When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

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WB Staff
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:56 am

When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby WB Staff » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:55 pm

When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing.png

WB Staff
Posts: 9834
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:56 am

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby WB Staff » Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:59 pm

When integrity is compromised – everyone loses – the tale of the Department and Fish and Wildlife’s failure to properly monitor the fishing contest permitting process

By Dave Hurley
WON STAFF WRITER

Society is held together by our collective social contract to follow rules and regulations, and when we all follow rules and act with integrity, society thrives. When rules are allowed to be bent or broken, our social contract with each other crumbles.

Such is the story of the northern California bass fishing permitting process operated by the Department of the Fish and Wildlife. The permitting process for the following year draw events has always required give and
take between major circuits in northern California, and it has forced the directors to work together in a collaborative manner. They didn’t always get their way, and they had to compromise in order to serve the greater good – which is always the ability for fishermen to have a variety of choices on different bodies of water.

The process for the 2022 year contests was distributed to stakeholders via email and listed on the Department of Fish and Wildlife website. The rationale for this system was as follows: Due to continued public health concerns around COVID-19, CDFW will be again conducting the Fishing Contest Permit Drawing remotely. In response to independent feedback from stakeholders and the associated permit holder survey conducted in 2020, CDFW will be conducting the drawing within the guidelines below, as this approach has allowed for reduced conflicts and productive collaboration in the past. Additionally, CDFW will be monitoring the overall efficiency, compliance, and analytics of the permit drawing process in 2021 to help inform a more formal regulatory revision process of the fishing contest permit drawing moving forward.

One of the changes for the 2022 draw allowed directors to apply individually instead of as organization with the notice stating - Each person (applicant) wanting to participate should submit a list of all dates/locations they want for 2022. Submit separate lists for northern and southern California waters. Only submit a request for dates you are willing to pay for, payment in full will be required for all selections awarded. Failure to pay for selections awarded will result in forfeiture of those selections. Only one list per applicant will be accepted for each of the northern and southern California permit drawings.

The majority of tournament directors did either not thoroughly comprehend the changes as listed in the email notice for 2022 or chose to represent themselves as a single applicant for their organization as had been past practice. The information was sent to the tournament directors as well as posted on the department’s website, but similar to the party boat operators not being fully aware of the recreational crab season changes in November, just sending out an email or posting on a website is minimum notice at best if the department desires full stakeholder participation.

However, one circuit did read the changes, clarified the ability to apply as individuals with the department, and decided to use the revised process to their advantage, applying of multiple permits on multiple dates under two different individuals. This resulted in applications for over 100 permits from two individuals representing one organization.

Had every other organization decided to use the same practice as allowed by the revised rules, the potential for thousands of applications for permits would have occurred, creating further gridlock.

A ’conflict resolution’meeting was conducted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife via Zoom on August 18 th . Unfortunately, many of the directors were unable to log in on Zoom, and when the conflicts were placed into a
‘randomizer,’ directors were unable to comment as they were muted. With two applications for the same circuit competing in the randomizer against one circuit, the odds were two-to-one that they would be successful. A review of January 2022 permits on the Department’s website reveals that one organization possesses 6 permits issued on Lake Shasta, three on Clear Lake, and one on the Delta for a total of 10 permits with competing permits issued for a single Saturday on three separate bodies of water. In addition, the new rules allow for the permits to be held without payment until September 8 th , but directors can apply for the remaining open dates starting August 24 th . As any permits unpaid will not be considered forfeited until September 8th, tournament directors will have no idea as to which dates are available until after this date. Further information on the department’s website states ‘that it is unlawful to possess a permit obtained by fraud or deciet with the ‘specific purpose of tying-up’ or preventing other potential applicants from conducting a contest.’ In speaking with the organizers of the above-mentioned circuit applying for multiple permits under two applicants, they maintain that they were ‘protecting the interests of their anglers,’ but acknowledged that the choice of applying for multiple permits was to provide a catalyst for change. There is a difference between the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law.

Right now, one circuit is holding up the release of the 2022 schedules for all circuits since they hold a number of permits that they may or may not release, and they have until September 8 th to make their decision. In speaking with the representatives of this circuit, there was no commitment to release permits prior to September 8 th. Valerie Cook, Acting Chief of the Fisheries Division, was forthright in her responses to this situation, and it is my belief that she inherited a mess created by those under her responsibility prior to her tenure as Acting Chief. She responded with the statement: “Moving forward, in order for CDFW to implement any permit drawing guidelines beyond a random drawing, regulations must be developed, vetted by stakeholders, and adopted by the Fish and Game Commission. Based on the feedback previously received from tournament organizers, guidelines establishing rules and a process is preferred over the straight random drawing. As such, CDFW will be reaching out for stakeholder input on development of draft regulations and requesting engagement and input at the Fish and Game Commission’s Wildlife Resources Committee virtual meeting on September 16. CDFW anticipates introducing proposed (draft) regulations for further vetting and input at the December Fish and Game Commission meeting in order to have the regulations adopted in April and take effect by the July 2022 application period.”

