Protect Endangered Chinook Salmon From Sport Fishing

chinooksalmon

Target: Eric Sklar, President of California Fish and Game Commission

Goal: Enforce a strict fishing ban on California’s Chinook salmon until the species is no longer endangered or threatened.

California’s Chinook salmon population continues to suffer as the drought-stricken state’s rivers run dangerously low for a fifth year. The species is in such peril that the state has had to intervene several times to prevent it from being completely wiped out from too-low and too-warm water conditions caused by the drought. In the past two years, authorities have had to resort to rearing millions of salmon in hatcheries and releasing them in their natural habitat, as conditions had become too hostile to allow salmon eggs to hatch safely on their own.

This intervention isn’t simply about preserving a species, however. It is also motivated by the state’s $1.4 billion commercial and sport salmon fishing industry, of which the Chinook salmon has long played a pivotal role. What’s truly at risk if the Chinook salmon is wiped out is far more important than California’s possibly taking a hit to its sport fishing industry.

This salmon species is an integral part of a food chain that sustains life not only in California’s rivers but in the Pacific ocean as well. Chinook salmon are a main food source for orca whales and other predators like bears and eagles. Even in death, the salmons’ bodies provide vital nitrogen to nearby forests. All in all, they are an indispensable species, and their extinction would spell disaster for California’s ecosystems.

Considering the ecological importance of the Chinook salmon, it is clearly irresponsible to allow them to be continually fished for sport. The longevity of this species is far more important than maintaining a certain income from the fishing industry in coming years. The Chinook salmon must be protected from fishing until its population has fully recovered. Urge California’s Fish and Game Commission to protect the salmon from sport fishing until it has been removed from the endangered and threatened species list by signing below.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sklar,

As California’s ongoing drought continues to devastate ecosystems and wildlife species, more needs to be done to protect the most vulnerable animals. One of these species is the Chinook salmon, a fish highly desired by sport fishermen.

While this species is an integral part of California’s fishing industry, it plays a much bigger role in its natural environment. It is part of a delicate food chain that could be irreversibly damaged by this fish’s extinction. That is why I am calling on the Fish and Game Commission to do more to protect this precious fish.

The salmon’s natural habitat has been so depleted that authorities have actually had to intervene by raising salmon in artificial hatcheries and transporting them downstream. These fish are clearly in a precarious situation, but rather than being protected, they are still being fished for sport. This is highly irresponsible and could have devastating repercussions in the very near future.

That is why I must strongly urge the California Fish and Game Commission to place a fishing ban on this species until it has been cleared of its current endangered status. Even if that means taking a temporary hit to the state’s sport fishing industry, it is what it ultimately right for this species and the state’s ecological well-being in the long run.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management

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