Fishing the North Coast: Trinity best option for steelhead; Most coastal rivers closed by low flows
January 2, 2014
Kenny Priest, The Times-Standard,nk goodness for the Klamath/Trinity River systems.
Without these two rivers, it'd be pretty slim pickings for anglers looking to latch onto to a steelhead this winter. Though both rivers are running at lower than normal levels, at least they're open to fishing.
The lack of rain has closed all the other rivers that are subjected to low flow restrictions, including the Eel, Van Duzen, Mad, Redwood Creek, and Smith. With dry conditions forecasted for the next few weeks, it looks as though the Klamath and Trinity will not only be the best options -- they may well be your only options.
2014 Fishing license
If you plan on fishing this weekend, don't forget to purchase your 2014 license, which is required for residents 16 years of age or older to take fish, mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates, amphibians or reptile in inland or ocean waters. The cost of a new resident sport fishing license is $46.44.
A North Coast salmon report card, which will run you $6.22, is required for all anglers taking salmon in the Smith River System or Klamath-Trinity River System, including persons who are not required to have a sport fishing license, such as persons who are under 16 years of age, and persons who are fishing on free fishing days.
If you plan to fish for steelhead, you'll need to purchase a steelhead report card.
This is required for persons who are not required to have a sport fishing license, such as persons who are under 16 years of age, and persons who are fishing on free fishing days.
The cost is $7.05. Fishing licenses and reports cards are now available to purchase online. For more information, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/
Thousands of fall Chinook spawn in the Eel River
December 31, 2013
Special to The Willits News,
Divers jumped into lower Eel River pools again in fall 2013 to document the size of the fall Chinook salmon run as part of the Eel River Recovery Project's (ERRP) annual monitoring program, which is co-sponsored by the Humboldt Redwood Company and the Wiyot Tribe. More than 70 divers participated in six organized dives and dozens of other volunteers are now tracking the salmon as they migrate and spawn throughout the watershed. The peak dive count was almost 6,000 Chinook salmon on November 9, but low flow conditions allowed a December 5 dive that indicates a new wave of late-run fish is entering the lower Eel River despite sparse rains.
Plan to help steelhead trout rebound in SLO County is finalized
December 26, 2013
By David Sneed, The Tribute,
After several years of work, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a report this month finalizing a plan to restore steelhead trout populations in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.
The south-central population of steelhead trout is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The range of the population extends from the Pajaro River in Monterey County to Arroyo Grande Creek.
Biologists believe this population of steelhead once numbered more than 27,000 but is estimated to have declined to less than several thousand. Steelhead trout are considered one of the most prized sport fish species in the nation.
The recovery plan outlines actions that can be voluntarily taken by scientific researchers, stakeholders and the general public to help the species recover. In San Luis Obispo County, the report recommends creating bypasses around barriers that prevent the steelhead from migrating upstream to spawning and rearing habitats on the San Simeon, Santa Rosa, Pismo, Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo creeks
The ESA, fish, and me
December 26, 2013
California Water Blog, by Peter Moyle, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences,
The Endangered Species Act turns 40 this week, and I have been closely involved with the law for as many years as a fish biologist at UC Davis.
I arrived on campus in 1972 with the goal of developing a research program on the ecology of California’s highly endemic, but poorly known fish fauna. For better or worse, I found myself involved in endangered species issues from the start. The law has been extraordinarily valuable in promoting studies of endemic species and in keeping them from going extinct.
One of my first studies was on the Modoc sucker, a small fish considered endangered and known then to reside only in one small watershed in the Pit River drainage of northeastern California.
Much of the species’ presumed habitat was on private land owned by suspicious ranchers. Hiring Alan Marciochi as my research assistant turned out to be a brilliant move. Alan comes from a farming family. He chose to live in the small Modoc County community of Adin for the study. And he played the banjo.
Scott River Coho run largest since 2007
December 17, 2013
By David Smith, Siskiyou Daily News,
After a large influx of Coho salmon in the past few weeks, the Scott River has seen its largest return of the species since 2007.
The latest data from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife video weirs on the Klamath’s tributaries shows a relatively strong return this year for Chinook and Coho, with the Scott’s Chinook numbers as of Dec. 10 coming in just under the seven year average weir data. Final counts for the Scott also rely on carcass and spawning area counts, which have not yet been finalized.
On Bogus Creek, the numbers of Chinook and Coho passing the video weir have trickled to a halt, with only one Coho returning between Dec. 4 and Dec. 10.
So far, the Bogus numbers are 3,143 Chinook and 290 Coho, which the data shows is the strongest Coho return since 2004 and the third-smallest Chinook return in that same time period.
The end of season for the Shasta counts was called on Dec. 10, due to ice floes damaging the weir on Dec. 9. The Chinook count came in at 8,127, the third-largest return since 2001, with 151 Coho, the highest number of that species since 2007.
The Scott and Bogus weirs are still operating, according to CDFW environmental scientist Morgan Knechtle, and once the final numbers are compiled and finalized, they will be used in forecasts for 2014.