Gone Fishin’: Schafer returns stability to DFG | SierraSun.com

Gone Fishin’: Schafer returns stability to DFG

Jacqueline E. Schafer was confirmed by the State Senate as the director of the California Department of Fish and Game on Feb. 14. The confirmation vote was 36-0 following a unanimous approval by the Senate Rules Committee on Jan. 29.

Schafer stated, “I am pleased with the vote of confidence I received from the Senate. I will continue to vigorously pursue my objectives of providing necessary resources to staff, fulfilling our public trust responsibilities and increasing recreational opportunities for the public.”

During the period prior to her confirmation, Schafer made significant progress toward improving DFG’s future fiscal status and its ability to perform its duties. Under her direction, the DFG received support in the governor’s 1997-98 budget for the first increase in general fund dollars allocated to the department in six years. The proposed $190 million budget contains funding for six major initiatives to protect California’s resources to insure their long-term viability.

Areas that will benefit from the new budget include: coastal watershed restoration and habitat improvement for salmon and steelhead, conservation of wildlife habitat on DFG wildlife areas and ecological reserves, coastal resources through increased enforcement presence, the striped bass fishery, the Upland Game Bird Heritage Program, operating expenses and equipment for wardens and other personnel.

Perhaps Schafer would consider reinstating the fisheries biologist position that was eliminated this past year in our area. Longtime resident biologist Russ Wickwire was reassigned to the Fresno area in a move that left most area sportsmen questioning the decision. We could have used his knowledge and presence during the flood in January.

Schafer received support from diverse organizations including the California Waterfowl Association, the California Fish and Game Wardens Protective Association, the California Association of Professional Scientists, the National Audubon Society-California, the California Native Plant Society, the American Sport Fishing Association, the California Striped Bass Association, United Anglers of California Quail Unlimited and the National Turkey Federation among others.

Schafer came to the DFG after serving as chief deputy cabinet secretary in the governor’s office, where she was responsible for issues relating to the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Resources Agency and the Department of Food and Agriculture.

Prior to her service in the Wilson Administration, she held a number of posts in environmental and natural resources policy management in the federal government.

With its confirmation, the Senate has given the Department a sense of stability after many years of lost direction. Perhaps now the department of Fish and Game, under Schafer’s guidance, can return to prominence.

California sportsmen will undoubtedly be watching her and the DFG intently during her reign as director.

Sierra Fishing Report

Local fishing is in its winter mode. Though ice fishing ha been available and doing quite well in lakes such as Boca, Prosser, and Stampede, most anglers are waiting for spring and the upcoming 1997 general trout season.

Fishing has been available to anglers at Donner Lake where the water is free of ice. The inlet, the West End and the boat ramp areas are all areas that are fishable.

Lake Tahoe has been providing good action for Mackinaw with most fish being taken in water 150 to 250 feet in depth.

Some reports that Rainbow have been on the bite have also trickled in. The Rainbow are getting ready for the annual spawning runs up the local creeks in the very near future.

Pyramid Lake in Nevada also remains a good bet for those anglers willing to make the drive. While fish are not large the numbers have been good for this time of year.

Keep in mind that January and February are two of the toughest months to catch fish in the lake. March through May offers some of the best fishing available as the Lahontan Cutthroat get ready to spawn. Fly fishermen have been doing the best from shore, throwing purple, black and white woolly buggers.

Remember to get that 1997 license to be prepared for the April 26 season opener.

See you out on the water!

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