Striped bass have been in California waters now for more than a century and these non-native fish have become a very popular game fish there. However, salmon fans argue that striped bass gorge on young salmon (which is one of the states most ecologically fragile fish) in the Sacramento River and the Delta on their way to the ocean.

Following a lawsuit to save the salmon, the California Fish and Game Commission studied the effect of relaxing limits and decreasing size requirements on stripers. This came after exhaustive measures to restore striped bass populations in California.

During their meeting earlier this month, Commissioners unanimously voted down changing striped bass fishing regulations, after thousands of California fishermen voiced their protest against changing regulations.

Fishermen argued that the main problem for salmon was water diversions for agriculture irrigation in California’s Central Valley. These diversions depleted smelt numbers, which are staple forage for salmon.