New low-flow regs would close Russian River fishery automatically

Mary Callahan, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

California Fish and Wildlife officials are proposing regulatory changes that would trigger automatic closure of the Russian River fishery when stream flows fall low enough to threaten fish habitat, as they did last winter.

The aim is to protect rare migratory fish species from the stress of humans meddling in their habitat when the fish already are struggling to survive in unfavorable conditions, officials said.

The proposal would extend to the Russian River the kind of low-flow restrictions that already govern coastal streams across northern and central California, many of which are closed to angling during winter months when river flows fall to designated thresholds established by the state.

“It would make the Russian exactly the same as how all the other rivers function,” said Ryan Watanabe, a fisheries biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

via New low-flow regs would close Russian River fishery | The Press Democrat.

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