Did Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham contribute to the death of protected fish?

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guys fishing illegally

It is illegal to fish with a net in California!

Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham is not only a blogger over at Red County, he is also an Orange County Parks and Recreation Commissioner.  He wrote a blog post back in October about some guys who were fishing the Santa Ana River – using nets, which is illegal.

Jerbal wrote:

Last Friday, I saw something new: some men fishing with cast nets — those round nets with weights at the end and thrown into the water by the fisherman.

There were five or so men hanging around one of those artificial waterfalls, which is where the river is usually deepest. One guy was on the other side standing on one of the concrete dragon’s teeth, casting his net.

So what’s the problem?  How about an endangered fish, called the “Santa Ana Sucker,” which “is found only in a handful of rivers in southern California,” according to Wikipedia.

Santa Ana Sucker Fish

Did Jerbal contribute to the needless death of these rare fish?

Their range is extremely restricted; they are native only to the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, Santa Ana, and Santa Clara River systems in southern California. Populations have been lost from several parts of the rivers, so that they now only live in the upper portion of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel drainages, and the lower part of the Santa Ana River, especially areas with additional water effluent from sewage treatment plants.

Busted!  Jerbal, as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, should have done something.  Instead he took their pictures and wrote a blog post about it.

And he didn’t even tell the fishermen that using nets to catch fish is illegal in California.

How very disappointing…

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