In an era where polarization makes it difficult for the two major political parties to meet on any issue, the CalTrout/Trout Unlimited Casting Call highlights the issue of California’s declining (and commercially valuable) stocks of trout, steelhead and salmon.
Legislators of both parties meet in a friendly casting competition, and the event has already received coverage from The Sacramento Bee and others.
Below is the press release; below that is the video produced after the 2011 Casting Call. Enjoy!
SAN FRANCISCO, June 15, 2012 — California Trout and Trout Unlimited announce the annual Casting Call at the Capitol, a celebration of California’s unique trout, steelhead and salmon populations, to be held on the State Capitol grounds on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. In its 3rd year, the event will feature fly casting demonstrations, fly casting practice, and a friendly bi-partisan fly casting competition between legislators, including Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D), Senator Tom Harman (R), Assemblyman Wes Chesbro (D), Assemblywoman Alyson Huber (D), Senator Bob Huff (R), Senator Tom Berryhill, (R), and Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R).
“We are holding this Casting Call event to raise awareness in the Capitol for declining stocks of trout, steelhead and salmon,” said Curtis Knight, Conservation Director for California Trout.
California has an incredible diversity of trout, steelhead and salmon exceeded only by Alaska. California is the southern end of the range of all ocean going trout and salmon species and home to a vast array of inland native trout.
“The sobering fact is if present trends continue, 65% of California’s trout, steelhead and salmon will be gone within the next 100 years, and maybe sooner,” noted Brian Johnson, State Director for Trout Unlimited. “To counteract this trend we seek collaborative and durable solutions to complex fish and water issues.”
The challenges to protecting and restoring California’s native trout and salmon are great, but doing nothing is not an option. For more than 100 years anglers have driven important conservation initiatives, and now, we call on our fellow conservationists and legislators to take up this cause. Together we can achieve solutions that are good for fish, good for people, and good for the environment and our economy.