Drought forces fishing ban across California streams

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - It's a little bit easier to wade out into the American River these days - in fact, fishing is becoming a little too easy in some waterways.

That's why, in the interests of protecting the salmon and steelhead populations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering adding the American River to the list of waterways closed for fishing.

The DFW has already banned recreational fishing on dozens of streams across the state. For now, the American River is still open, but some fishermen say it may be time for that to change.

"I mean, I was kind of heartbroken, but I can see why they'd close it," fisherman Chris Winchell.

Winchell has fished all over California and says a spot by the Nimbus Dam is one of his favorites. With drought conditions threatening many adult fish, the future of fishing in California is at risk. That's why Winchell is among those fishing enthusiasts who support closing the American River to fishing.

"It sucks 'cause I want to fish, but to protect the fish, yeah I'd put my pole away for a year or two, three years, depends," Winchell said.

A spokesperson for the DFW said the department be meeting on Wednesday with the California Fish and Game Commission, the group that has the authority to close the American River, to discuss the possibility of a ban.


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