What Are They Doing To The Surf Perch?

I heard this from a friend the other day...

"I made a few phone calls today to find out what I could about surfperch. As you are probably aware recreationals have had their daily bag limits reduced in a big way. I was curious to know if commercial perch fishers had been given a reduction. The short answer is no they are continuing with their previous regulations."

"More interesting was the DFG guy's response. He stated that the commercial fishery is already more regulated than the recreationals because they have closed seasons (theri fishery is open "only" from July 16 through April and they also get to use beach seines in Tomales Bay, no limits and no minimum size). I asked if there were any commercial regs in the works and I got a variety of answers ranging from "Ya, there are some things we are considering" to " No, changing the commercial fishery regulations would have to be done by the Legislature and DFG doesn't have the time, money or ability to do that now, but maybe in the future." With that I suggested to him that what he was saying was that DFG can regulate the recreational fishery by simply making a recommendation to the Commission, waiting two meetings then presto its done, indicating to me that the recreational fishery is inherently easy to regulate (hence more likely to be sustainable). I also told him I think saving the fish stocks is a fine idea and recreationals are all for it, but if our savings result in more commercial catch where is the gain in that? Anyway you get my point here. Same story different fishery with DFG again defending commercial activities. Sometimes you want to scream.

The main species we talked about were:

Barred surfperch (a southern Calif species with recreational catch by far exceeding commercial)

Retail surfperch (Central and Northern coastal fish with commercial catch exceeding recreational)

Shiner surfperch (our little halibut baits. Recreationals now have a 20 fish limit which is fine with me, but the bait netters have no restraints except the market, which is us)"