The California Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to close a five-and-a-half mile stretch of the Sacramento River to fishing from April 27th to July 31st.
The area in Redding between Highway 44 and the Keswick Dam is known for its trout population. But endangered winter-run Chinook salmon also spawn there.
Stafford Lehr, fisheries branch chief with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says one incidental take of the salmon is one too many.
"Every single adult winter-run is precious this year," says Lehr. He says 95 percent of last year's spawn of winter-run salmon died.
"Fisherman aren't the enemy here. It's a series of a whole bunch of events that have put extreme pressure on this race of salmon and this is but one measure," says Lehr. "We don't like to have to do it, but we feel we need to."
Michael Caranci, an outfitter with the Fly Shop in Redding, says he doesn’t think a fishing ban is going to help.
“A jet ski plowing across the shallow salmon redds through that time of year, which is the high peak season for recreational boating on that section of river, they’re going to do a lot more damage than taking one salmon and they’re not doing anything to address that issue,” says Caranci.
Caranci says a fishing ban on that stretch could hurt some local businesses.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public meeting on the closure Tuesday evening in Redding. The California Fish and Game Commission will make a decision on the ban on April 17th.
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