National Hunting and Fishing Day 2015
Saturday, September 26, 2015, is National Hunting and Fishing Day.
It surprises me that a National Hunting and Fishing Day even exist considering the wide opposition to all hunting by so many vociferous anti-hunting groups. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife on the other hand pays tribute to hunters and fishermen for their contributions to the conservation of wildlife resources and conservation of habitats and the environment.
See, hunters and fishermen are not just wanton killers of Bambi and murderers of Mis Piggy. Told you so.
“California’s anglers and hunters play a crucial role in the conservation of California’s natural resources,” remarks CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “On behalf of CDFW, I thank them for their invaluable contribution.”
California has much to offer when it comes to hunting and fishing. Not only because of its great geographical variety and ‘climate zones’ that result in an equally large number of huntable species but also because about 50 percent of the land is public land. As such it is open to Californians for hunting, fishing and other recreational outdoor activities. We furthermore have a great number of National and State Forests that are set aside in perpetuity for the use of Californians. Thus millions of acres of public land are open to hunting. That deserves a National Hunting and Fishing Day. doesn’t it?
Fishermen can enjoy over 1,100 miles of coastline with hundreds of fish and shellfish species. California has over 30,000 miles of rivers, 4,172 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers.
National hunting and fishing are important outdoor industries. California hunting and fishing make a substantial contribution to wildlife activities and conservation measures through the purchase of licenses. In 2014 284,761 California hunters paid about $ 25,181,595 in license fees. Sport fishermen contributed $ 42,590,382 in 2014. These numbers do not include commercial and special fishing licenses.
License fee funds are not just spent on law enforcement as it may seem to hunters and fishermen questioned over some petty omission. Most of it contributes to wildlife management and conservation activities. The results are impressive. CDFW is proud of the following list of success stories.
1874: Thirty were remaining in California in one herd in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
2015: 4,200 animals distributed in 22 herds across California.
1959: There were virtually no wild turkeys other than game farm birds, which were essentially raised to be shot and killed.
2015: There are an estimated 250,000 wild turkeys in the state.
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Nelson)
1915: They were nearly extirpated in the state.
(That’s a euphemism for obliterated, wiped out, hunted to extinction. The editor.)
2014: There are approximately 2,000 in California.
Aleutian Canada Goose
1970: There were approximately 200 to 300 in California.
2015: There are approximately 120,000 in the state.” (CDFW report)
There are also success stories in the fishing sector. These are on the CDFW list:
“Wild Trout Fisheries
1970: No designated wild trout sport fisheries.
2015: 51 designated wild trout waters, encompassing 1,400 miles of streams and 14 lakes.
1993: No landlocked salmon sport fisheries.
2015: Twenty-one reservoirs support sport fishing for Kokanee salmon and 12 reservoirs support sport fishing for landlocked Chinook salmon.
1874: Introduced into California.
2015: Twenty of 25 largest largemouth bass caught worldwide have been in California.
Alabama Spotted Bass
1974: Introduced into California.
2015: The current world record for the species was caught in a California reservoir. The state record for the species was broken twice in a one-month span, including a pending new world record.”
Hunting and fishing are not simply a recreational activities for a chosen few. That’s the case in many other countries where hunting is a privilege and only accessible to wealthy individuals. In California it is both a recreational activity and a business, a big business. CDFW protects both, the rights of hunters and fishermen to enjoy their hobbies and wildlife and the environment. We ought to be grateful for both on the upcoming National Hunting and Fishing Day 2015.
Happy Hunting and Fishing Day 2015.