In collaboration with California Trout, Trout Unlimited in California co-hosted the third annual “Casting Call: A Celebration of California’s Unique Trout, Steelhead and Salmon Populations,” on the State Capitol grounds in Sacramento on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
The event is held each year to help raise awareness about declining populations of wild trout, salmon and steelhead in California, and what can be done to protect, restore and sustain the fisheries and their watersheds.
In addition to ice cream and Chinookie Cookies being served, the event featured fly casting demonstrations, a chance for people to practice casting, distribution of information and a friendly fly casting competition between Republican and Democratic legislators. Lawmakers from both sides praised the ongoing efforts of California Trout and Trout Unlimited and affirmed their support to help protect and restore California’s native fish and habitat.
California has an incredible diversity of trout, steelhead and salmon exceeded only by Alaska. The state is on the southern end of the range of all oceangoing trout and salmon species and home to a diversity of inland native trout including three subspecies of golden trout. But 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. To counteract this trend, Trout Unlimited and California Trout seek collaborative and durable solutions to complex fish and water issues. Casting Call helps increase awareness of these efforts among citizens and legislators.
Brian Johnson, the California director for Trout Unlimited, and Curtis Knight, the conservation director for California Trout, also took time to visit with state legislators to discuss Coho Bill AB 1961, a bill receiving bipartisan support that will provide new and critically needed tools for restoring California’s native coho salmon populations.
A friendly flycasting competition was held on the Capital lawn between Democratic legislators Jared Huffman, Wes Chesbro and Alyson Huber and Republican legislators Tom Harman, Tom Berryhill and Bob Huff, with members on both sides demonstrating impressive casting skills. And the winners for the day are:
California’s native trout, salmon and steelhead!