California DFG Responds to Potential Injunction on Salmon and Trout Stocking Programs

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California DFG Responds to Potential Injunction on Salmon and Trout Stocking ProgramsSACRAMENTO – Following a Sacramento Superior Court Judge’s decision Friday regarding the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) fish stocking program, Director Donald Koch made the following statement:

“We look forward to meeting with the petitioners from Stanford Law School within the next two weeks to seek agreement on the continuance of our fish stocking programs. The department is concerned with the recreational impacts that curtailing our stocking programs have on the fishing community. In addition, our stocking program has important benefits to many small businesses and communities that depend on fishing.”

In October 2006, Stanford Law students sued DFG over fish stocking programs it has engaged in for more than 100 years, claiming that no Environmental Impact Report (EIR) had been completed for the programs. The result of the case was a court order requiring DFG to complete an EIR. DFG is engaged in the years-long and multimillion dollar EIR process, now scheduled to be completed in January 2010.

Due to delays in the EIR process, on Friday, Nov. 7 Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette told the department to negotiate with the petitioners to seek an agreement on terms for how and where DFG may continue stocking fish during the time it is preparing the EIR. If an agreement is not reached, the department might face an injunction that could stop altogether or significantly reduce its fish stocking programs. If an agreement can be reached in the next two weeks, the parties will take that agreement back to the judge for his approval.