California COVID-19 Call Ended Due to Volume

Teleconference to discuss possible fishing restrictions re-scheduled after hundreds call in.

California COVID-19 Call Ended Due to Volume

Park and beach closed during COVID-19 pandemic. Del Mar Beach, California, USA. April 5th, 2020. (Shutterstock image)

An emergency teleconference call open to the public to discuss the possibility of imposing restrictions on fishing in California during the COVID-19 pandemic was ended abruptly Thursday morning due to call volume and technological challenges.

The California Fish & Game Commission's emergency meeting was scheduled to consider a proposal to grant the CDFW temporary authority to limit fishing in areas deemed necessary due to the coronavirus. "Because of overwhelming call volume, the call will be rescheduled," the agency said in a news release. The date of the re-scheduled meeting will be posted on the Commission’s website.

The 8:30 a.m. call attracted hundreds of callers, many of whom voiced their anger. That overwhelmed the call system as callers were urged to mute their lines, according to this report by the Sacramento Bee. Some members of the Commission board reportedly could not join the call.

Commission President Eric Sklar and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham made the following joint statement Thursday night:


"We are very appreciative of the passion we heard from those that were able to join this morning’s call. It is clear that the call volume was overwhelming and the technology wasn’t ready. We acknowledge that this is a challenge as we attempt to navigate new technology for meetings. We are frustrated by what happened today and are looking for a remedy now. We understand that many members of the public and media were unable to join the call and because we also understand the importance to many of you, we need to ensure that you have an opportunity to provide input."


The public can make comments for the record at fgc@fgc.ca.gov, the statement said.

Thursday’s chaos was apparently spurred on by the belief that the state was considering a statewide fishing ban, prompting a variety of cutting comments (listen to the audio) during the short time the call was live.

In the statement by Sklar and Bonham, the Commission says closing fishing statewide is not part of the emergency proposal:

"We also want to make it crystal clear that today’s proposed decision was not about banning fishing statewide or locally. We are not contemplating statewide closure. The decision is to help prepare us to work with counties and tribes to make those decisions based on their requests. We are working on a tailored and surgical approach based on local needs and knowledge. We have already received some of these requests. Today’s proposed action was an effort to become more nimble and ready to react when asked by a local entity to act. …


"Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission was set to discuss whether or not to temporarily grant authority to CDFW to decide whether to delay, restrict, or suspend sport or recreational fishing in order to prevent and mitigate public health risks that may arise when people travel for fishing trips or congregate while participating in available fishing opportunities. CDFW and the Commission have received requests from county representatives and local health authorities requesting delays to sport or recreational fish openers such as the Eastern Sierra trout opener scheduled for April 25, 2020."

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

Major League Fishing pros Alton Jones, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi and James Watson share their thoughts on how to approach fishing a new lake for bass.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time. Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Outdoor BBQ

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

See More Trending Articles

More Conservation & Politics

How is the coronavirus changing the prospects of legislation? Conservation & Politics

COVID-19's Impact on Legislation Related to Sportsmen

Sportsmen's Alliance

How is the coronavirus changing the prospects of legislation?

The wild turkey is a triumph of conservation efforts in the U.S. But, while populations decline in the East, flocks have often become nuisances in the West. What's next? Turkey

Next-Generation Turkey Management

Andrew McKean - May 14, 2020

The wild turkey is a triumph of conservation efforts in the U.S. But, while populations...

Also from Sportsmen's Alliance: Colo. petition to ban trapping abandoned. Conservation & Politics

Utah Big-Game Protection Law Enacted

Sportsmen's Alliance - May 07, 2020

Also from Sportsmen's Alliance: Colo. petition to ban trapping abandoned.

Wildlife, habitats and conservation face critical, and threatening, fallout from the coronavirus. Conservation & Politics

The Worldwide Cascading Impact of COVID-19

Brian Lynn

Wildlife, habitats and conservation face critical, and threatening, fallout from the...

See More Conservation & Politics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now