Clearly, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has abicated their leadership role in this process over the past two years, leading to the potential of putting directors out of business while others are holding permits that they
have no intention of using. It is incumbent upon the department to clarify the permitting process to allow a fair and equitable process for all circuits – thereby allowing the anglers, aka ‘the consumers’ to have the greatest opportunities to meet their needs.

When all stakeholders are unhappy with the process, something has to change. Clearly, there is a serious lack of trust within the directors as well as a significant lack of trust for the process as monitored by the department. Only clear and transparent procedures with shared leadership between the department and stakeholders will ease this logjam. Whatever it takes, it’s time for the department to do the right thing since it is obvious that tournament directors are unable to manage the process without their leadership.

In the meantime, in the best interest of all tournament bass fishermen, the circuit holding all of the permits should release what they have no intention of using prior to September 8 th so the tournaments can publish their schedules. This would be a small step in the right direction moving forward.

coyote268
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:15 am

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby coyote268 » Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:30 am

Why not post who did it? From what I have heard and I might be wrong it was Newjen. It even messed up the Record B tournament which has been going on for years. It doesn't surprise me that CDFW let this happen though.

MichaelB
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:48 am
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby MichaelB » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:44 am

coyote268 wrote:Why not post who did it? From what I have heard and I might be wrong it was Newjen. It even messed up the Record B tournament which has been going on for years. It doesn't surprise me that CDFW let this happen though.
You are correct Coyote, it was NewJen. 2 people, filing several hundred Permit requests for every body of water, for just about every weekend. Guessing if the State required a deposit be tendered with every Permit request ...... this practice would end in a hurry.

Csuhchris
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:52 am

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby Csuhchris » Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:56 pm

NEWT and Jen’s character is clearly illustrated by these actions…. Why I cringe every time their tournaments are at Clear Lake! INSERT “SHOW ME THE MONEY” MEME HERE! They don’t care about the ramifications of their poorly ran tournaments!

mark poulson
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Location: Antioch, CA

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby mark poulson » Thu Sep 09, 2021 3:21 pm

MichaelB wrote:
coyote268 wrote:Why not post who did it? From what I have heard and I might be wrong it was Newjen. It even messed up the Record B tournament which has been going on for years. It doesn't surprise me that CDFW let this happen though.
You are correct Coyote, it was NewJen. 2 people, filing several hundred Permit requests for every body of water, for just about every weekend. Guessing if the State required a deposit be tendered with every Permit request ...... this practice would end in a hurry.

Mike, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Requiring a deposit for each Permit request would cut way down on the kind of permit request flooding that took place this year.
Attitude plus effort equal success
CLEAN AND DRY

M Pollard
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:42 pm

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby M Pollard » Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:10 pm

I saw a post couple weeks ago were FPT had like 30 permits, BBT had 60, Won Bass had 20, and New Jen had like 200
permits on hold. There is plenty of pie for every one.. By New Jen getting 200 permits trying to monopoly on all circuits
is ridiculous. They have both hands in the cookie jar... there is no need for that many permits to be given or taken from them..

coyote268
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:15 am

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby coyote268 » Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:01 pm

No, they are pretty smart if not slime balls. If I heard it right they offered to run the Record B tournament for $1500 and all the freebies they could get. The local Bass Club would do it for free. There is a method in their madness. So much working with other organizations for the betterment of the sport

TonyM
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 3:13 pm

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby TonyM » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:33 pm

You stated all tournament directors received the same notice and instructions. You also said the other tournament directors either failed to understand the instructions or willingly chose to apply as a single entity. How is that NewJen’s fault? Sounds like they played within the rules that had been laid out and even took the time to seek clarification. I have no dog in the fight and dont know any of those involved, but I’m tired of people not taking ownership of their own screwups and bad mouthing others.

MichaelB
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:48 am
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby MichaelB » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:47 pm

And what's next ...... how about every organization have 15 different people submitting permit requests for every weekend at every body of water ?

TonyM
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 3:13 pm

Re: When integrity is compromised - in tournament bass fishing

Postby TonyM » Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:07 pm

MichaelB wrote:And what's next ...... how about every organization have 15 different people submitting permit requests for every weekend at every body of water ?


Personally, I feel your scenario would be unreasonable and unethical. The person applying should have a vested interest in the organization. I don’t consider a spouse/co-owner of an organization also applying on behalf of the organization unethical so long as it’s within the rules. But until DFG changes the rules to allow only one application per date, per organization, the other organizations will have to get on board or be left behind again.


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