.

    Hatchery and Inland fisheries fund for 2012-2013 is $23,913,000

    Hunting and sport fishing licenses generated about $78 million in revenue in the 2011
    License Year.

    It looks like over $300 million for DFG comes from sources other than license fees.


    • Line1 August 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Right on with the budget numbers. The hatchery and wild trout budget comes from 33 1/3% of total license sales–so that cut of the $78 million is $23 million. Of that hatcheries get about $20 million and wild trout is supposed to get $2 million but doesn’t even get that.

    • Big AL August 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      all of the fines and lawsuits they levee against people and companies and agencies .. hehe

  10. TCWriter August 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Maybe a little checking would be in order *before* writing a story as inflammatory as this one.

    Cogdill complained that DF&G never gave his legislation (AB 7) a chance. The problem is that is established an unreasonably high hatchery target for each license sold. DF&G never reached those goals, and probably never will under the current hatchery system.

    It also was supposed to fund 7 positions in the Heritage and Wild Trout group — all of which have been defunded and lost.

    So while Cogdill is right that AB 7 was never really implemented, he’s wrong that SB 1148 basically guts it.

    It provides for hatcheries and even supports looking for alternate ways to meet the goals (like using private hatcheries, some of which can produce fish more cheaply than state hatcheries).

    It also returns the seven Heritage & Wild Trout positions that were called for in AB 7.

    It does force a closer look at the hatchery programs and how stocking programs affect native fish populations, which — if you haven’t noticed — is simply good management.

    As someone noted above, hatcheries are getting a huge majority of the license money (the money that isn’t stolen by the General Fund) and wild trout programs don’t even get the money they’re supposed to. SB 1148 tries to rectify it, and this is one of those instances where sportsmen would help their cause if they stuck together instead of launching ill-supported attacks on elitists.


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