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"Striper Trial" scheduled for October 14th, 2009, fate of fishery and DFG regulations rest with coming federal court decision
November 14, 2008 -- Attorneys from the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, the Department of Fish and Game, the Central Delta Water Agency and CSPA met in court on November 4th for a scheduling conference regarding the fate of the California Striped Bass. A series of court dates were scheduled dealing with discovery, depositions, and other pre-trial business with the actual trial scheduled for October 14, 2009. The trial is expected to take up eight days of the court's time.
The lawsuit filed by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta (Belridge Water Storage District ("BWSD"), Berrenda Mesa Water District ("BMWD"), Lost Hills Water District ("LHWD"), and Wheeler-Ridge Maricopa Water StorageDistrict ("WRMWSD") alleges that that striped bass predation is a major factor in the decline of the delta's salmon and smelt populations. The "Coalition" seeks to have the striper removed from the state's gamefish listing, regulations and management and instead, treated as an invasive species with intent on eradication.
The trial is expected to be extremely costly in nature with volumes of studies being examined and a series of fisheries "experts" called upon to testify. The estimates of CSPA's costs as interveners in the trial are predicted to be roughly $100,000 in the next year. CSPA as a fishing advocacy organization depends on its members for the major source of income as well as grants from organizations such as the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, the California Striped Bass Association and Dan Blanton's Striperfest banquet.
In the past, CSPA worked quietly in the background with a small cadre of dedicated members and NGO donations. Its annual budget is one third of the funds needed to meet its current goals and obligations. The costs of the striper trial and the unprecedented assault on California's fisheries requires CSPA to "go public" with its appeal for membership. CSPA has set a goal of 3,000 private members, 50 fishing clubs and five major benefactors for 2009. A major membership drive is starting with CSPA to be at the San Mateo ISE, and if space is available, at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show.
Court scheduling conference order