Byline: The Log Staff
SACRAMENTO — A U.S. District Court judge in Northern California has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the legality of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s stocking of hatchery-raised fish into lakes and rivers statewide.
“In an era in which some prefer to litigate instead of pursue decision-making through the public process, I’m encouraged by this legal victory,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife director Charlton H. Bonham, in a statement issued after Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court, Northern District dismissed the case.
“Though we expect an appeal that could jeopardize our legacy statewide fish stocking program, it’s a big win for today,” Bonham said.
The court found that the Department of Fish and Game’s practice of stocking fish into lakes in California does not amount to adding a pollutant to the water in violation of the Clean Water Act, as alleged by two nongovernmental organizations — one from Montana and one from Oregon.