Striped bass: Delta villains?

It was 1879 when a Harvard-educated fish scientist took striped bass caught in New Jersey’s Navesink River and poured 132 of them into the Carquinez Strait near Martinez.

Livingston Stone, a Unitarian minister who also started the nation’s first freshwater hatchery, shepherded the fish in wooden barrels and milk jugs on a transcontinental railroad completed just 10 years earlier.

The fish liked it here, and today striped bass are one of the most popular sport fishes in California. They also are a major economic factor for Delta communities that cater to sport fishing.

But 130 years later a growing chorus wants to get the fish out, and no one is more insistent it appears than Stewart Resnick, a Los Angeles billionaire with vast orchards in Kern County that depend on Delta water.

A water-users coalition run by Resnick’s business interests and a handful of water districts have sued state regulators for fostering striped bass populations.

Read more…


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